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Mar 13, 2009 12:57 PM

Memorial Day Planning

So my family is planning a reunion in LA for my parents 40th anniversary.....we'll spend some time in Temecula (2 days/nights) and then 3 days.nights in LA. Are there any recommendations? (yes, this is very broad question -- I was hoping for a couple choices in a few categories: 1) fine dining 2) bistro/cafe 3)hole-in-the-wall (burger , steak n' cheese, etc) 4) random late-night eats.


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  1. Well, LA is a very broad place and if you don't have a car, you're stuck where you're staying. I assume you mean from downtown to the westside, so we can stick with that. My fellow hounders will come up with tons of recs for you all over the city, but I will highlight my own personal faves:

    1. Ortolan on W. 3rd, very romantic; Providence, seafood tasting menu, on Melrose, just south of Hollywood; Bazaar, very new & trendy, can't remember address; Sona, do the tasting menu but the decor is extremely underwhelming, in MidCity area (can't recall, La Cienega or La Brea); Matsuhisa, great sushi and might as well go to the newer spot on La Cienega in Bev Hills.

    2. Bistro/cafe is a broad category - will defer to my fellow hounders who seem to get out a lot more than I, but it just depends if you want somewhere trendy in a touristy spot or not. If you can truck down to Culver City (not that far, really) there are tons of new bistros & cafes, one of my faves being Fraiche, but you may have a wait to get in. Just park in one of the lots and walk around, see what strikes your fancy.

    3. Hole-in- the-wall - you can't come out here and not try Pink's the hot dog stand/institution, just be prepared to wait in a long line, but it's usually worth it. On melrose & la brea; or Tommy burgers, which is a chain and has a few outposts, but the original is downtown; also Phillip's is a total hitw, but famous for french dips, again downtown. Skip the Orignial Pantry, downtown - not worth the real estate it's on!

    4. Random late night - well, I'll confess, after having kids, I don't get to go out late night much anymore, but there are tons of new places downtown, near staples center and to the east, that cater to the club crowds. Also, can always go west to Hollywood, & West Hollywood, where, again they cater to the clubgoers. Don't have specific recs there either.

    Come on, fellow hounders, help out a new yawka with some good eats to show them there is a great scene out here in LA LA land.

    Have fun - wish I could go back to NY for a reunion!!

    1. you'll really be able to get much more helpful responses than you would otherwise if you can post where in LA you'll be staying.

      3 Replies
      1. re: mollyomormon

        Where you'll be staying and where those in town live. And how many people you are talking about. And their ages, preferences, and limitations -- unless I had a group of four or fewer sophisticated adults with no food aversions, I would not be suggesting any tasting menus. Also helps to know where you are from -- I'd hesitate to recommend our Italian spots or either of the Mozzas to people from NYC, for example.

        1. re: nosh

          Here's a bit more info to help:

          We're staying at a hotel on the Sunset Strip:
          7051 Sunset Blvd , Hollywood, CA, US, 90028

          My wife and I are in our late twenties (we have a 7 month old....he'll be 10 months on the trip (and getting more active which may limit our choices of things to do).
          My two brothers are in their mid-30's......parents are in their mid 60's......we are all originally from DC, my wife and I were in NYC before moving to the Twin Cities. I think my brother lives a short distance from our hotel.

          We will probably moving around a lot -- so as much as I'd love a 4-star dining experience, I don't think we'll have time. Maybe enough time for one nice meal and the rest will be more casual places where we will not need reservations...... I was looking at a place called Hatfields....(thoughts???)......but we are very open to recommendations.

          1. re: nymoving2004

            Hatfield's is wonderful, but considered fine dining, and you'll definitely need a reservation.

            I'd skip Osteria Mozza - seems to have become more focused on turning tables, so service has suffered. We do have lots of decent pizza joints, Mozza being one, but again, almost impossible to get in w/out a reservation made a month ni advance! What we do is make a reservation for a late Sunday afternoon, 4-ish or so, and it's worked out well. The Sunday special is the lasagne, and my husband swears it's some of the best in the city. Very tiny tho, only one table that could accomodate six or more. And don't worry about bringing the baby, everyone's doing it out here!!

            Hungry Cat is decent for east coast style seafood, and not as over the top as Providence, in price & style, and open pretty late.

            It's a little hard to get into the more popular restaurants w/out reservations, but if you go early enough, (5-5:30-ish?) you should be able to get a table without an interminable wait. It also depends on the night, and what going on in town, i.e. at the Bowl, or the Pantages.

      2. Hi-

        You will want to post a query about the Temecula leg of your trip on the California board.