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"Californian" specialty restaurant in LA for NYers one dinner in LA

Can someone recommend a place that is unique to LA that has great food? Was thinking it would be great to be "California" style cuisine but we are open to other types of food if it is a great place.

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  1. If I had one night in Los Angeles for a special dinner I would go to one of the following places:

    Providence (seafood)
    Saddle Peak Lodge (game is their specialty, it's out of the city, but IMO the best restaurant in socal)

    1 Reply
    1. re: lotta_cox

      The Restaurant at The Getty ,or The snack bar at The Griffith Park Observatory

    2. Saddle Peak is very unique and good!

      1. If you are interested in experiencing some of the finest California cuisine in the State, and want a great food experience to boot, then the answer is Spago for a Tasting Menu.

        Take a look at this recent review (with photos) by Exilekiss to get an idea of what Spago "brings to the table."


          1. I would agree with Spago or Lucques. And actually, before Servorg said Spago I was only thinking Lucques. But it's tough to argue with Spago in terms of quintessentially Califronia in LA. But it's tough to argue with Lucques for same, in what is to me a better vibe and not so many Beverly Hills peeps and not so many tourists ... dunno, just a different scene (Lucques) which I prefer and great simple brilliantly executed soulful food.

            1. Go to Campanile. Quintessential California cuisine. This is where the chef from Lucques got her training. You won't be sorry

              3 Replies
              1. re: hdalsy

                Yeah, exactly, but I think Lucques has surpassed Campanile in quintessentialness and quality.

              2. Spago, Lucques, Campanile, and AOC are good choices.

                1 Reply
                1. re: JudiAU

                  i don't think of AOC as 'unique to LA.'

                2. SPAGO continues to be one of the best restaurants in America.

                  1. Alice Waters and Chez Panisse may have originated Californian cuisine, but Puck and Spago definitely popularized it. As stated before, definitely do the Tasting Menu though. See: http://www.kevineats.com/2007/04/spag...

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: kevin h

                      Actually Puck really got his start towards what he would become with his Spago empire and his development of California cuisine by joining the legendary Ma Maison and Patrick Terrail on Melrose back in 1975 / 76.

                      1. re: Servorg

                        Yes, do you remember the chic tent Ma Maison was located in?

                      1. I would have said Bastide but not so sure now since Manzke left. Personally, I would consider Fraiche. NYT did a great writeup of Fraiche, so NY'ers prob heard of it. NYC does better versions of Providence-like places, I would skip that ilk. I would also support Lucques as a choice. Spago is not what it used to be - sit at the bar, have a slice of their famous smoked salmon pizza, and go somewhere else for mains.

                        1. Forgot to mention Catch in SM - great crudo + phenomenal view of the ocean. Can't find anythign quite like that in NYC

                          1. Anyone been to Geoffry's latey? I haven't in ages, but it's pretty unique to California.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: bosanova99

                              A foodie friend was there about a month ago and reported that it was nice...just nice and very, very pricey. You're definitely paying for location!