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Recommendations needed for friend visiting from NYC

Hey chowhounders!

My good friend is coming to visit in a couple of weeks from NYC. I want to take her to a few uniquely LA restaurants while she is here. She has requested sushi/Japanese, Russian (she is Russian and is interested in tasting Russian food out here), Thai, or Italian for dinners. We have three dinners and a couple of brunches while she is in town.

I want to stay in the West Hollywood vicinity. I am definitely open to driving a bit, but I don't want to spend her whole trip driving around either...Any suggestions? Thanks so much!

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  1. Sushi = Horizon, Wa (both in West Hollywood)
    Thai = Jitlada (in Thai town)

    She's better off with Italian in NYC, but if you must: La Terza, All 'Angelo, Mozza (I like the pizzeria better), Amarone (new intimate Italian on Sunset).

    3 Replies
    1. re: Obessed

      Thanks so much! I will check those out. I agree about better Italian in NYC....I will be steering clear of Italian for her here. I can't seem to find Horizon online? Do you have a link?

      1. re: erintoc

        It's actually called Hirozen. Go for the cooked dishes since there's better sushi elsewhere. Actually Zo would be a great choice and isn't too far.

      2. re: Obessed

        I'd add Angelini Osteria to that list of Italian.

      3. Dinner at the Getty is always fun with an out-of-towner.

        1. For Uzbek food there's certainly Uzbekistan. You might also consider taking her to Polka, or making the trek to Santa Monica to Warszawa.

          Concur with Jitlada. Also Sanam Luang Cafe ain't too far.

          Sushi... HIrozen, Sushi Ike, or Zo. The new place, the name escapes me that I like...

          Italian... Angeli Caffe or Via Veneto

          Steer her to Tasca for small plates

          Bin 8945 or Sona for a great tasting menu

          Griddle Cafe for decadent breakfast fare or for brunch Toast or Quality

          Campanile brunch can be good when it's on

          I'd say get in some Mexican too... Drive out to Babita if you feel the urge, or hit up Guelaguetza or Tacomiendo or Tacos Por Favor or La Serenata di Garabaldi

          1. I think required visiting for any first-timer in LA should be the Farmer's Market on 3rd and Fairfax. You'll encounter lots of food possibilities there, as it's not really a greenmarket but more of an open air food court. Also, it's in the same neighborhood as some restaurants that have already been suggested (Hirozen and Angelini are very closeby).

            Jitlada is a great suggestion for Thai as it has a Southern Thai menu that's quiet unique. For more mainstream Thai that she's used to, you can check out Ruen Pair. You'll definitely have to travel east into Thai Town, as WeHo's Thai options don't compare.

            There's a huge Russian population there in West Hollywood, but no one seems to have unearthed that WOW restaurant to put the cuisine on the map. Perhaps you'll discover it and tell us.

            1. I'm not sure, but I think the San Fernando Valley has two new Russian restaurants - one in Studio City, and the other in Encino. If you can't find Russian in West Hollywood, you might want to try one of these. Maybe one of my fellow chowhounds knows what I'm talking about and can help with the names and addresses. I'd like to know for myself.

              3 Replies
              1. re: omakase

                Thanks everyone for the great suggestions! We will definitely be checking out Hirozen for sushi and Jitlada and Ruen Pair for Thai. I haven't been to Babita yet myself and would love to convince her to head there for Mexican...

                I agree that Farmer's Market is a must...we'll probably head there for a pitcher at the outdoor bar and a few tacos.

                I'm definitely interested in the recs for Uzbec food. I haven't had any Russian cuisine before, so it will be an interesting experience. We will probably go into a few of the Russian delis and bakeries in my neighborhood (I'm right at the corner of Fairfax and Santa Monica, in the heart of the Russian part of the neighborhood) and she'll probably ask them in Russian for the best Russian food around. If I find a great spot, I will post a full review!

                Thanks again everyone! Also, I haven't ventured out much for nightlife yet. Do you have any suggestions for bars or hotel bars with views or something unique for nightlife? I've heard Bar Marmont is a good spot....Any thoughts? Thanks!!!

                1. re: erintoc

                  If you want unique nightlife, I'd recommend going to The Abbey! But Bar Marmont, sure. You might even see a starlet or two.

                  1. re: erintoc

                    Another L.A. experience is something at the beach. I know it's a bit of a drive....but heading up Pacific Coast Highway on a clear dear is always something special. Lots of places in Malibu.....maybe Nobu for sushi? And there are a few good Italian spots.

                2. You would not be a good friend if you did not take her to a good Mexican meal...NYC has great restuarants, none of which serve decent Mexican food. Take her to your favorite place.

                  1. Blowfish Sushi on Sunset in West Hollywood, chic trendy, not cheap but not impossibly expensive, great sushi (and I don't really like sushi) - here's the link:

                    For Russian - try:
                    Traktir ($$$)
                    Eclectic & International, Russian
                    8151 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood 90046
                    Btwn Havenhurst Dr & N Crescent Heights Blvd
                    I'm half Russian and, although this doesn't compare to my grandmother and aunts' Russian cooking, it's pretty good.

                    For brunch:
                    Toast is good but pricey, I like Doughboys on 3rd (they were closed for remodeling/call to see if reopened) or on La Brea, if you want to try the Los Feliz area north of USC on Vermont, Fred 62 is great, on Larchmont try Mustard Seed Cafe or The Alcove. Mustard Seed stops serving breakfast menu around 12:30 and The Alcove til 2:30 on weekdays. Both are excellent, Mustard Seed has great coffee. Parking it tough, look on side streets in the vicinity.

                    Hope this is helpful.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: scarlett58

                      Thanks guys! These are perfect recommendations! I have some research to do for sure! I will leave my friend with some options and see what she is in the mood for. I agree that driving up the coast is a must! And, good Mexican should be mandatory as well. Hope I can convince her of that! More suggestions are certainly welcome!! Thanks!