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help choosing a restaurant

ok, my parents are coming for another visit from ny, and dining out is always an issue with them...they have high standards, and have gotten very particular over the years. one of the biggest issues is the noise factor - they can't handle extremely noisy restaurants. plus, they're used to new york city quality & service.

dad & i are going to providence the first night, but mom is deathly allergic to seafood, so she won't be joining us for that one, and i'd like to do one more really nice meal that she can enjoy - obviously the menu can't be too seafood-centric.

i can't get a table at cut, and craft is pointless because they have it back east.

they've already been to spago, josie, valentino, angelini osteria...i'd like it to be high-end food, but not fussy, and preferably not too much of a schlep from their hotel in beverly hills, which pretty much disqualifies saddle peak lodge or anyplace downtown.

right now i'm thinking jar, mélisse, grace or lucques. which one would you choose?

i'm also open to other suggestions...maybe all' angelo?

or should i just go for the tried & true steak - arnie morton's or the grill on the alley? [we hate mastro's.]

they always torture me with these decisions...help!

thanks :)

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  1. Much as I love Jar, with noise as a factor, I'd have to lean towards Grace or Luques (haven't been to Mélisse) either of which I think would be perfect.

    1. Of your choices listed, I would opt for All' Angelo.

      I wouldn't do steaks, there are so many of those in NYC.

      1. Go sit at the bar at Cut and order up some bone marrow flan a steak and some veggies and enjoy.

        1. What about Korean BBQ? Not so high end, but fun and nice.

          How about trying ethiopian? MEssob or Rahel? In LA near the miracle mile/wLA on Fairfax

          You don't have to break the bank every time!

          3 Replies
          1. re: Diana

            I also though about recommending Chameau on Fairfax, for a lovely, quiet room, and something a little different but still fairly "high-end."

            Chameau Restaurant
            339 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

            1. re: Diana

              trust me, it's not my choice to go so pricey all the time. i'd love to just have a relaxed, casual meal. unfortunately, when they come to visit they're "on vacation," and always want to do the special occasion dining thing.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Silly. Try to instead get them to enjoy thier vacation by sampling what makes where they're vacating to an interesting place.

                Cash does not always a special occasion make. Still, more ritzy Ethiopian can be had at Meals by Genet.

                Moun of Tunis is fun...Cahmeau is fancier. Azeens looks nice inside, from the website. I am chomping at the bit to go, myself.

            2. I would definitely choose Grace. Lucques and Jar are both great, but the food at Grace is better, and Jar can be loud. Haven't been to Melisse. but I've heard that it is fussy, so that might not work for you. Agree that steaks won't be impressive to New Yorkers...they can get the same or better back home.

              1. Of the four you mentioned, I would--very sadly--have to eliminate Jar if noise is a major concern. though your parents would undoubtably love the food (Sunday brunch there remains an option though as it would be much quieter). Melisse, Grace and Lucques would all be great choices for food and ambience, with Melisse being the most formal, and Lucques the most casual, of those three. In terms of the food, I would say the order would be Melisse, Lucques (especially if any of you like hot chocolate) and then Grace.

                Three additional suggestions that I think you might like: Hatfield's, Ortolan and Vincenti. Of the three, I like Ortolan the best and think it would be the most impressive. I have provided links to the websites for all three below.




                Other than if you go to Jar (which serves one of the best steaks in town, as well as that amazing pot roast), I would skip the big steakhouses as NY is chock-a-block with them.

                1. man, i love chowhound! thanks so much for the quick and informative responses.

                  i've narrowed it down to a final four:

                  all' angelo


                  2 Replies
                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    one more thought.


                    i know there have been a couple of promising/positive reviews, but have any hounds been yet?


                    1. La Cachette is perhaps the most quiet and civilized restaurant in town, and it is very nearby BH just west of Century City off Santa Monica Blvd. Food is not necessarily cutting edge, but consistently well-executed French/Continental fare.

                      And I gotta throw in a kudo for that wonderful, reliable, perhaps best value in town: Nook. The shortribs there rival the potroast at Jar.

                      A last thought, especially if they haven't been -- a trip to the Getty in Brentwood, the tram, a stroll around the gardens, and dinner as the sun goes down with that panoramic view from The Restaurant.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: nosh

                        oh, crap. nosh, you just made it so much more complicated :)

                        i've lived in los angeles for over 4 years now, and never been to the restaurant at the getty OR la cachette. [or nook, for that matter, but it's not their style.] such excellent ideas, what's a girl to do?

                        decisions, decisions...

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                          The Getty and La Cachette sounds like great ideas. May I throw in one more? Judging from your origianl post, I would highly recommend La Botte in Santa Monica. La Botte means wine barrels in Italian so essentially you are dining in a wine cellar. Fantastic Italian food and the best service I've had for a long time by a crew of Italian servers--very warm and attentive. They go out of their way to make you feel special. Most guests are in the 40+ so no hip and noisy groups. And did I mention the food is fantastic? It'll be a very unique experience for NYers.

                        2. re: nosh

                          La Cachette is awesome. Great service, wonderful ambiance and the food is superb! You can't go wrong with La Cachette at all. :)

                        3. I gotta say that with the skies cleaned up from the rain, you can see the whole basin from the top of the Getty Center. Even if you don't eat at the Restaurant (which is quite good), the museum is worth it just for the view.

                          1. I love Jar, but depending on the night it could be loud. What about Grace? Also, not to offend those that would never eat at a hotel, but The Bel Air Hotel has great food, and the room is SO lovely!

                            1. What about Boneyard Bistro? It's upscale bbq. Definitely higher end than one would expect. Great food, good beer and wine list..

                              1. Incidentally: "Grace Closed For Repairs, Reopens Jan. 15"