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Best DineLA Picks?

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Additional restaurants were recently added and most menus are now available. I only know of maybe a quarter of these restaurants (being new to LA) so I was hoping you all could make some suggestions and recommendations.

Lunch is $15 or $22
Dinner is $22 or $34

ADORO MEXICAN GRILLE

ALL’ ANGELO RISTORANTE

ALLEGRIA

AMARANTA COCINA MEXICANA

AMERICAN GIRL PLACE

ANGELI CAFFE

ASIA DE CUBA

BALEEN LOS ANGELES

BARN BURNER BBQ

BEACON AN ASIAN CAFE

BISTROTEK

BLD

BOA STEAKHOUSE

BORDER GRILL SANTA MONICA

CAFE PINOT

CAMACHO’S CANTINA

CAROUSEL RESTAURANT

CHAYA BRASSERIE RESTAURANT

CHAYA VENICE

CIRCA 55 RESTAURANT

CIUDAD

CRUSTACEAN BEVERLY HILLS

DAILY GRILL - BRENTWOOD

DAILY GRILL - DOWNTOWN

DAILY GRILL - SANTA MONICA

DAILY GRILL - SOUTH BAY

DAILY GRILL - STUDIO CITY

DAKOTA

DAL RAE

EAT. ON SUNSET

EL CHOLO CAFE PASADENA

ENCOUNTER RESTAURANT

FORD’S FILLING STATION

GRACE

I CUGINI

IL MORO

J RESTAURANT & LOUNGE

KATSUYA BRENTWOOD

KATSUYA HOLLYWOOD

KENDALL’S BRASSERIE

LA BODEGUITA DE PICO

LA PRIME

LA VECCHIA CUCINA

LAWRY’S THE PRIME RIB

LIBERTY GRILL

LUNA PARK

MINX

MÄNI’S ON FAIRFAX

NAPA VALLEY GRILLE

NICK & STEF’S STEAKHOUSE

NOÉ AT THE OMNI LOS ANGELES

OCEAN AVENUE SEAFOOD

ON SUNSET

ONE SUNSET

PATINA

PETE’S CAFE AND BAR

PINOT BISTRO

PORTS O’ CALL RESTAURANT

RAIN WINE BAR AND LOUNGE

RITUAL SUPPER CLUB

ROY’S RESTAURANT LOS ANGELES

ROY’S RESTAURANT WOODLAND HILLS

SAMBA BRAZILIAN STEAKHOUSE

SHULA’S 347 AMERICA’S STEAKHOUSE

SIMON LA

SUSHI ROKU HOLLYWOOD

SUSHI ROKU PASADENA

SUSHI ROKU SANTA MONICA

TABLE 8

TAM O’SHANTER INN

THE ABBEY FOOD & BAR

THE HALL

THE HAPPY ENDING BAR AND RESTAURANT

THE LOBSTER

THE PALM RESTAURANT

THE PALM RESTAURANT

THE PARK GRILL

THE RESTAURANT AT THE HYATT WEST HOLLYWOOD

TIARA CAFE

TOKYO TABLE - BEVERLY HILLS

TWIN PALMS

UGO - AN ITALIAN CAFE

VERMONT RESTAURANT

VIOLET

WARUNG CAFE

ZUCCA RISTORANTE

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  1. WARUNG CAFE

    1. The Hotel Bel Air

      The alfresco dining terrace is wonderful for a fresh air morning breakfast.

      ~

      Tra di Noi ~ Malibu

      I love the Magurita pizza with goat cheese. I once ordered it and the people next to me cancelled their orders and go the same. It's mouthwatering.
      ~
      Ruths Chris steak house ~ Beverly Hills

      Love the grilled chicken and spinach. I don't eat beef but everyone raves about their steaks.

      Dukes ~ Malibu

      Great place to eat with your feet in the sand watching the surfers or enjoying the beautiful sunset. I recommend the Parmesan encrusted fish. Very good.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Cynderella

        some of the restaurants dont seem all that special.....i would like to try patina though, never been there before

        1. re: Cynderella

          cynderella: i believe the OP was asking for suggestions from the list posted above - for LA restaurant week...

        2. ocean avenue seafood is good, they have happy hour on the weekends oysters, etc.. actually sounds good now

          1. is there a website w/ the menus/details? just found last year's list...
            thanks!

            2 Replies
            1. re: luvgrub

              http://www.dinela.com/data/restaurant...

              Click on restaurant name for menu details.

              1. re: wutzizname

                thank you!

            2. We normally like Angelli, but neither the man nor I was blown away by the menu offered for this event. Grace's menu looks pretty good. Dakota also looks pretty good.

