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hip enough for 20 something but food good enough for 30 something

I am meeting a 20 something out-of-towner for dinner. I am a 30+ foodie but want to acknowledge the fact that I might have to sacrifice great food for location with a vibrant scene. I prefer restaurants like Hatfield's, Josie, Pizzeria Mozza, Fraiche, and A.O.C. but am afraid that they tend to attract an older crowd. Does anybody have a restaurant suggestion that could satisfy both parties in the Santa Monica, Venice, Pasadena, or West LA area?

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  1. In Venice, I'd say maybe Chaya Venice, Hama Sushi, Beechwood or Primitivo. In Santa Monica, maybe Tengu.

    2 Replies
    1. re: grubtrotters

      Agree w/ Chaya.

      I think Jiraffe is hip enough, but then again I'm an old soul...

      If you wanted sushi in Brentwood, you could try Katsuya.

      Another SaMo idea might be Rustic Canyon.

      I would have said Hungry Cat in Hollywood would be great, but perhaps out of range.

      1. re: grubtrotters

        i disagree about hama sushi.
        lousy quality fish.
        also, if you end up going to chaya venice on a sunday, don't order their sushi because some if it's freshness is very spotty on sundays (as though the fish had been procured the thursday before).

      2. Wilshire Restaurant in Santa Monica was a huge hit with the younger group of 20 somethings and very satisfying for 30 somethings as well. I thought the food was pretty darn good too. When making reservations, make sure you sit on the outside patio area as the inside is just missing the hip-ness and buzz that your 20 something might be looking for.

        1. Wilshire Restaurant in Santa Monica but, make sure you sit on the outside patio area. The inside is missing that hip and buzz factor. The food is great too.

          1. Wilshire Restaurant in Santa Monica. Sit outside in the patio area. The food is excellent too.

            1. BOA, Wilshire, Rustic Canyon, and Katsu-Ya come to mind. If you're willing to head toward Hollywood/WeHo (which a 20-something would probably like), there's also Koi, Chateau Marmont, STK, and Foxtail (although reviews on Foxtail have been pretty rough).

              1. Perhaps i'm an old soul, or my tourists perspective is somewhat skewed, but this 20-something thoroughly enjoyed my meals at pizzeria mozza and aoc this past weekend. Is the 20-something you are meeting serious about really good food? cause then youre on the right track.

                maybe my experience was atypical, but i didnt feel like the crowds at either place were particularly old, certainly not uncomfortably so. In fact at mozza i was with two 30-somethings, and we all had a pizzariffic meal (i didnt even have to pay! sweet.)

                1 Reply
                1. re: tex.s.toast

                  Foodie or not, I think most 20-something out-of-towners would want to get a taste of LA to go along with their food. To me, that generally means a good bar scene to boot. While I agree that Pizzeria Mozza is great, I'm not sure it's a great introduction to LA. As for AOC, I find the atmosphere rather drab, and I'm a 30-something.

                2. I've found that chowish 20somethings and chowish 30somethings have similar taste in restaurants. Therefore, if you're trying to find a chowish destination for yourself, there's a high likelihood that the 20something will enjoy it as well.

                  LA scene is abound whether you willingly avoid it or not. Just go where the good food is.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: SauceSupreme

                    Wilshire is great, and the back patio is gorgeous. Akasha in Culver City has a bit of a scene going, too. It's also one of the greenest restaurants in LA, as is Wilshire.

                    1. re: grubtrotters

                      grubtrotters: When you say "greenest" restaurants, do you mean that there are a lot of trees around? Or that they are enviornmentally conscious restaurants? Thanks.

                      1. re: Liquid Sky

                        I mean eco-friendly. Here's an interview I did with Akasha for Dinela.com that explains all of her efforts in detail and another piece on green dining that includes Wilshire:


                  2. All of you saved me hours of research as I take your recommendations seriously. I've been anxious to try Wilshire so that's where we'll go. The 20 something might have to give up his burger for the night.