Where can I take my foodie fling visiting from SF for a romantic gourmet dinner?
I moved to LA only a few months ago and recently started seeing someone (a real foodie) who's coming down from San Francisco to visit me for the weekend. I wanted to impress him by taking him out to a great gourmet meal -- but it's already Wednesday night and I still haven't made reservations, so it has to be a place that is likely to still have space for two for a late dinner on Saturday.
Location doesn't matter so much. Price is also not a huge concern if the food is fabulous. A well-lit, romantic vibe would be great.
One thing: he's a pesco-vegetarian, so a menu that has a couple good non-meat dishes would be preferable. But some non-veg options for me would be great, too. I think we're both particularly fond of Italian, and a place with a superb foie is always a good indication of an overall strong menu.
Is seafood an option for him? (I am not sure what pesco-vegetarian is). If so, WATER GRILL downtown would be a great choice. I think you could get in there for sure, after the theatre crowd thins at 8 pm. It is a terrific restaurant and about the best seafood in LA. I like it even more than PROVIDENCE, though I know some disagree. If you go, the barramundi on the menu currently is the best piece of fish I have ever had, and I don't even care much for fish. I've had it three times now, I keep going back. You can check the menu:
For Italian, see if you can get in late at Osteria Mozza. I just had the 8 course pasta tasting menu and it was terrific, I think he would love it (you too):
AOC also has tons of vegetarian choices. LUCQUES is my favorite place in town, but right now there are no strictly vegetarian dishes on the menu. They do have wonderful fish, though.
For fish, I have always liked Joe's on Abbot Kinney in Venice. Josie sometimes has a decent piece of fish on the menu. Chinois has some famous fish dishes that could be fun to share. Providence is probably the best fish option in the city. Mozza and Osteria Mozza have pasta dishes without meat, so that could also be an option for him. All of these places would qualify as gourmet.
It's January, so I don't think you should panic about reservations -- restaurants are desperate for people this time of year.
Mozza is great if your from out of town. Go about 30 minutes before they open and sit at the Moz. Bar. You do not need a reservation and it's the best seat in the house. Great food and maybe a star or two.
The Little Door
Inn of the Seventh Ray
Foie gras in an Italian place? hrm.