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downtown affair

spending the weekend downtown... what's a chowhound's favorite fabulous place for dinner, bar for drinks/lounge/dancing/view, and hotel?

was recently at the standard, would like to try something new.

love edison, haven't tried varnish. any recs?

for dinner, cuidad, church & state, and drago were my initial thoughts. any others?

thanks in advance!

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  1. I endorse all of your dinner choices, but ciudad gets mixed reviews here. I think it really depends on what you order. I haven't been yet, but the new Chaya Downtown (I think it's adjacent to Drago Centro) sounds promising, too. Something to consider.

    1. For dinner, I would add Cafe Pinot and Cicada to your list. Cafe Pinot at night is really charming, esp. if you sit oustide, and it's much quieter (in terms of noise and traffic) because you don't have to deal with the lunch crowd.

      Also, what about that new steakhouse at the lobby of the Bonaventure?

      1. Church & State is fabulous! Go if you love french bistro food.

        Blue Velvet is supposed to be pretty cool for a poolside, rooftop bar.

        I am also partial to the Omni Biltmore, and they too have renovated their lobby & put in a hip steakhouse (I believe)!

        Blue Velvet
        750 S. Garland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90017

        Church & State
        1850 Industrial Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021

        Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles
        506 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA

        2 Replies
        1. re: Phurstluv

          is the biltmore where they have the black dahlia? i've heard of this black martini drink that is supposed to be an old time signature of theirs?

        2. Dinner comments.

          I would pass on Ciudad. Other than a few dishes, I find it pretty forgettable. (I also find Cafe Pinot incredibly overrated.) Roy's is always very dependable for good food and drinks. Water Grill is a standout for seafood.

          1. Takami, at the 811 Wilshire bldg.

            The food is less than stellar, but the views are decent, and the Elevate lounge can be quite happening for hanging out.


            Maybe you can also try Chaya Downtown. I haven't yet been, though. Please report back!

            1 Reply
            1. re: J.L.

              I agree with all of this except that the views at Takami are more than decent.

              Chaya Downtown was great when I went for lunch.

            2. here's my rundown:

              stay at Hilton Checkers, small rooms, but stunning old world style & high quality

              dinner at Rivera, hands down my favorite new restaurant. I love Church & State but Rivera is special, less casual.

              drinks at association & varnish, one each (to start), they're right next door to one another.

              not sure about dancing, married for 8 years to a non-dancer. you could do the lounge bar at Noe at the Omni to listen to some piano music.

              view? love the view atop the Standard if you can stand the line. the rooftop at J Lounge is nice outside...and they probably have dancing there but I have never stayed that late.

              3 Replies
                1. re: lotta_cox

                  lotta, thanks! made ressies for tonight at rivera, can't wait!

                  standard afterward; varnish and association on sat.

                  1. re: tablefor1

                    Stop by The Edison for some absinthe, very cool 20's speakeasy vibe. Even for a little while, no cover, you'll find nothing else like it in downtown.

                2. try BOTTEGA LOUIE for breakfast or lunch.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: revets2

                    revets2, i just went to BL the other day and completely agree. it's a fabulous steal for ambiance and quality and service. i couldn't find anything wrong with it. i can only imagine how much they spent on the interior of that place..

                    1. re: revets2

                      I've had all three meals at BL and I recommend dinner or lunch over breakfast - although their coffee is fantastic. But the food is much better at the other two meals!

                    2. For drinks (not dancing): The Varnish, Seven Grand, Rivera

                      Dinner: Church & State. Maybe also Bottega Louie (especially for lunch). And have you been to Wurstkuche?


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: burumun

                        love LOVE wurstkuche, thanks for reminding me!