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Jul 2, 2009 03:35 PM

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:

--Tower Bar

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?



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  1. You might want to consider Church and State...It's great food, great for groups, but it is downtown...

    1 Reply
    1. re: JPomer

      I second Church and State. The food keeps getting better and better with Manzke in the kitchen. It's definitely lively.

    2. 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.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Famous Blue Raincoat

        Ludobites is at Breadbar til August 22. I had a fantastic meal there this week. The BYOB makes it very affordable, however though it is busy it is not what I would call sceney, per se.

      2. 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.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Henry2054

          I love the food at Bazaar, but the clientele is very trendy right now. So trendy it is kind if off-putting. But I loved the atmosphere when they first opened. I find it entertaining, and when you are in one of the dining rooms it is less distracting.

        2. Thank you for the great recommendations. Church and State sounds just right. We are looking forward to it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: bompi

            You will love it. I just hope you're not coming next week, on Tuesday.