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Please share your Downtown Recs to help me have a great weekend! :)

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Hello. hello, my fellow Chowhounders!
My darling boyfriend is taking me on a much needed weekend away for some R&R. We will be staying at our fav, Hotel Figueroa. My job is to find some restaurants for the weekend and I am enlisting your help! :)

Do you knowledgable foodies have any favorites? I would like to find a nice romantic place for dinner for around/under $80 each with a drink or two. We aren't big steak eaters but love seafood and ethnic foods. We usually go for Argentinean, Peruvian, Spanish, but also love good ol' Cali cuisines. I'm even thinking about wine tasting if someone knows of a place in that area that offers it on a Sat. night. Open to your suggestions. Feel free to even include breakfast/lunch recs if you wish.

Hotel Fig is located at:
939 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015

Thanks everyone!!
xo
miss m

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  1. Water Grill for seafood.

    Blue Velvet was good, although there have been some mixed reviews on here, and I haven't been recently enough to verify.

    For sushi, if you have transportation, try Sushi Gen. Otherwise, Sai Sai in the Biltmore is good, and I like the atmosphere there very much.

    Will you have a car?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Emme

      Water Grill has perhaps the finest seafood menu in town, but I think it is out of the $80/per person price range including drinks. It is a great place, elegant, very professional service, but a bit too power-business oriented to be really romantic. This links their dinner menu -- see if you can envision two starters and a split entree (or split starter and two entrees) and a dessert and leave room for tip, tax and drinks and I think you're way over:

      http://www.watergrill.com/pdfs/WG_din...

      I'd suggest Roy's. One of you could order the three-course prix fixe, is it up to $35 now? That gives you an appetizer sampler, a dessert option that includes their wonderful chocolate mousse molten cake, and a choice of entrees that includes a fish option or their great short ribs. The other could order their famous butterfish. Now you have room for drinks and still meet the budget.

    2. Here is a recent post -

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/493205

      Japanese would be a good choice as stated in the post I linked.

      Wood Spoon, I believe continues to have a special menu on Saturday nights. Good comfort Brazilian...
      I would also recommend Chichen Itza, Yucatecan for dinner not to far in MacArthur Park.

      For breakfast Pete's, Pacific Dining Car, Tiara Cafe... Tiara has recently added dinner, but I have only been for brunch/lunch.

      The closest place for wine tasting downtown is San Antonio Winery
      http://www.sanantoniowinery.com/homef...
      I can not whole heartedly recommend it though...touristy, but has a quirky charm in a Disneyland way.. they are not open at night, would definitely not go for food!

      Not in downtown but not to far, I would suggest checking out Atwater's new wine shop-55 degrees -http://atwater-village.blogspot.com/2.... Have not been yet, I plan on checking it out this weekend..
      You could do wine tasting there and than go to Canele which is right down the street- great food/place and I think may fit your budget, but alas this would be taking you out of your downtown LA weekend get away! Maybe a different weekend..

      4 Replies
      1. re: LaLa Eat

        Yes, we will have a car and are willing to drive a little ways if worth it. Also, some things we have been looking for is great halibut and a nice french restaurant. thanx for the recs thus far!

        1. re: missmodular818

          I wouldn't call Cafe Pinot particulalry french, but the setting is very romantic and it would definitely be doable within your price range.

          1. re: mollyomormon

            I would agree with Mollyomorman that Cafe Pinot is probably the most romantic choice in the area.The food is not phenomenal, but it is generally good and reasonably priced. Also for the OP, do not forget that the LA Marathon is Sunday, so that may affect your travel by car to any downtown restaurants.

          2. re: missmodular818

            If you are willing to drive I would rec Cafe Beaujolais In Eagle Rock for french and great halibut, (and you could do wine tasting before at Colorado Wine Co.) it would take about 15-20 min w/o traffic. It is more in your price range than Cafe Pinot, when I was there hit over 100, but was not being mindful...it is a real nice/romantic setting and liked food though..

        2. There's a wine bar called 626 Reserve that has "70 varietals of wine"

          626 S. Spring St., #B
          Los Angeles, CA 90014
          (213) 627 - 9800
          http://www.626reserve.com/

          1 Reply
          1. re: yinyangdi

            How is this place? We were once planning to go there before a movie during "Last Remaining Seats" but we ran late so skipped dinner. Is it good?

          2. Honestly, I don't like any of the recommendations given so far, but I'm not that big a fan of downtown dining.

            If you have a car, is there any particular reason to limit yourself to downtown other than the convenience of it? For a great LA dining experience, I think you'll have to venture out a bit farther than the confines of downtown. Anyway, as for what's nearby, I'd go with classic LA spots for lunch in Philippe's and Langer's, unless you've tried those already.

            6 Replies
            1. re: andytseng

              The boy and I aren't the hugest "foodies", just looking for a nice romantic dinner within, say a 20 minute driving range. 30 minutes tops with saturday nigbht traffic. We are a humble late twenties couple trying to re-ignite things for the weekend....been dating for 8 years now. :)
              thanks!

              1. re: missmodular818

                You really should go to Cafe Pinot, then. It's not amazing food, but it's good and sometimes very good and the setting is possibly the most romantic downtown.

                1. re: mollyomormon

                  what are your recommendations at cafe pinot?

                  1. re: missmodular818

                    The last time I went I had a lamb dish that I loved, but it may have been a special. Here's a little more on it:
                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/458964

                    You might want to throw it out to the board as there don't seem to be tons of recent reviews.

                2. re: missmodular818

                  20 minutes can get you out to Mozza. Not exactly the most romantic place but I feel is a new must-try on my list of LA restaurants. Google Maps or whatever will probably tell you to hop on the freeway, but I might stay local... just go up 3rd and take a right on Highland.

                  For seafood, Providence is also out in that area and one of the top seafood destinations in LA, but I think if you're only going to go once, you should try the tasting menu which is a bit out of the budget. I'd say it's worth it to break the piggy bank on this one though.

                  1. re: andytseng

                    Not only is Mozza not romantic, but even normal conversation is impossible there. The loud ambience and closeness of the tables makes intimate conversation out of the question. I know that many like the food there (I don't), but nevertheless I can't how it fits what missmodular is looking for.

              2. check out Roy's which is a very short walk across the street form your hotel, maybe a block or two. Hawaiian fusion, very good.

                1. The Edison is worth a check out for drinks.

                  For Japanese, Sushi Gen, Honda Ya or Izayoi (all in Little Tokyo, a short drive away) -- none of them are particularly romantic though.

                  For Latin American, Ciudad a few blocks down on Fig is pretty good.

                  Roy's a Cali-Hawaiian chain, but is not bad.

                  For more contemporary American stuff, Traxx in Union Station or Noe in the Omni may fit the bill.

                  Let us know how your dinner turns out and hope you got your R&R.

                  ~H.C.
                  http://la-oc-foodie.blogspot.com

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: AquaW

                    aww, you are very sweet. :)

                  2. I agree that the atmosphere at Cafe Pinot is decent, especially if you sit outside. But staying downtown and within the Patina family, I would similarly recommend Zucca. Atmosphere is a little warmer there. Feels a bit more special than Cafe Pinot to me. Of all the downtown places recommended though, I really think you should opt for Water Grill. They have a really lovely wine list, fish is the freshest in town, and the service is good. It is indeed somewhat business-oriented, but I have had quite romantic meals there. When making the rez, tell them you are coming from out of town for a very special occation ... lay it on thick that you want a nice quiet table and whatever else you're after. In my experience, meals where you call ahead like this are at least 25% better.

                    Oh and you must know this ... but drinks by the pool at Hotel Fig are a must!