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Aug 31, 2008 02:34 PM

Wow restaurants in L.A. area

I will be in L.A for the OSU/USC game & am looking for a great place for dinner our last night (Sunday) with a really wow factor. Someplace who's interior and ambiance is above the rest or that transports you to another place. This can be cheap, middle of road or expensive. I do have a car & am staying in Culver City but have no problem driving within an hour. I want 1 dining experience to really wow us on our last night in town. Thanks so much for the suggestions & sorry to do this to you L.A. folks but~~~~~GO BUCKEYES!!


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  1. Do you care about the food or is the interior/ambiance more important?
    What was the score of the game the last time these to fierce competitors met?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Burger Boy

      What difference does it make? Beanie Wells went down in the game yesterday against mighty Youngstown State, so OSU has no chance against the Los Angeles Rams. What's that? Sorry -- I meant USC.

      This board is the wrong place to emphasize ambiance over food, but if you insist on being transported to another place (and time), check for a great collection of LA classic restaurants.

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. Yamashiro on a clear nite would work....

        1. beach views
          The Lobster
          The Penthouse at the Huntley

          city view

          the sushi wow

          if you want good food, and a transporting place, i like Pane e Vino's back patio

          if you decide food is paramount, not too far from you are Joe's and Jer-Ne at the Ritz

          1. For L.A. wow factor I don't think you can go wrong at Spago, Wolfgang Puck's flagship restaurant in Beverly Hills. Very impressive restaurant with a beautiful patio, star factor, great food, and excellent service. Not too far away from Culver City.

            Cut, Puck's steakhouse in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, is very impressive, with architecture by Richard Meier, but is closed on Sundays. If you like buzz, over-the-top '80s decor, and really tasty bold flavors, I recommend Puck's fusion restaurant, Chinois on Main in Santa Monica. All of the dishes are served to share. If you like marina views with lots of boats, Cafe Del Rey in Marina Del Rey has nice views, good wine, and fine seafood and some sushi -- a straight shot west from Culver City on Washington then a bit south off Lincoln and then Admiralty Way.

            The Penthouse at the Huntley Hotel is on the top floor of a high-rise in Santa Monica with extensive views and a cool elevator. Great for drinks, but the food is overpriced and not well-regarded, except by a 'hound or two who have enjoyed the brunch. The Lobster is crowded but right on, actually over, the water, but is more than a bit a tourist trap. Yamashiro, on a cliffside overlooking the city, ditto.

            Maybe you'd like to spend Sunday driving up the coast to Malibu. Geoffrey's is on a cliff overlooking the ocean, Moonshadows is on the water, search the board for Malibu for others. Or you could head south to Long Beach -- traffic won't be too bad on a Sunday -- and hit the Queen Mary, which is definitely unique. Campanile on La Brea just east of Beverly Hills is a gorgeous main room in a converted bank building with a very high main dining room that looks wonderful as the light fades. Come to think of it, maybe you'd like the simple but excellent prime rib served from impressive silver carts from uniformed servers at Lawry's, an L.A. classic, where the Rose Bowl teams go for the Beef Bowl before the game.

            3 Replies
            1. re: nosh

              Great recommendations. Thanks so much for everyone's help. In Beanie we trust :)

              1. re: nosh

                Campanile was originally built for Charlie Chaplin's office, but he lost it in a divorce. (was it ever a bank?)

                The new Nobu is pretty cool looking and if you've never been there - it's great (if you have been going to his restaurants for the past 20 years, then it's nothing new). Geisha House, and Falcon's Lair too.

                But IMHO - the best combo of food and style would Citrus at Social Hollywood - great vaulted ceilings and great food by a star chef. Hipper than Spago.

                Ortolan is very good food and very, very, very cool design. When I say cool I don't mean cold. Place is very sexy.

                Downtown you'd find Zucca to be a very stylish restaurant. I've never had a bad meal there either.

                1. re: foodiemahoodie

                  check out cicada downtown for decor. And sometimes a memorable meal - never a bad one, i'll say that.