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Vivere -- Restaurants Near Music Center

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Has anyone here been to Vivere, an Italian restaurant a block away from the Music Center in Downtown LA? I've heard nothing but great things about it. I'm thinking about taking my family there for some pre-theatre dining.

If not, does anyone have any info about restaurants within walking distance of the Music Center? I hear the restaurant within the Center is pretty terrible, despite the fact that it's owned by the Patina Group.

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  1. Although a bit pricey, I've enjoyed the following three restaurants for pre-Music center evenings.
    1. The Restaurant at the Checkers Hotel
    2. Across the street from Checkers is the Water Grill (haven't been there in a while, though)
    3. And Cafe Pinot.
    The restaurant at checkers has a little van service that takes you to the Music Center in time for your performance, FOR FREE, if you make arrangements when you reserve. They also, I believe, let you come back after the performance for dessert. This way, you only pay for the parking once, at dinner,rather than once for dinner and once at the M.Center. Cafe Pinot and the Water Grill may make similar arrangements, and I believe if Stepps is still around, they also made such arrangements.
    So it's also possible that Bernard's at the Biltmore makes similar van arrangements to and from the Music Center. I haven't eaten at Bernards since the 1980's so I definitely can't vouch for the food, but I'm sure someone else here can let you know. Good luck.
    (I do like empress pavilion in chinatown a great deal and with an early enough dinner, one can dine and still go to a show at the music center, but it's kind of pushing it and you drive and park yourself. just a thought)

    1. I had great drinks and delicious appetizers at Ciudad, which is kitty-corner from the Central Library and offers a free shuttle service to the Music Center. The entrees were disappointing, but perhaps red beans and paella were not the best dishes to choose. Ciudad is operated by the minds behind Border Grill. The interior is visually and acoustically lively. The service was not perfect--make sure to allow plenty of time to make it to your performance.