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Date Night - Need Suggestions

fatassasian Mar 11, 2008 05:47 PM

I'm taking my girlfriend out to dinner on Saturday and I could use a little help. Trying to take her some place new (to us) and fun. But the food needs to be good. Here's my criteria:

Location: w/in a $15 cab ride (one-way) from Hancock Park area.
Price: Trying to keep it below $150 total (includes a bottle of wine, tax and tip). Definitely less than $200 - for sure.
Type of food: Anything is good (except chinese, japanese, and mexican).
Quality of food: Doesn't need to be uber-great. But it still needs to be good.
Vibe: Something a little more on the lively/fun side. I was thinking something along the lines of Terroni. But, I can't go to Terroni since they don't take reservations. I anticipate drinking a fair bit, so a really formal restaurant wouldn't be the best.
Places we've already eaten an are trying to avoid: AOC, Pizzeria Mozza, Hatfield's, Terroni, Comme Ca.
I'd love to eat at the Marmont, but sticking a thumb tack in my eye sounds better than being near Sunset Blvd. on a Saturdsay night.


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  1. Servorg RE: fatassasian Mar 11, 2008 06:08 PM


    1 Reply
    1. re: Servorg
      nick_r RE: Servorg Mar 12, 2008 03:12 PM

      Seconded. Can't do much better than that.

    2. wutzizname RE: fatassasian Mar 11, 2008 06:11 PM

      Lou on Vine
      Melrose Bar & Grill
      Village Idiot
      Hungry Cat
      Table 8
      Luna Park

      And I second Tasca

      3 Replies
      1. re: wutzizname
        teach RE: wutzizname Mar 11, 2008 06:13 PM

        Second Hungry Cat!

        1. re: teach
          holleygolitely RE: teach Mar 11, 2008 08:08 PM

          Good list above. Jones and La Terza might also work.

        2. re: wutzizname
          AquaW RE: wutzizname Mar 12, 2008 01:50 PM

          Good list (esp. Hungry Cat/Bowery/Magnolia, all within walking distance of each other), I would also throw in Campanile (the bar area is less formal and conducive to a bit of drinking, obviously) -- or you can trek down to Luna Park a few blocks down for cocktails (I'm not blown away by L.P.'s food, however).


        3. n
          NAspy RE: fatassasian Mar 11, 2008 09:49 PM

          My first thought was Luna Park. Lively, good food, close by.

          There's also Pastis -- good french bistro food. don't know what their vibe is like these days haven't been in a while

          1. o
            Obessed RE: fatassasian Mar 12, 2008 02:22 PM

            What about the Foundry on Melrose? I know it's received mixed reviews on CH, but I LOVED tasting menu.

            Would also add Citrus at Social.

            1. avivale RE: fatassasian Mar 12, 2008 03:28 PM

              Tasting menu at Opus near the Wiltern Theatre. It's more hip and more affordable than other restaurants in that genre... I went once last year and hope to visit again soon.

              2 Replies
              1. re: avivale
                AquaW RE: avivale Mar 12, 2008 04:12 PM

                Do they still offer the tasting menu? Exec. chef Josef Centeno, who's the man behind that, left a few months ago (and the tasting menu had been quietly phased out shortly before that).


                1. re: AquaW
                  avivale RE: AquaW Mar 12, 2008 05:01 PM

                  Like I said, it was in the first half of last year that I ate at Opus. If the place did change, and the tasting menu is gone-- I'm really disappointed to hear that!

              2. Chowpatty RE: fatassasian Mar 12, 2008 03:34 PM

                No one has mentioned La Buca...you might even be able to walk depending on where you are in Hancock Park. We went last Saturday and got a reservation that afternoon. It was around $140 including a nice bottle of wine, dessert, coffee, etc.
                Nice lively vibe, great pasta, and sort of similar to Terroni (although I like La Buca's pizza better).
                As far as the other recs go, I wouldn't put Luna Park in the same class as most of these other places, it's been very inconsistent lately.
                And I don't think Opus is doing the tasting menu anymore, since Josef Centeno left.

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