              One place I'm normally not blown away by is Simon LA, but the menu for this event looks decent:
              DINNER
              Appetizers
              Choice 1 - Jumbo Lump Crab Salad, Fresh Hearts of Palm, Soybeans, Pea Shoots and Grapefruit Vinaigrette
              Choice 2 - Yellowtail Carpaccio, Cilantro Mint and Citrus Vinaigrette
              Choice 3 - Grilled Radicchio Salad, Toasted Pistachio, Dried Cranberries, Bermuda Triangle Goat Cheese, California Orange Vinaigrette

              Entrees
              Choice 1 - Thai Red Chicken Curry, Jasmine Rice, Bamboo Shoots, Snow Peas, Pineapple
              Choice 2 - Tandoori Wild Pacific Salmon, Black Bean Salad, Mango
              Choice 3 - Braised Beef Short Rib, Kuri Squash Pancakes, Citrus Watercress Salad

              Desserts
              Choice 1 - Red Velvet Cupcake with Cream Cheese Filling
              Choice 2 - Glazed Doughnut Bread Pudding, Salted Gooey Caramel
              Choice 3 - Soft Chocolate Tart, Lemon Sherbert

              1. My top picks are Grace, Ford's Filling Station, Il Moro, and Table 8 for dinner and Chinois for lunch. They've all been on my list to try for awhile, now, so no time like Dine LA week! I think Angeli's menu looks great. Their roast chicken is incredible. However, it's one of the places I can actually afford to eat at in general, so I won't be too disappointed if I don't make it there for Restaurant Week.

                1. I just made reservations at Roy's and Napa Valley Grille. Neither is on my "must try" list (although I do enjoy the Roy's in Honolulu) but their Dine Out menus looked really good. The dessert options at Napa Valley (warm blood orange pudding with white chocolate ice cream???) sold me. I agree that Grace and Simon both look great, but I've already been to both and I want to take this opportunity to try something new.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: recovering_vegetarian

                    The menu at On Sunset looks really good. I have had some great breakfasts there and love the lobster club at lunch. So, this will be a good opportunity to try it for dinner.
                    Menu

                    DINNER
                    Appetizers
                    Choice 1 - Crabmeat Cocktail, Avocado, Pink Grapefruit, Surimi
                    Choice 2 - Cauliflower Soup with Chestnuts and Applewood Smoked Bacon Lardons
                    Choice 3 - Crispy Goat Cheese Salad, Pickled Zucchini, Honey Dijon Vinaigrette
                    Entrees
                    Choice 1 - Miso Glazed Black Cod, Stir Fry Vegetable, Soy-Ginger Jus
                    Choice 2 - Roasted Duck Breast, Pearl Onion and Morel Sauce, Butternut Squash Puree
                    Choice 3 - Braised Lamb Shank, Moroccan Spices, Israeli Couscous
                    Desserts
                    Choice 1 - Trio of Sorbetto in Chocolate Cup
                    Choice 2 - Vahlrona Chocolate Fudge Cake
                    Choice 3 - Pear Financier, Caramel Pecan Ice Cream

                    1. re: maudies5

                      Be careful at One Sunset, they charged us a 20% gratuity for a party of 5. Food was average-great depending on the dish, but waaaay over-priced for what you get, even before we saw the gratuity! I won't eat there again.

                      ++EDIT++ I just saw that there is a restaurant named "On Sunset"... I was referring to "One Sunset", just to clarify

                      1. re: HollywoodLocal

                        Glad you clarified. We had dinner at ON SUNSET last night (it's in the Luxe Hotel on Sunset and 405). The $34.00 dinner was excellent and great bang for the buck.
                        I started with the Cauliflower Soup with chestnuts and applewood smoked bacon lardons. The soup was creamy and delicious.
                        My spouse was less thrilled with his first course: Crabmeat cocktail, avocado and pink grapefruit. Just kind of boring.
                        We both opted for the Roasted duck breast. It was perfectly done and very tender. It was accompanied with a butternut squash puree, pearl onion and morel sauce. This was one of the best duck dishes I have ever had in Los Angeles. Delicious!!
                        Dessert: For me, the trio of sorbetto in chocolate cup. Perfect ending.
                        My spouse enjoyed his Pear tart with caramel-pecan ice cream.
                        All in all, a very satisfying experience. I would definitely return to ON SUNSET for dinner. I looked at the regular dinner menu. Very nice menu, prices seemed reasonable.

                    2. re: recovering_vegetarian

                      FYI - Roy's Dine Out menu looks the same as their current "Seasonal Prix Fixe" menu at $35...just if you wanted to try another restuarant.

