Best DineLA Picks?
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
AMARANTA COCINA MEXICANA
AMERICAN GIRL PLACE
ASIA DE CUBA
BALEEN LOS ANGELES
BARN BURNER BBQ
BEACON AN ASIAN CAFE
BORDER GRILL SANTA MONICA
CHAYA BRASSERIE RESTAURANT
CIRCA 55 RESTAURANT
CRUSTACEAN BEVERLY HILLS
DAILY GRILL - BRENTWOOD
DAILY GRILL - DOWNTOWN
DAILY GRILL - SANTA MONICA
DAILY GRILL - SOUTH BAY
DAILY GRILL - STUDIO CITY
EAT. ON SUNSET
EL CHOLO CAFE PASADENA
FORD’S FILLING STATION
J RESTAURANT & LOUNGE
LA BODEGUITA DE PICO
LA VECCHIA CUCINA
LAWRY’S THE PRIME RIB
MÄNI’S ON FAIRFAX
NAPA VALLEY GRILLE
NICK & STEF’S STEAKHOUSE
NOÉ AT THE OMNI LOS ANGELES
OCEAN AVENUE SEAFOOD
PETE’S CAFE AND BAR
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
SUSHI ROKU HOLLYWOOD
SUSHI ROKU PASADENA
SUSHI ROKU SANTA MONICA
TAM O’SHANTER INN
THE ABBEY FOOD & BAR
THE HAPPY ENDING BAR AND RESTAURANT
THE PALM RESTAURANT
THE PALM RESTAURANT
THE PARK GRILL
THE RESTAURANT AT THE HYATT WEST HOLLYWOOD
TOKYO TABLE - BEVERLY HILLS
UGO - AN ITALIAN CAFE
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 :)
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!
I used to have a rez with Circa 55 but I canceled it.
I booked it cuz of the original menu:
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
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 :-)
9876 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
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
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...
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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. =)
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.
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.
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
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
Choice 1 - Trio of Sorbetto in Chocolate Cup
Choice 2 - Vahlrona Chocolate Fudge Cake
Choice 3 - Pear Financier, Caramel Pecan Ice Cream
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
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.
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.
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:
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
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
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
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.