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Downtown L.A. Lunch and Dinner

I am going to be spending some town downtown this weekend with out of town guests. We are looking for inexpensive to mid-range ($10-20/person) for lunch and a nice dinner ($20-35/entree or more if spectacular) before the theater. I love Cafe Pinot, but haven't eaten many other places. Any recommendations?

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    1. re: Muhlyssa

      if you liked kris morningstar's food while at Blue Velvet, you should check out Casa, his new place that's also downtown.

      1. re: mollyomormon

        Getting pretty weak reviews so far, some kinks to workout before I venture in

        1. re: Muhlyssa

          Curious as to where you've seen weak reviews other than that one on eater la. also curious as to whether you've been to Blue Velvet since Morningstar left.

          1. re: mollyomormon

            On angelic.com (people commenting on stories about Casa).

            Have been to BV since he left and it's as good as ever. I really like it there, even though I think the menu (esp. at lunch) is too small.

            1. re: Muhlyssa

              I've also been a fair amount for work events and think it's good, but I can't imagine ever going on my own dime because it's way too expensive for the quality of food I've had there. I paid at Casa and it would definitely go back, although the space at Blue Velvet is much, much prettier.

    2. Woodspoon-traditional Brazilian plates and appetizers cooked by a master chef from Brazil.The price is right.

      2 Replies
        1. re: Jwsel

          107 W 9th St
          Los Angeles, CA 90015

          X st-Main St. in downtown LA

      1. I'm a big fan of Pete's Cafe and bar, it appears to be an old bank building, huge ceilings, a great room, very nice at lunch, but transformed with candles and interesting light fixtures from more of a bistro into a place with a downright romantic vibe. The downstairs bathrooms are worth checking out as they are something out of Raymond Chandler (AND they have Molton Brown soap and lotion, high end bonus!) Friendly service, American comfort food. They have an amazing tomato basil soup, unbelievably decadent mac and cheese, the best veggie burger in town according to my veggie burger addict SO and fresh garden green salads all at a price point very much in your range, for example, the soup is, I believe about 5 bucks a bowl, the mac and cheese I think is 12, the aforementioned veggie burger with fries is around 11. It's a good place to have in your back pocket when you're in the area even if it doesn't suit for this occasion.

        Pete's Cafe & Bar
        400 S Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013

        3 Replies
        1. re: PinotPlease

          I want to like Petes, I've been there for lunch several times, but the service has always been slow. Since the OP was looking for weekend dining, I don't think the slow service would be an issue for them. I also recommend Pit Fire Pizza for lunch http://www.pitfirepizza.com/flash/mai...

          or dim sum might be fun

          1. re: Muhlyssa

            I'm not the biggest fan of Pete's, but I've had good service when sitting at the bar.

          2. re: PinotPlease

            i just went to pete's earlier today for lunch and ordered the hellman burger w/bleu cheese fries. the burger was decent and beefy but it was a little overly dry (i ordered medium rare). the fries had a decent flavor but were super soggy b/c of the bleu cheese and tomatoes. i think i was expecting something along the lines of ballpark stadium garlic fries (super crispy, with bits of cheese on top instead of garlic) but these were so soggy that i just had to eat them with a fork.

          3. Water Grill for dinner
            How about Japanes for lunch???? Little Tokyo is close by and Sushi Gen is right up your alley if you order the lunch special sashimi. or Shabu Shabu in the Little Tokyo Plaza.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jkao1817

              I don't believe that Sushi Gen's lunch specials are available on the weekends. Not at the same prices as during the week anyways.

            2. I second Zucca. It's a beautiful room, especially at night, and the food is consistently very good if not better. Rarely disappoints, Nick n' Stef's (another Patina venture) is very good for lunch or dinner. THE BEST sweet potato fries, and i had some pretty good peanut butter ice cream there for lunch yesterday. In Chinatown there's a place called Hawaiian Chicken. It has great huli chicken, which is sold at a number of farmer's markets. I've been for lunch, but not dinner. I hear they have live music at night, and it could be an interesting scene.
              Hawaiian Chicken is at 686 N. Spring St. Open for lunch and dinner daily starting at 11 a.m., (213) 626-1678 or hawaiianchicken.com.

              1. You might try a new modern Mexican restaurant called Provecho. It's on Wilshire, between Figueroa and Flower. Here's the website > www.provechola.com. They have great selections in cocktails --- the Provecho Margarita is ultra-refreshing (they throw in lime and cucumber and the glass is chili power rimmed). The food is flavorful -- and you can easily enjoy small plates or a full entree. For tequila enthusiasts, there are quite a few to choose from. They also have an adjoining lounge called Remedy that is cool and hip for a later crowd. . . . across the street from Provecho is Takami Sushi. It has great quality sushi. The vibe is very cool -- you're up on the 21st floor with a great outdoor feel and a great view. Their website is www.elevatelounge.com . . . . . . . . . There's a brand new spot that I haven't tried yet called Rivera in the MetLofts building on 11th and Flower. They describe themselves as "sushi meets salsa". The pictures look ultra cool with the interior done by one of the guys who worked on the spaceship-shaped restaurant called Endeavor at LAX. Their website is www.riverarestaurant.com.

                1 Reply
                1. re: gracekim

                  Rivera does have a very cool interior, but it's not oepn for lunch yet. Looks like they are trying to go very upscale with tequila and other spirits in addition to the food. Tequila infusions, selling club memberships with embossed bottles under lock and key, etc.

                2. For lunch, it may be fun to wander around the Grand Central Market, but definitely not a sit-down option...

                  For dinner, Drago Centro.

                  Drago Centro
                  525 S. Flower St., Suite 120, Los Angeles, CA 90071