Need Restaurant Recommendation
My husband and I are coming to LA from SF to see his best friends on his birthday. We're just coming for one night and I want to pick a great restaurant. Although I would like to try Providence, I'm not sure it's in the budget for some of his friends. I would like somewhere with a cool ambiance (less romantic and more lively). We are big foodies and loved Hatfields and Lucques on our last visit and would like something with that quality food and ambiance (we liked the bustle of Osteriz Mozza but were underwhelmed foodwise). These are the places I am thinking about and would love some feedback:
I've seen a lot of reviews for AOC and it seems like a solid choice. Is Bazaar too out there for those in the group who are not big time foodies? Is Tower Bar overrated and too sedate?
Without an existing rez at Bazaar, you can rule that out. There is a first come bar, but it sounds like you have a party of four or more.
AOC I've never been blown away by. It's a great wine bar, the food is secondary.
I'd third Church & State, even though I've not been. Enough trusted sources have had great reports.
I had an amazing meal at Ludobites last weekend. You can BYO wine (you actually HAVE to BYO, rather b/c the home of Ludobites has no wine license). He's a former L'Orangerie and Bastide chef. The menu changes nightly. If the chorizo and pear is on the menu, you are in for a treat. Not every dish hits the mark exactly, but he's doing great work.
There's also Bashan in Montrose. A bit off the beaten path, but some truly outstanding food.
If you even have to raise the question about it's being "out there" for you and your guests, then Bazaar is not for you. I went there with friends and found it one of the most frustrating and baffling dining experiences of my life. Unless you like sitting in set from A Clockwork Orange next to a bunch of sitcom stars from the 1990s while a high-school chemistry experiment for dinner before being asked to move to a wholly separate and even more garish and uncomfortable space for your dessert ($28 for a glorified Twix bar), then I'd stay away.
I happen to love AOC but I guess it gets mixed reviews here - it's one of the places I go back to year after year and I think it's great for groups of no more than 6 or so.