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Mar 12, 2009 02:54 PM

Solo dinner on a Sunday in LA.

Will be in LA next Sunday for an interview on Tuesday and I'm looking for someplace excellent for dinner. Been to Osteria Mozza, All Angelo, Spago, Mastros, Bazaar, Koi, La Botte, Roscoes, Oomasa on past trips.

Was thinking Ortolan or Hatfield's, but unfortunately neither are open on Sundays.

Thoughts so far are Providence, Patina, Craft, XIV, or JiRaffe but am open to other suggestions.

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  1. uhockey, After reading a number of your reviews and viewing your blog, I would strongly recommend Providence. You enjoy tasting menus, and theirs is usually regarded as the best in town. If you called them in advance, you could make sure that things are planned to your liking, omitting any beef, for example. I think the food is excellent at Craft, but their menu is served family-style with dishes to share -- a solo tasting menu would not be their forte. Opinions on Patina range all over the map -- for some it is their favorite SoCal special occasion restaurant while others find it inconsistent, overpriced, and catering to a clientele where dinner is just a place to be seen before the symphony. XIV is interesting, but didn't you hit a Mina restaurant up north? JiRaffe is good but it is more of a neighborhood experience than the kind of dining the others can provide. Another possibility would be Sunday Supper at Lucques, but it focuses more on value than a gourmet experience, and after your reaction to the Cafe at Chez Panisse I don't think casual Cal-cuisine is your cup of tea.

    5 Replies
    1. re: nosh

      Had an amazing meat at Hatfield's a few weeks ago. The food there is top notch, very interesting, tasty, well executed. I recommend it highly.

      Osteria Mozza was ok, not a revelation. Mario Batali is a talented chef, but his restaurants are starting to read like a playbook of his old hits, which is never when you want to start eating at a restaurant.

      1. re: jcisrhiannon

        Hatfields is not open on Sunday.
        Mozza is not on par with Otto or Babbo.

        As to Nosh - thanks. Craft seems to do a tasting menu, though - seems good if I could sub-out the beef.

        Re: Chez Panisse - maybe the meal just wasn't very good and the waiter was awful? :-) And re: Mina - I've been to two of his joints now and enjoyed the food at one and service at both - the ability to select a myriad of small plates seems right up my ally.

        I'm just not certain I wanna drop $160 at Providence and I think anything but the full experience would be cheating myself.

        1. re: uhockey

          Craft also now has a bar menu, with lots of small plates. It looks pretty interesting....

          1. re: perk

            Just came back from Craftbar. It's bar food - a place for colleagues to grab a drink and some food after work. I wouldn't necessarily send an out-of-towner looking for L.A.'s best food.

            It was quite crowded. I was happy for the restaurant because everyone needs to stay afloat in this economy. But for me personally, I liked it better when the bar area was more sedate and you could grab a seat with no problem and order off the "real" menu (although I'm guessing they would still let you order off the regular menu if you asked).

            We had falafel with spicy feta cheese and hummus with zaatar. The falafel were tasty, but were not piping hot and crisp as good falafel should be. I'm guessing they were freshly made (at least I'm hoping so), but that in that kind of restaurant they just can't get them out on the table fast enough to be still piping hot and crisp. (Sort of like you never want to order tempura anywhere but at a tempura bar where they are going to hand you each piece seconds after it is made). The spicy feta cheese was good. The hummus was served in a jar, which was fun and fanciful, but anyone who considers themselves a connoisseur of authentic Middle-Eastern hummus (which includes me) will be disappointed. The tang and the spices were off - it wasn't terrible, but it wasn't mouthwatering addictive like good hummus should be.

          2. re: uhockey

            I thought Mozza was better than Otto, particularly the pizzas. I found the pizza at Otto to be pretty ho-hum, especially the crust.

            I would agree that Babbo is better than Mozza.

      2. Bashan restaurant in Glendale (Montrose border). Have been several times myself as a solo diner and never been disappointed. 5 course prix-fixe w/ wine pairing $95. 7 course w/ wine, $125. Very much in the Providence/Water Grill mode while being outside the see/be seen zone. Would equate it more with Hatfield's than Ortolan... Check them out.

        1 Reply
        1. re: FranklinJefferson

          Sweetbreads, Foie, Barramundi, and Bread Pudding - good gracious....if there was a gnocchi on that menu they'd hit my top 5 foods of choice when fine dining.....

        2. I can't believe there isn't a ChowChick offering to accompany Mike.

          1. I would choose Providence personally. Wonderful food and very good service.

            If you want interesting food and a real scene, XIV would work. But I would never choose it over Providence.

            1. between your given options, i'd say Providence, but also consider Hungry Cat.