                    3. I just came back from Chaya Brasserie. It was my first time there and I had their dineLA 3 course tasting menu for $35/person. It was a good meal, nothing spectacular or out of the ordinary, but for $35 it was a steal. I probably wouldn't go back to pay full price, but for $35, you couldn't go wrong. Wait, did I say that it was only $35? Oh OK. Just making sure. =)

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: mstinawu

                        Just got back from Grace. Had a truly great meal, a definite steal at 34 since the main course I had usually goes for 38 I think. Might try to sneak in before the deal is over.

                      2. Ports O' Call

                        I went there for dinner on Sunday night for dineLA because I wanted to try somewhere new and I don't get out to San Pedro, but have to admit that I was pretty underwhelmed. The food was average, the service really slow even though the restaurant was pretty empty and looking at their regular menu and comparing it to their dineLA options it seems like it would have cost less to order off of the regular menu.

                        1. Takami Sushi ran out of all of their 3 dinner entrees on Sunday night so in apology they offered us an entire meal at half off (not alcohol of course). Needless to say, we had an amazing meal at cheaper than the $35 we would have spent (I think it was $31). Their food was great. Their mojito was spectacular as well.

                          1. My recs in the LA area would be:

                            VIOLET $25 dinner
                            PATINA $22 lunch
                            ROY'S DOWNTOWN $22 lunch, $34 dinner
                            DAKOTA $34 dinner
                            VERMONT $22 lunch, $34 dinner
                            ALL'ANGELO $22 lunch
                            ANGELI CAFFE $15 lunch, $25 dinner
                            BEACON $25 dinner
                            BLD $15 lunch, $25 dinner
                            FORD'S FILLING STATION $22 lunch, $34 dinner
                            GRACE $34 dinner
                            IL MORO $34 dinner

                            1. how about Jar? I have reservations for next week... I would have liked to have dined at Grace, but they weren't on dineLA's list when I first called to make a reservation...

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: acidspit

                                Great restaurant. But not participating, as far as I can tell.

                                1. re: wutzizname

                                  Oops. you're right! I had it confused with Grace, which is where I actually have my Resto week reservation. I've heard nothing but good things about both Grace and Ford's (my other Friday reservation) so I'm very excited.

                                2. re: acidspit

                                  Jar is not participating but its offspring, Tracht's (down in Long Beach) is offering a terrific sounding lunch menu for DineLA.

                                3. Just got back from DAKOTA for dinner. SHOCKINGLY good. This is definitely my favorite meal out of all the places I've gone for restaurant week menus so far (Noé, Tiara Cafe, Warung Cafe). Though all of them so far were very good!

                                  My line-up still consists of Patina, Katsuya, Cafe Pinot and Simon LA :)

                                  10 Replies
                                  1. re: badtz

                                    People love to bash it, but I have had three superior meals at Dakota. I like it very much.

                                    1. re: Tom P

                                      trying Grace tomorrow night, so I'll tell you all how that goes. I'm contemplating whether or not to get the $30 wine pairing.

                                      1. re: risottoman

                                        make sure read the " DineLA Report: Grace" thread ;-)

                                        I liked the Salmon, imho better than the meat. But burumun enjoyed his boar meat!

                                    2. re: badtz

                                      Glad to hear it. I'm there on Friday night. Tonight we head to Circa 55. Heard mixed reviews, but the Dine Out options sound terrific. We also have Ford's Filling Station, Simon LA, Patina, and Chaya Brasserie lined up over the coming week. Hopefully all as good as Grace was on Sunday!

                                      1. re: schmamo

                                        I used to have a rez with Circa 55 but I canceled it.

                                        I booked it cuz of the original menu:

                                        Appetizers
                                        Choice 1 -Pan Seared Foie Gras and Scallop with a Chive Puree and Black Pepper Foam
                                        Choice 2 -Winter Squash Risotto with Sage and Truffle Oil
                                        Choice 3 -Spinach Salad with Dried Cranberries, Dates, Goat Cheese, Candied Pecans and Miso Vinaigrette

                                        Entrees
                                        Choice 1 -Pan Seared Ahi Tuna with a Creamy Polenta and an Asian Pear Relish and Lemongrass Broth
                                        Choice 2 -Grilled 8 Oz. New York Steak with Roasted Pepper-Blue Cheese Relish and Thyme Demi-Glace
                                        Choice 3 -Turkey Meatball Bucatini Pasta with Roasted Garlic, Pesto and Mozzarella

                                        But now... they switched it to something so far from the original, and other yelper's review giving them pretty bad marks. I don't think I'll fall into this bait-and-switch trap for Circa 55.

