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Downtown suggestion for dinner with parents

open to what you've got.


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    1. It would help if you were more specific with location and budget.


      1. These are great recs. And depending on your budget, there's Water Grill.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mollyomormon

          Definitely Water Grill, or maybe Patina.

        2. Engine Co. 28, Ciudad, Blue Velvet, Nick & Stef's

          3 Replies
          1. re: mbh65

            agree w/ nick and stef's, water grill, and cafe pinot, but i'm not sure if blue velvet is right, though it certainly depends upon the parents.

            traxx might be another interesting choice given the atmosphere.

            morton's for steak.

            1. re: Emme

              Yes, "it certainly depends upon the parents". I'm the 51-year-old parent of a 21-year-old (how the hell did that happen so fast?) and would like to think he could take me anywhere. Yet when I take my parents (77 and 80), both of whom are adventurous eaters, I have to consider the noise level and ambiance.

              1. re: whatsfordinner

                My parents are a year older than you are and while I'm sure I could take them anywhere, a place that that has a DJ at night would be low on my list. If I'm at dinner with my parents I want to catch up with them, not dance with them.

          2. The Palm on S. Flower is nice - really good steak and lobster.

            THE PALM
            1100 S. Flower Street

            4 Replies
            1. re: omakase

              Has anyone been to Riordan's new place? Would it qualify as downtown and parents (think so, not sure though).

              1. re: gadflier

                I've been. It's not really a place I'd take my parents.

                1. re: mollyomormon

                  It's not really a place I'd take ANYone.

                  Is Thousand Cranes still good? I used to think it was a lovely room with decent food if they don't get much Japanese.

                  1. re: mlgb

                    I was there probably six months ago for lunch. Food was still decent and the setting was still beautiful. It couldt be a very good place to take parents who might be freaked out by traditional sushi but would enjoy california rolls and teriyaki chicken.

            2. My current standby is Roy's. It is far more consistant than Ciudad and Cafe Pinot and not as pricey as Water Grill and Patina. The food is excellent. The butterfish entree is the best fish dish in the city. I took my mother last week. We shared two appetizers -- ahi poketini (ahi sashimi, mixed with wasabi, caviar, and creme fraiche served in a martini glass) and a half-dozen oysters (served on a bed of seaweed) -- a butterfish entree, one glass of wine, a dessert (coconut haupia puffs -- like profiteroles with coconut cream with caramel and chocolate sauce and a couple of carmelized bananas), and two cappucinos. The final tally after tax, but before tip, was $85.

              I had a very bad experience at Cafe Pinot (there is a post on the subject), so encourage you to give it a pass. It's a shame, because the patio is one of the nicest places downtown to sit.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Jwsel

                I had another great meal at Roy's last week as well. I've been there about 4 times since it opened, and it has never disappointed from either a food or service standpoint.

                Their prix fixe option is one heck of a deal. My wife went with that the other night. For $35, she got: an assorted "satay" appetizer plate: one skewer each of chicken, beef, shrimp and eggplant; jumbo prawns with wild rice "risotto"; and their flourless chocolate cake, which is really more of a souffle (a delicious, molten chocolate center awaits you!) served with vanilla ice cream. She could have had a beef or fish for the main course. It's a great deal for $35. I ordered a la carte: duck lumpia appetizer, Kalua-style Kurobuta pork shank for my main. We shared her dessert, & we were absolutely stuffed.

                The prices are incredibly reasonable for what you get. Our total bill (pre-tip), which included 2 cocktails and 2 glasses of wine, was just over $100. We spent the same amount the night before just on some sushi & a couple of drinks at Z Sushi in Alhambra. And while I really like sushi, the Roy's meal was ultimately more interesting for about the same money.

                1. re: Jack Flash

                  We just went to Roy's for my dad's birthday, and were actually kind of disappointed. We had to wait at least 30 minutes despite going in at 8:30 on a Wednesday and seeing open tables. My parents both did the prix fixe and my dad's steak entree meat was far tougher than his rare request should have warranted. Even my brother, who is known among our family for claiming that rare meat is "for wimps" found it to be literally unconsummable. They didn't win any points for the onion rings either. The satay was good, though, as was my mom's chicken entree.

                  My brother and I each had the 3 fish sampler. I enjoyed the butterfish, but half of my seared ahi was literally soaked in wasabi.

                  I thought they really shined for dessert, though. They brought out a small ice cream dish for my dad, we ordered the chocolate cake/souffle and the macadamia nut/apple tart thing and were happy with them all.

                  Overall it wasn't bad, but I think our expectations going in were a bit too high. My parents had thoroughly enjoyed Roy's in Newport and one of his Oahu posts, so comparison was easy for them. I had heard so much positive press from relatives that I thought I'd be happier than I was with the food. Next time, butterfish only! :)

              2. Arnie Morton's, The Palm or Water Grill

                1. When my family comes to town, I like to take them to Ciudad or Zucca.