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Parents in town...

Parents are coming into town and I've been putting a list together of places to take them. So far I've got Fraiche in Culver and Mozza (pizzeria). Nothing insanely expensive, but they do appreciate solid food and are well enough off to afford a nice night out. Preferably West Side as I want to minimize the amount of driving they'll have to do.

Thanks!

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  1. Slight amendment: also not opposed to simpler places...was even thinking of Samosa House or something on Sawtelle...

    1. I personally think Fraiche and Mozza would be much too loud to take parents to unless they like that kind of atmosphere.

      Orris on Sawtelle is solid and pretty inexpensive. (http://gourmetpigs.blogspot.com/2007/...
      )Craft in Century City is better than Fraiche IMHO and not as loud (http://gourmetpigs.blogspot.com/2008/...

      )

      Nook Bistro is very solid, inexpensive, and has a surprisingly great atmosphere inside (considering it's in a strip mall) ( http://gourmetpigs.blogspot.com/2008/... )

      13 Replies
      1. re: burumun

        on the other hand, in my opinion, the food at fraiche is better than the food at nook.

        fwiw, i try to avoid going to restaurants like orris, which doesn't take reservations, unless i know that i'm going at an 'off' hour. certainly, i would not want to risk forcing my parents to stand for any length of time waiting for a table.

        1. re: westsidegal

          Hmm good point about the wait. But Fraiche and both Mozzas are just so ... loud.

          Maybe Kiriko on Sawtelle if they enjoy sushi? What about some place in Bev Hills/WeHo, which is closer to the westside than Mozza.
          Something like Jar? Great food, great atmosphere, not too loud?

          1. re: burumun

            Is there anything comparable to Jar on the west side?

            1. re: GJWhite

              Not that it's comparable to Jar, but have you thought about Wilshire? Great food and the patio is beautiful. Also, cool for visitors from NYC to be able to eat outside at this time of year...

            2. re: burumun

              I second Kiriko.

              After Fraiche and Mozza...might be a nice change to do sushi. Tasty...yet not so heavy.

              Il Pastaio in Beverly Hills is pretty money too - if you want to go italian again. Prices are fair and food is solid.

            3. re: westsidegal

              FWIW, I've never had to wait more than a few minutes at Orris. The last time I was there at 7:30 on a saturday night, we walked right in. I'd also prefer taking my parents there than somewhere loud like Mozza or Fraiche.

            4. re: burumun

              All good recs--thanks. My parents are 55 and 53 and from New York, so I don't think the loud thing will really be an issue.

              Hm...now how to whittle it down?

              1. re: GJWhite

                Agreeing with molly, the outdoor eating is a big factor for me when taking guests from "cold" places! Wilshire is pretty good indeed.

                So, where exactly are your parents staying?? Bcs from where I live (Westwood) WeHo, SaMo, and Culver City all are about the same distance, really :P
                If we know where they're staying, maybe can help you whittle it down distance wise.

                --burumun
                http://gourmetpigs.blogspot.com

                1. re: burumun

                  burumun -- Are you relocated in Westwood from Pasadena? I couldn't find a "contact me" link on your blog, which I read and enjoy. Send me an email or post a contact link in your blog or profile.

                  1. re: nosh

                    They're staying at the Brentwood Inn on Sunset. Was thinking of taking them to Osteria Latini one night as it's within walking distance of my apartment. Thoughts?

                    1. re: GJWhite

                      If you have tried Osteria Latini and like it, by all means take your parents there. They will enjoy experiencing someplace you are known and frequent. But I must admit I live in Westwood, and I don't know the place. Who is going to pick up the check, and how much do you want to spend? My favorite place on the westside for this kind of occasion is Nook Bistro, on Santa Monica Blvd. and Barry, in the back corner of the minimall. Comfort food, good service, nice decor, entrees about $20. If you live in Brentwood they'd enjoy seeing the Getty, and you could eat at the cafe there or have a sunset dinner at The Restaurant if it is a Saturday -- surprisingly good food and service and unmatched views. You could have an inexpensive happy hour at the Daily Grill with $2.95 and 3.95 specials, including popcorn shrimp, ahi, and their chicken pot pie. The cute center at San Vicente at 26th has the tasty chicken at Reddi-Chik, the burgers at Barney's, and the overpriced but classy stuff from City Bakery. Would they get into any of the Persian places along Westwood, like Shamshiri? Would they enjoy walking around Westwood Village and stopping in Napa Valley Grille, Tanino (the wonderful old Alice's), the mediocre Yamato which is in the superlative architectural former Eurochow, or my favorite for food and service, Thai House on Gayley across from the Whole Foods?

                      1. re: nosh

                        Now that i have some more color on the topic. A favorite of mine and something that you dont really find back East would be Lawrys. Perhaps they would like a Prime Rib Dinner. Im always satisfied there..