                                        Though, if you will go, hope you'll have a great time and let us know how it turns out for you :-)

                                        -----
                                        Circa 55
                                        9876 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                        1. re: kelvlam

                                          I thought that was the menu? Where do you find the "revised" options? I am going to have a fairly irate group on my hands later, I fear. :-O

                                          1. re: schmamo

                                            http://www.dinela.com/data/restaurant...

                                            Appetizers
                                            Choice 1 - Asian Chicken Vegetable Soup with Homemade Pork Dumplings
                                            Choice 2 - California Dungeness Crab Cake with Grain Mustard Aioli, White Asparagus, Cherry Tomato and Wild Cress Salad
                                            Choice 3 - Spinach and Mizuna Salad with Nashi Pear, Marinated Tofu, Maui Onion and Honey Miso Dressing
                                            Entrees
                                            Choice 1 - Herb Crusted Halibut with Wok Fired Mustard Greens and Yuzu Pepper Sauce
                                            Choice 2 - 10 oz. Fruity Soy Marinated Grilled New York Steak with Roasted Pepper and Bleu Cheese Relish, served with chef's seasonal selection of accompaniments
                                            Choice 3 - House Smoked Chicken Penne Pasta with Wild Mushrooms, Light Sherry and a Tomato Ginger Cream

                                            now you know why I canceled...

                                            1. re: kelvlam

                                              I canceled our reservation and took the group to Ruth's Chris. While the boys complained that the Caesar was just average, my tuna appetizer was delicious and the petite filet was melt-in-your-mouth yummy. Both sides (creamed spinach and garlic mashed potatoes) were plentiful and appetizing, and the chocolate sin cake was simply sinful (with chocolate and espresso, how could you go wrong!). We also got the bread pudding, but it was completely overshadowed, in my opinion. I am really glad I made the last minute switch in venue! Thanks for the head's up kelvlam.

                                              1. re: schmamo

                                                Very good to hear! I don't wanna see another fellow hounder got ripped off when they get to Circa -THEN- see the menu change ;-)

                                                Hope my Dal Rae solo run tonight will turn out good as well.

                                                1. re: schmamo

                                                  We ordered exactly the same when we went to RC's except added the Asparagus w/ Hollandaise. However one difference - we all preferred the Bread Pudding to the Sin cake. I loved my tuna app as well - others had the regular salad and is was, well, regular. I was extremely pleased.

                                      2. I went to Chaya Brasserie in Beverly Hills and I thought their food and service was pretty good. The main course was the best. I tried both dishes by sharing with my friend. Their sea bass was very flavorful and the short rib was prepared nicely, but what really made the dish was the champignon truffle risotto. Pure Perfection!! I opted to order off the menu and got their seared foie gras with truffled mac & cheese. It was delicious! You can see my full review and wonderful pics at www.kats9lives.com

                                        1. Circa 55
                                          Below is the review, check out the pics at http://www.kats9lives.com

                                          This was the first restaurant I went to for Dine LA week. It is located in the Beverly Hilton and you can validate your parking ticket, which becomes a $5 charge. They had a really nice bread basket assortment and it came with both butter & olive oil. Our server wasn't great, but it wasn't horrible like Asia de Cuba. I was a little disappointed in their drink selection because I thought they were suppose to have a huge wine selection.

                                          I chose to go at dinner time because the menu looked much more promising. For first course, I ordered the California Dungeness Crab Cake with Grain Mustard Aioli, White Asparagus, Cherry Tomato, & Wild Cress Salad. The crab cake was delicious and a generous size. It was purely crab meat and not lots of breading, which was good. The only thing was the crab cake needed the aioli to add more flavor.

                                          The main reason I wanted to come here was what they offered for their main course. I ordered the 10 oz. Fruity Soy Marinatd Grilled New York Steak with Roasted Pepper & Blue Cheese Relish. The steak was delicious! Although I think they made mine medium rare versus rare, but still good. I really liked the blue cheese because it really complimented the meat. The portion was very generous, especially for the dine LA menu. The accompaniments weren't that good and the mashed potatoes came out dry and cold. Other than that, I liked my steak a lot since it was a good cut.

                                          For dessert, I opted to try the Journey into Chocolate. This included a Provence cake with thyme, an Opera Cake, & a Chocolate Soup. I am a huge Opera cake fan, so I really liked that dessert. The Provence was a little off because I don't like thyme in my dessert, but still good. The chocolate soup is a little gritty but decent. My friend said he really liked his Passion Fruit Crème Brûlée. Personally if I had to do it all over again, I'd order that instead.

                                          All in all, I might come back. The dine LA menu was definitely worth it. As for their regular food, nothing really Wowed me. Overall it was good minus the server's nonchalant attitude.

