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Aug 25, 2008 11:54 AM

Formal Restaurant

What would you say are L.A.'s most formal restaurants, where men wear ties/coats and women dress up? A friend of mine is looking for such a place to celebrate an anniversary. . .

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  1. In OC, men wear coat & ties (or at least coats) and women dress up to go to The Cellar in Fullerton.

    1. I don't think I've ever been to a place in LA where ties were required. It is LA after all.

      1 Reply
      1. re: kevin h

        Jonathan Club, they'll lend you a jacket and tie if you show up without one.

      2. I agree with Kevin that very few places in the city require it (except private clubs like Jonathan and some country clubs.) That said, there are places where it wouldn't at all look out of place to be dressed beyond L.A. casual, and for an anniversary especially, I think the restaurant at the Bel Air Hotel would be perfect. People also tend to look pretty nice at Cicada and Patina downtown (big pre-opera/theater/symphony crowd). Patina attracts mixed reviews from hounds and in my own experience; Cicada is really solid, high-end Italian and the room is absolutely gorgeous. Anyway those are my thoughts, I'm interested in what other hounds have to say on this.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jbeecher

          If in downtown LA, I'd recommend Water Grill over Patina; crowds @ both locations dress equally well.

          Water Grill
          544 South Grand, Los Angeles, CA 90071

        2. I was thinking about this, and other than private clubs, as monku notes, and with the passing of L'Orangerie, I couldn't come up with anywhere in L.A. where everyone will be dressed up at least somewhat formally. Yes, on symphony nights Patina will have a more dressy crowd, Cicada draws a clientele to match the room (isn't that the former Rex II?), and Water Grill is filled at lunch with downtown lawyers and bankers in suits. But even at these places you'll find folks, many players in the entertainment industry, who do a reverse thing by dressing down. Even, or maybe especially, at westside spots like the Bel Air, Spago, or Craft you'll see a number of patrons dressed casually. Melisse is pricey, high-level French, and does have the touches such as the footstools for purses, but it is also in Santa Monica within a few blocks of the beach.

          1. To my knowledge, the Hotel Bel-Air is the only restaurant that requires a jacket...but even then, when I looked in Zagat to confirm, all it said was "jacket suggested". Zagat used to have a section in their guide that listed all the LA restaurants that had a dress code, but it doesn't look like they have that feature anymore. At least they don't for LA.