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tasty/casual/hip. dinner downtown

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hello chowhounders! i'm having some trouble thinking of downtown dining venues for dinner with a couple of my girlfriends...we like tasty food in a cool environment, with good service, & affordable ($10-20 entree). cool meaning bar marmont, not ketchup.

i've thought about - r23, cafe metropol, Mode (the new 24/7 cafe in the fashion district), Cicada. or say screw it & go to Yang Chow?

any opinions? feel free to chime in. thanks!

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  1. I checked out Royal Clayton's recently in the Artist District and it is a cool space. Sort of an English gothy industrial vibe to it. Food was pretty standard pub type fare, generous portions, and moderately priced

    1. How about the Redwood Bar and Grill? www.theredwoodbar.com

      And, please, anything but Yang Chow ... you're better off at Panda Express inside the LA County library.

      3 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        Redwood is a nice suggestion. Thanks! Just checked out their menu, sounds tasty and reasonable.

        Re: Yang Chow, a good friend is the son of the owner there...Hookups! Besides the slippery shrimp/braised green beans beat out Panda any day.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          thanks for the rec. went on friday night - the service was pleasant, the interior was divey cheesy cool, the crowd was very relaxed and the music selection was perfect - a good mix of everything. as for the food, it was surprisingly tasty & service was quick. we ordered the mussels over pommes frittes & the Redwood burger with some wine. the only weird part was when i asked the waiter if i could have a diet coke and he just shook his head at me and said no. i didn't get that at all...

          i'll be back. thanks for your rec ipsedixit - you're right on target.

          1. re: flavasista

            Yes, I definitely found the people working at Redwood to be weird, with an attitude! Oh well. Guess I have to go to Pete's on Main for my burger or steak fix.

        2. I can never think of downtown dining without a trip to Little Tokyo. Try any of the sushi/izakaya places: Sushi Gen, Izayoi, Oomasa.

            1. The food at Edison is actually rather good, and the environment is unbeatable in terms of coolness.

              1. Pete's Cafe has good food/drink. They have decent tapas (which I believe are only available at night). The interior design of the place reminds me of NYC.