                                          1. Try Red Seven
                                            Below is the review, check out the pics at http://www.kats9lives.com

                                            Since you haven't written about it, I thought I'd beat you to the punch.

                                            Came here Friday for lunch and I am really glad I came. This was one of the first restaurants I wanted to try because the menu looked really good and it is one of Wolfgang Puck's restaurants. The decor is very simple and modern. If you have never been here before, it might be a little hard to find the restaurant but just keep your eyes out for signs.

                                            For the first course we both ordered the Seared Hamachi Salad with Jalapeño Ponzu Vinaigrette. The hamachi was very tasty and the accompanying salad was delicious. Just beware of the jalapeño because they can be very spicy, but they are wonderful with hamachi.

                                            In order to try more entrees, we decided to split the Miso Broiled Butterfish with Chili Orange Noodles and the Kobe Burger with Wasabi Aioli, Teriyaki Onions, Jalapeño Jack Cheese, & Sesame Bun. Fair warning, the butterfish dish was extremely tiny but delicious. Even though I had eaten butterfish the day before, the fish here was very tender and full of flavor. The noodles were done nicely and complimented the fish.

                                            What I really enjoyed was the Kobe burger. It was spectacular! First of all, it was 10x heavier than the butterfish. I normally hate hamburgers but I thought this was a perfect blend of favors. I recently went to Daniel Baloud's Brasserie and had their famous truffle burger, if I had to choose I'd rather eat this yummy Kobe burger. The onions really gave the burger a sweet taste and really brought out the flavor of the meat. I'd definitely come back for lunch because of this burger.

                                            We also ordered different desserts so we can taste more of the menu. The Iced Mango Pudding served with Candied Cashews & Fresh Fruit was superb! They must have used ripe fresh mangoes for the pudding. I would recommend you to order this dessert. Don't order the other one we tried, Almond Roca Samosa with Caramel Banana Chocolate Dipping Sauce. At first I thought it sounded so interesting and delicious, but the dish fell short. It was only a big fried dough with barely any melted chocolate inside. You couldn't really taste the Almond Roca. I ate the pudding first, so I was extremely disappointed about the samosas.

                                            All in all, I will definitely be back again and this experience has increased my opinion of Wolfgang Puck.

                                            1. Hi Floridastylee! My husband, sister and I went to Ford's Filling Station for their DineLA lunch deal and it was excellent! You must try it :) The food and service was absolutely wonderful! I will definitely go back.

                                              1. I had a really good bad experience at Napa Valley Grille.

                                                Reservations were at 6:45PM but didn't get seated until 7:20! The interesting part was that we checked in at 6:35PM and they said our table was ready but our party wasn't complete so I didn't want to sit (my mistake). No room at the bar and the place was packed.

                                                Here is the good news: The host was waiting to sit us at a booth near the fire place but, the party that was there wouldn't budge. I appreciated this because they were sitting people outside and it was cold. As a consolation for our wait, we received free champagne, a free scallop appetizer (we got two appetizer that night), and a personal apology from the chef (who brought us our dessert). The host also made a point of checking in on us a couple of times throughout the night. Did I say classy?

                                                To the Food: 3 out of 4 ordered the dine la menu. The artichoke/pasta appetizer was really great. It was full of flavor and the handmade pasta made a huge difference.

                                                Mains: The swordfish was average but I wasn't expecting great things. I ordered the braised short ribs w/ravioli (not on the dinela menu) and that was fantastic (really hot too).

                                                Dessert: I tasted the bread pudding which was..well, bread pudding. It wasn't bad by any means. The Chocolate sampler was great. It came with a cookie, ice cream, biscotti, hot chocolate, and a pudding/whipped topping tart. That was great.

                                                1. Vin Bar Valentino

                                                  It was a superb four course meal. Great service and great room.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: highermath

                                                    Vin Bar Valentino was quite good but, at least last night, it was down to only three courses--I told waiter that the DineLA website said there were four courses but he said it was only a choice of two (from appetizer, pasta or secondi) plus dessert, The menu at Vin Bar had several additional choices to what was shown on the DineLA website but was worded a bit ambiguously on the point of how many courses ones got. As the other two dining there seemed to get the same three course limit, and my bill showed it was a DineLa meal but only listed what I ordered without referencing a missing pasta course, at least the restaurant was being consistent in how it was applied that evening. Still a reasonably good deal. I had the assorted crudo (salmon, yellowtail and tuna but not the promised shrimp) and the chicken/sausage spezzatino (small portion but very tasty), followed by a pistachio panna cotta. Also had a nice glass of a Sicilian red for an additional $10.