30 hours in LA
I will be in LA for 24 hours in April (prior to a flight to Thailand). My friend and I will be staying at the Beverly Hills Hilton (will take taxi anywhere for good food). I am a total foodie and want to make sure to hit the places that I need to hit while I'm there. I've never stepped out of LAX before. I would kind of like to steer away from Asian (since I will be over there for 2 weeks). Otherwise, I will be eating 2 dinners, one breakfast and one lunch. I would also like some place fun for drinks on Sat. night. Thanks!
Suggested itinerary originating from the Beverly Hills Hilton (BHH), for a first-timer to L.A., preferring minimal Asian food (all restaurants mentioned below are "google-able"):
First dinner - You'll likely be tired from the flight and check-in, so stick close to your hotel. Go to Craft in Century City (make a reservation!). If you want to see a Pacific sunset while in L.A., go to The Lobster on the Santa Monica pier (again, reservation!). But if you're game AND a "foodie" (by the way, the term Chowhound is more hip in this town these days), go to Capo for awesome (and expensive) chops & Italian fare in Santa Monica, just down the street from The Lobster.
Breakfast - If you want quick and good, try Le Pain Quotidien in Beverly Hills (quite close to the BHH) - sit outside, get their French donut & a hot chocolate, and watch the pretty people parade by. For a famous breakfast (and a small wait for a table), go to John O'Groats in the Rancho Park area, on Pico Blvd.
Lunch - Go to The Ivy on Robertson (reservation alert!) - the food is so-so, but the crazy papparazzi will be there in full force, so lots of fun celeb-sightings abound. For better food but less scene, go to Chaya Brasserie, just up the street from The Ivy.
Second Dinner - Agree with other posts: Cut (Wolfgang Puck's steak venture) in Beverly Hills. (BIG reservation alert! BIG wallet alert!). Lucques is always a crowd-pleaser also.
For drinks - Go to the Sunset Strip area. Drinks at Chateau Marmont.
Enjoy Thailand!! BKK is definitely a foodie town - the night market food there rock.
Breakfast not too far and decadent at Griddle Cafe on Sunset. If you want to stay in BH proper, Barney Greengrass would be fun for some people watching as well. Of course, there's always Nate'n'Al's if you want a BH deli. If you'll be here for weekend brunch, Jar would be my pick. If you want to take a taxi a little farther, campanile does a nice brunch too.
You've already got a ton of dinner recs, but I'd go with Providence, Spago, Melisse...If you want drinks and food, Hungry Cat is good too.
As for drinks, Bar Marmont is fun. Actually, Yamashiro is great for drinks only and a view. In BH, there's Nic's Martini Lounge.
For lunch, you might want to do Mexican... but good Mexican is a bit of a travel... Monte Alban, Guelaguetza, Tacos Por Favor... Or, thai at Jitlada or Sanam Luang.
Sorry you haven't gotten too many replies yet. For one thing, there've been a lot of similar posts in recent weeks, so folks may be suggested out. Also, it's such a broad question for such a broad land (geographic and culinary) that people sometimes don't know where to begin.
Might help to clarify your definition of "foodie" too, as that can often point to high-end celebrity chef type places OR down and dirty ethnic joints that offer things you might not find in a lot of American cities. Or both.
Here are a few threads mining similar territory:
Good point. I live in Minneapolis and travel/eat regularly. I am willing to pay for a memorable meal, so the sky is the limit. But that being said, I have spent plenty of money on meals that were less that stellar so expensive doesn't always mean good but I trust your judgements out there. I would like to steer away from chain restaurants, however I have never had an IN-and-Out burger before? Thanks again. I can't wait!
LA is huge. I'd stick to Beverly Hills area, Mid-City (Beverly blvd and 3rd street) and West Hollywood -- above is right, no-one takes a taxi from BH to Eagle Rock, that's silly.
Here's some suggestions (do a search, much discussed on boards):
Beverly Hills Hotel/Polo Lounge (lunch or drinks)
Angelini Osteria (Italian -- amazing)
Spago (if can afford)
Bel Air Hotel (never been, suppose to be great for upscale dinner - hotel beautiful)
Sprinkles - cupcakes, BH (famous - the cakes are good)
Peninsula Hotel - drinks
Nate N Al - deli in heart of BH.
Al Gelato - soups, sands and gelato, BH on Robertson. Lunch.
Jack N Jills or Cheesecake Factory -- casual lunch places in heart of BH (out of towners love Cheesecake Factory, but not a huge chowhound pick)
Le Pain Quotidien - BH. French upscale lunch chain.
Carney's or IN N Out - good fast-food, burgers
Btw, Cut is in Century City -- very corporate environment, if you're into that -- a bit impersonal to me but Top Chef guy (Tom C) owns it.
there are so many places and neighborhoods...since you are staying at BHH, you will be very close to La Cienega/Melrose/3rd street area known for it's restaurants, so i suggest that you start looking there. my favorites are Taste, LA Food Court, Cynthia's, Jar, Quality, Toast, BLD, Table 8, Vito's, and Village Idiot, and very close by is Larchmont neighborhood where Pizzeria and Osteria Mozza are located. if you want to venture out further, then go to Culver City, Santa Monica, or even Downtown