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LA folks - Couple of questions

I will be out there travelling on business next week.

Used to go out there frequently, and have been to many of the "name" restaurants of the late 90's early '00's but lately not so much.... my questions are outlined below, THANKS in advance for your help.

1. Used to love the original Matsuhisa on La Cienaga. Is it still a great place to go for Sushi? If not where else??
2. What are the "must-do" places for great food (I like all cuisines), and of those which would be good for someone travelling alone (male)?
3. Love Italian - where can one find the best food and regional Italian wine collection??
4. Will be in Bev Hills Saturday, then have biz in Burbank rest of week....any "must-try's" in the valley??

Sorry for all the questions. Would appreciate any and all assistance

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  1. 1. Mori Sushi or Sushi Zo, Zo is more for the purist.
    2. Providence, for one. Not sure what your idea of "must do" is, so I'm interpreting it to mean big name. And Providence = great food.
    3. All' Angelo. Great food and very extensive Italian wine list, by regions.
    4. Don't know the Valley.

    1. 1. Urasawa - depending on your budget of course; you can also hit Tama in the valley
      2. Agree w/ the rec for Providence; don't know where you've been but you probably have already been to Lucques, Jar, Melissa, Josie, Spago (sure you've been but it's still good); you might try Mozza, Hungry Cat, Hatfields...
      3. In Brentwood, love Vincenti, Palmeri and Pecorino. Sure you've already done Valentino and Angelini Osteria...
      4. Boneyard Bistro would be great for you in the valley; for quick Mediterranean try Carnival in Sherman Oaks; for casual healthy, Hugo's; hit up all the sushi in Studio City; stop into Leda's for cupcakes; stop into Nata's for pastries (esp the natas); Krua Thai in North Hollywood or Sanam Luang Cafe; for Peruvian, Puro Sabor in Van Nuys; nice dinner on the patio at Firefly in Studio City; Spumante on Magnolia... some valley options

      8 Replies
      1. re: Emme

        Thank you both. One more question - Tapas in Santa Monica or BH with real good, extensive wine by glass list?

        Thanks!

        1. re: masnole

          How about Upstairs 2, in West L.A. Upstairs 2 is the restaurant of and above The Wine House, an excellent, very large wine store.
          Small plates, great food. A healthy size list of a really good variety of interesting wines by the glass; last I went, I recall they offered 3 different glass pour sizes. And if you buy a bottle from the Wine House downstairs and show your receipt, corkage is $10.
          http://www.upstairs2.com/

          1. re: slacker

            I know that you asked for recs in the Valley but since you will be doing business in Burbank, there is a new tapas restaurant in Montrose called 3 Drunken Goats http://www.3drunkengoats.com/

            1. re: Fru

              Oops. I should have read more thoroughly that you have already come and gone....

            1. re: masnole

              Upstairs 2 is nice if you want a quiet place. If you want something more young and happening try Bodega (814 Broadway).

              1. re: masnole

                Hello masnole,
                Save the "extensive wine by glass list" for when you get to the "valley"...there is an excellent place in Glendale called PALATE
                ( www.palatefoodwine.com ) and their wine list is amazing along with the food.
                Also in Glendale is BASHAN ( http://www.bashanrestaurant.com/ ) which also has excellent food and wonderful service.
                Have a great visit!

              2. re: Emme

                Also in the SFV/Burbank/Glendale

                Chili My Soul
                Boneyard Bistro (amazing beer list, oh yeah!)
                Alcazar
                El katracho
                Asanebo
                Artisan Cheese Gallery
                Brat's Bros
                The Stand
                Caioti Cafe
                Aroma
                Max
                Rutt's Hot Dogs
                Porto's Bakery/Sandwiches
                Picana
                Palate
                Gorikee
                Woodland's Pure
                Menchie's Fro Yo
                Sushi Don Sasabune
                4 n 20 Pies
                Simon's Cafe
                Art's Deli
                Brent's Deli (I prefer Art's, I know, Brent's is the chow fave, I was disappointed!)
                Follow Your Heart Heath food
                Daichan Japanese Soul Food (gotta try it!)
                Cedar House
                Zankou Chicken
                Bashan

                more, but I think that's enough to get an idea.

              3. Personally, I don't like sushi, but I will go to Matsuhisa, so yes, I think it's great. (It's that halibut in citrus oil and hearts of palm salad that does it for me, also the passion fruit sake), as far as must-go places, burgers at 25 degrees (great for someone by themselves), tapas at Cobras and Matadors (I know people will disagree, but what can I say, it's always been one of my favorites), and chicken soup at the Rainbow (GREAT for people watching). As for Italian, I just ate at a little place that I found especially good-Girasole on Larchmont. BYOB, and the wine store is next door. (Same with Cobras and Matadors) Don't go to Beverly Hills much, but in Burbank, stop by Phillys Best for an AWESOME cheesesteak (Olive and Verdugo). If you're in Burbank in the AM, my favorite breakfast spot is EAT on Magnolia (it's actually NOHO). If you go, get the Ned's Shreds. (Shredded zucchini, fried up like hash browns.) Magnolia near Vineland. Hope that helped. Sorry for all the sidenotes in parenthisis :)

                1. 1. Matsuhisa was never a purist's sushi haven (they have always been more Peruvian-Japanese fusion cuisine), but it is still great. Don't let the other hounds steer you towards more austere sushi temples (unless you're, in fact, looking for "ol' skool" sushi).

                  2. The Father's Office burger is worthy of routine pilgrimages.

                  3. Valentino has an excellent wine collection. Foodwise, I like the pastas at Osteria Mozza.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: J.L.

                    Love the "Tiradito" at Matsuhisa.....re-created it at home...

                    Was served by Nobu himself back in the day, before any of the "NOBU's" opened.........a VP at one of my ad agencies was a personal friend of his....we had the upstairs room and had an amazing Omakase meal served by him.

                    It has a nostalgic charm for me.

                  2. What about AOC for small plates and an excellent wine list?

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: trvlcrzy

                      Second the AOC recommendation - you can also try Violet in Santa Monica or Orris in West L.A. for interesting tapas selections.

                      www.violetrestaurant.com
                      www.orrisrestaurant.com

                      1. re: Bria Silbert

                        You LA Chowhounds... ROCK!

                        I'm a native NY'er and lived there until 2005....done so many great places there....

                        I currently live in New Orleans...and am enjoying the bounty here....

                        LA....have shot about a dozen commercials out there...and have had the fortune to enjoy the food fruits of LA on someone else's dime each time.... :-)

                        THANKS!

                        1. re: masnole

                          Give us a full report when you're done!

                          1. re: masnole

                            Someone else's dime? Then young man, get thee to Urasawa. Pronto.

                            1. re: masnole

                              Glad to hear you're enjoying New Orleans. I left NO 4 years ago and the cravings for good southern food never leave me.