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Downtown dining on Monday night

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Hi all. Opportunity to try one of the great downtown place at last. Will be around the USC area. Have a car, will be with friends from work, money not really an issue, just great food and a nice atmosphere (somewhere between stuffy and scene-y :). Open as far as cuisine except one friend is allergic to fish so if it's a seafood place, it should have other great stuff too. Appreciate any help. Thanks

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  1. Fleming's Steakhouse (at L.A. Live)
    Raku Plus (in Little Tokyo, on 2nd St.)
    Blue Velvet (on Garland)
    Church and State (in the Arts District)

    1 Reply
    1. re: J.L.

      Second Church & State and Blue Velvet. Would add Rivera and Drago Centro, both new. Had delicious apps at Rivera recently and a wonderful full meal at the new Italian Drago location.

    2. Drago Centro or Chaya which opened on 3/16/09. Both are great.

      1. I'll second, third, whatever, the recs for both Church & State (my personal fave) and Drago Centro. I haven't been to the new Chaya yet, but if it's anything like the other ones, it's a good bet, too.

        1. Drago Centro is on the ground floor of the building I work in, at 5th and Flower. I have not tried it yet, but it looks beautiful and sure gets some good reviews. I mention it because you would not need to drive your car from the USC area: take the "F" Dash, which will drop you right in front of the restaurant. Fare is 25 cents each way, which beats paying for parking.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ozhead

            The DASH stops running around 6 or 6:30, so unless this is a very early dinner, it's unlikely the shuttle would be available for the ride back.

          2. Update
            So we decided to try Church and State but then found they were not open on Monday's. So then we moved on to Blue Velvet and made a reservation for Monday night on Open Table. Only when we arrived at the restaurant we discovered that they were not open Monday's either. (Even though the website said they were and we had a confirmed reservation via Open Table). We scrambled and were able to get in at Drago Centro but had very little time for dinner at that point. Had the basil pasta which was delicious and the wait staff really helped us out so we would make our lecture at USC. They saved the evening for us. We have contacted Blue Velvet and left messages and feedback via Open Table but they have never called us back. Bummer.