NY Chowhound Coming to LA
Friend of mine, voracious eater from NYC, is coming to LA next week...we've known each other for decades, having gone to grade school together in NYC.
Cut to the chase...where to take him in LA on a Friday night?
CUT is out...he doesn't like steakhouses, and I don't like CUT.
Haven't been to Providence, but every dish that Providence has served at various food/wine functions (meals on wheels/winemasters), I've really disliked. Also, never warmed up to the space when it was patina.
Comme Ca out...NYC has plenty of GOOD bistros.
Japanese....perhaps, Urusawa??? Don't like Matsuhisa's places especially...not a huge fan of Celebrity restaurants in general. Sushi Zo does nothing for me...if I'm going to drop two bills on food, I want some ambiance.
MOZZA's are probably out, for same reason...he's been to all of Mario's places in NYC.
Not a huge fan of Suzanne Goin (sp?) places...solid, but hardly destination worthy.
Frankly, I'm at a total loss!
Josie might be a good choice. More elegant than Saddle Peak, closer to BH by far, good wine list and great food (including game dishes--Josie was the chef at Saddle Peak once upon a time). Chinois, Ortolan and Spago would also serve nicely to suitably impress even a jaded New Yorker.
176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
2424 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405
8338 W. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048
2709 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405
So instead of dropping the two bills on Zo, drop two bills and hire a car for the night. This is LA. It's not the heinous expense it is elsewhere.
Get him stuff he can't get in New York. There's no Babita equivalent in New York. Take him on a crawl of Koreatown -- barbecue and drinking afterwards. Take him someplace on the beach -- The Lobster?
Frankly, I'm at a loss as to what you're looking for.
Are you looking for the top high-end dining in the city? Are you looking for something uniquely LA? Are you looking to blow a lot of cash on an impressive night out. Have you been to a single restaurant in Los Angeles that you have enjoyed at all?
Also, you seem to have answered your own question.
Don't try to out-New York a New Yorker.
Do a progressive Mexican all-day feast -- Carnitas Michaocan on North Broadway for their al pastor burrito, El Parian for carne asada, King Taco, Senor Fish for fish and scallop tacos, going to or coming from LAX Taqueria Sanchez for their shrimp tacos, and any of the big three stands in the Grand Central Market for carnitas.
Take him to In-n-Out Burger.
Take him to Langer's so he can claim that their pastrami on rye doesn't hold a candle to 2nd Ave. or Katz's -- you'll know better (and so will he).
Thai food at Jitlada, followed by snacks and the Thai Elvis at Palm Thai. Korean BBQ or tofu house. SGV dim sum or specialty ethnic particular Chinese. A half-chicken and pita and that fantastic garlic paste from Zankou.
If you try Urasawa he's just going to one-up you with Masa. I'd consider Chinois on Main, Orris, or Spago. Maybe even Nook, where you can brag that you've found a great place that will fill his big appetite for pennies on the NYC dollar.
I like the strategy Nosh. Admit your weaknesses, feature your strengths, and surprise him with a flanking maneuver. You're like a culinary Patton.
But if you can't be persuaded for the more California Casual approach, maybe consider Ortolan, Grace, or Hatfield's?
Help us help you with some additional info: Scene/no-scene/area of town/what cuisines he likes.
Mexican - see other posts
And, if those don't work, I'd take him to the Magic Castle and see if they can make something that will please you appear