                        -----
                        Lawry's Prime Rib
                        100 N La Cienega Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

                      2. re: GJWhite

                        Actually had Osteria Latini last night. Very solid neighborhood Italian, but you already know that. Also consider Palmeri, which is a little more refined.

              2. Keep in mind The Restaurant at the Getty, for an upscale lunch or (if it is a Saturday) a wonderful sunset dinner. Surprisingly good food and service, on top of the unbeatable views, and a fun experience riding the tram, seeing the gardens and architecture, and maybe even seeing some of the collection.

                Note that Craft just announced a new menu for its bar and lounge area with snacks, starters, small plates and desserts going for $6-10 -- a very affordable and fun way to check out the place, especially if anyone is a Top Chef fan.

                I'm a huge Nook fan -- best value on the westside. (wsg -- Fraiche may have their star moments, but Nook is more consistent, less pricey, and the front of the house actually nice and appreciative rather than snooty and arrogant.) Don't forget Musha. Is Wilshire still offering that shortrib for $15 or any other special deals? How adventurous are they? My dad would dig Monte Alban, Marisco Chente, or Tacos Por Favor, but his wife probably wouldn't.

                Oh, should also throw in my splurge favorite -- Chinois on Main. Puck's original fusion, Lazaroff's dramatic '80s decor, bold flavors, everything served to share, and not horribly expensive if you stick to the more interesting starters and small plates and share one entree -- either the sliced filet in szechwan sauce or the whole fried catfish with ponzu.

                1 Reply
                1. re: nosh

                  Musha is another great suggestion. I took my parents the last time they were in town and they loved it.

                2. I know you're trying to whittle down...but just to add to the mix. How about Chez Mimi? Lovely space, good food and service. You can dine there fairly reasonably.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: perk

                    I second Chez Mimi, my wife and I had an excellent dinning experience there.

                  2. If they are coming from the East Coast or the mid west, my go to place for out-of-towners is the Cafe del Rey in the Marina. I find it very consistent which I cant say for a lot of other places. Its very California (so I'm told by my guests). Comfortable booths ( not crammed tables), California/Asian cuisine (check their website), good friendly service. Nice view of the Marina. It's pricey but fair and certainly not insanely expensive. I've been going for over ten years and never had a bad experience, quite the opposite. Just raves.

                    1. I have dined twice at Pomodoro and had great experiences both times. Their wines are available in different sizes and their butternut squash ravioli is unique and delicious. For breakfast, Eureka Cafe is a great casual place to start the morning. The crunchy french toast and pancakes are yummy. A great place to enjoy California sunshine is on the patio.

                        1. re: eezerik

                          if you're looking for middle-eastern food for lunch, i'd go across the street to shamshiri grill, rather than go to sunnin (with their microwaved falafal balls). another chowhouder posted that s/he was served microwaved sharma at sunnin once.

                        2. On the West Side, I like 17th Street Cafe. Pretty simple, and good food. Maybe a bit cheaper and less destination dining than Fraiche and Mozza.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: junipersong

                            Thanks for the recs, everybody.

                            We ended up going to Osteria Latini twice (after driving all over SoCal, my parents were happy to be able to walk somewhere from my apartment), Fraiche, and Cafe del Ray.

                            At Latini we had the excellent branzino special, solid fettucini bolognese, a mediocre raw artichoke special, and a few other solid if basic dishes. Overall I was very impressed by OL.

                            I really enjoyed Cafe del Ray--just a very well prepared salmon and fingerling potato dish. My mom had opah which was also expertly prepared. My dad's seafood stew though failed to tickle his fancy--tiny, tiny scallops (which I happen to like) and barely any lobster seemed a bit pricey at $33. We ended up going here one night instead of Mozza--my parents were a bit late leaving the west side and I figured rather than have them deal with west to east traffic, we'd all be better off if we stuck to the coast. Hard to beat those views.

                            By far I think we all enjoyed Fraiche the most. That monk fish dish you keep hearing about really is as good as people say. It was outstanding. My mom had the lamb stew which was quite tasty (if slightly overpowered by red bell pepper and underserved by a stovetop preparation). My dad had their pork chop which he also thoroughly enjoyed. Appetizers were beets with housemade ricotta and a mushroom salad which didn't quite live up to all the hype (very few mushrooms) but was very good nonetheless. I was also impressed by Fraiche's prices. Certainly not what you would call cheap, but far below the price of both Cafe del Ray and Osteria Latini. Their pasta dishes, all housemade, ranged from around $11 to $16. In total our bill was about $150 for three, with wine. Not bad at all.

                            Friendly and informed wait staff as well.

                            They are flying out this morning and I'm sure they're looking forward to a few days eating nothing but fruit and other roughage.

                          2. i suggest th patio of wilshire restaurant. great food and atmosphere.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: woofer

                              Just don't bring in your own birthday cake!

                              (See the long thread in EaterLA from the last couple of days.)