HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
What have you made lately? Share your food adventure

Parents in town...

GJWhite Mar 1, 2009 07:06 PM

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.


  1. w
    woofer Mar 12, 2009 10:16 AM

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

    1 Reply
    1. re: woofer
      nosh Mar 19, 2009 08:35 PM

      Just don't bring in your own birthday cake!

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

    2. j
      junipersong Mar 4, 2009 09:25 PM

      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
        GJWhite Mar 12, 2009 08:55 AM

        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. eezerik Mar 4, 2009 07:19 PM

        Sunnin for lebanese lunch.

        1 Reply
        1. re: eezerik
          westsidegal Mar 4, 2009 09:16 PM

          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. f
          foodieholic Mar 4, 2009 06:01 PM

          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. Baron Mar 3, 2009 03:03 PM

            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. perk Mar 3, 2009 11:18 AM

              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
                tofuburrito Mar 3, 2009 02:10 PM

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

              2. n
                nosh Mar 2, 2009 04:59 PM

                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
                  mollyomormon Mar 2, 2009 05:02 PM

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

                2. burumun Mar 1, 2009 10:01 PM

                  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/2007/10/orris-going-big-on-little-dishes.html
                  )Craft in Century City is better than Fraiche IMHO and not as loud (http://gourmetpigs.blogspot.com/2008/10/in-for-well-crafted-meal-but-could-be.html


                  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
                    westsidegal Mar 1, 2009 10:10 PM

                    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
                      burumun Mar 1, 2009 10:20 PM

                      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
                        GJWhite Mar 3, 2009 11:15 AM

                        Is there anything comparable to Jar on the west side?

                        1. re: GJWhite
                          mollyomormon Mar 3, 2009 11:22 AM

                          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
                          fatassasian Mar 4, 2009 04:47 PM

                          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
                          mollyomormon Mar 2, 2009 02:03 PM

                          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
                          GJWhite Mar 3, 2009 11:10 AM

                          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
                            burumun Mar 3, 2009 11:29 AM

                            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.


                            1. re: burumun
                              nosh Mar 3, 2009 11:42 AM

                              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
                                GJWhite Mar 3, 2009 01:03 PM

                                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
                                  nosh Mar 3, 2009 02:03 PM

                                  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
                                    Foodandwine Mar 3, 2009 02:26 PM

                                    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
                                    daftpunkxl Mar 3, 2009 02:42 PM

                                    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. g
                            GJWhite Mar 1, 2009 07:12 PM

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

                            Show Hidden Posts