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Visiting LA & looking for quintessential Hollywood experience!

I am meeting some friends out in LA in July and we all LOVE to dine out. We are looking for a true fine-dinning experience but are a bit overwhelmed by the number a "great," not to mention expensive, choices out there. We don't mind spending what it takes, but want to make sure we get our money's worth. We are from all over the country and want to go some place uniquely LA/Hollywood too. Please help!

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  1. There is nothing really quintessential/unique about LA or hollywood.

    For me, a great night in hollywood is tickets to see Wicked at Pantages Theatre and dinner at Melagrano right before. That is bound to make a memorable trip to hollywood. If you can't go to wicked, then check at the hollywood bowl at list.

    If you want to go more casual in tinseltown, there are about 20 small theatres in the greater hollywood area (la times "the guide", la citybeat, or laweekly can help you find a good play to watch), the ford ampitheatre, and the egyptian theatre have some very very solid programming all summer long.

    back to the food
    For casual-ish eats, I like Bowery or Lucky Devil's (Get the milk shake).

    For other food options there is 25 degrees (burgers), hungry cat (seafood), magnolia (eclectic).

    In July, the Kress or Cafe Was might be open, but I can't vouch for the food yet obviously.

    1. agreed, i don't have LA places but these are a few spots i take friends to (or ask to be taken to!)

      Providence for an elegant meal,
      www.providencela.com

      elf cafe for true silverlake
      Elf Cafe
      2135 Sunset Blvd.
      Los Angeles, CA 90026

      cliffs edge for a lovely night out side:
      www.cliffsedgecafe.com

      palate in glendale for the wine and the "new buzz" feeling:
      also--good cocktails and great service-
      palatefoodwine.com

      1. Try Spago, Providence, Sona, Urasawa, CUT and Lucques are some of the places i'd recommend off the top of my head. Im sure the members here will have a great input too.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JMan604

          My first inclination was to recommend Spago. Not Hollywood, but relatively nearby in Beverly Hills. Famous proprietor, Wolfgang Puck, and one of his best chefs and pastry chefs. A good chance of encountering celebrities. A great tasting menu is available, but not essential to make the most of the experience (as it pretty much is at Providence). Puck's flagship, with superlative service.

          I gotta admit I am jaded when it comes to Hollywood dining. Velvet ropes, huge valet parking fees, scene over substance. If you must do Hollywood I'd go for oldtime, classic Hollywood -- Musso & Frank's. However, let me throw in a caveat -- if you are a big fan of "The Hills" then reject my advice and head to Dolce or Ketchup or Mr. Chow or The Ivy.

        2. Not to get too philosophical, but by "LA/Hollywood" do you mean studio heads eating steaks, people in Chewbacca uniforms out front, or hipsters text-ing across a table?? It sort of matters, but regardless...

          I was recently dragged to Geisha House in Hollywood (1st time), and like several previous posters, found it to be pretty good. Nothing I'd willingly go back to without out-of-town guests, but it may fit the bill, esp. for a group. Here's why it's sort of a fantasy-Hollywood place, at least for people who love reality TV and get a-flutter when they see clip-art of the Hollywood sign and palm trees:

          It's right in downtown Hollywood.
          The room looks like a combination of a movie theater lobby + strip club.
          It has loud music and attractive waitstaff.
          The food is sort of pan-Asian with an 80s Calif. twist (I think someone at the table got a "teriyaki chicken roll" which was sort of like a wrap. But also sort of good.

          Here's why it is a crowd-pleaser:
          Strong and good drinks ($10-12).
          Lots of room.
          Decent food ($20 for entree w/ side).
          Big tables, just like at [insert chain] back home!

          Side note: park on the street and your car will be towed in about an hr., which will set you back you about $300.00 (note to out-of-towners!). Valet and pkg lots are both $8.

          -----
          Geisha House
          Hollywood, ca, Hollywood, CA 90028

          1 Reply
          1. re: cant talk...eating

            I enjoyed your post the details and information were helpful and entertaining.
            Doubtful that I'll ever get there but it was fun to read about. I enjoyed Spago
            for a fabulous lunch last year taking a limo in from Disneyland where we were
            staying then on to Chicago. It was bright, fun and the food was amazing. They gave us a whole box of cookies for the car ride back!

          2. If you are looking for "true fine-dining experience", go to Providence on Melrose Ave.