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Early dinner woes in Downtown LA

I have a reservation at Ciudad tomorrow evening for pre-theatre dinner before a show at the Ahmanson. Is there anyplace better we can eat downtown (let's say anywhere downtown)?

We wanted Church and State -- they don't serve until 6 PM. Chichen Itza is too far. Drago Centro is too expensive. So is Rivera -- we're trying not to go for the $25 entrees. Colori doesn't open until 6 either. Yxta would work except that I'd like to go somewhere new. Wurstkuche doesn't appeal to my wife, who is sausaged out after the ginormous beast we ate at the OC Fair this weekend.

I need to be at the Ahmanson in time to pick up my tickets for a 7 PM show, which means I probably need to have my butt at a table by, say, 5 or 5:15 at the VERY latest in order to be able to eat and get to the theatre. Waiting until after to eat is NOT an option because a) we won't be able to hear the show over my growling stomach, b) I have to be at work at 8 AM on Thursday, and c) we have a babysitter.

Any suggestions? Ciudad is OK -- they have a prix fixe that fits my budget -- but there are so many places downtown... sigh.

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  1. What about Roy's for something nice and the Nickle Diner for something down scale?

    ADD: Sorry, scratch the Nickle Diner as they close from 3:30 PM until they open back up at 6 PM. I am pretty certain that Roy's stays open from lunch (11:30 AM) right through the close of dinner service, so you can eat as early as you like.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Servorg

      If you decide to do Roy's let me know and I can email you a $20 discount code that they sent me by email the other day. When you make an online reservation you can plug that in and save some money.

    2. L'angolo Cafe. Pleasant, definitely not the Water Grill or Rivera, but the white fish was presented and prepared nicely, and very reasonably priced, and they open for dinner at 5. Located at Ninth and Main.
      http://www.langolo-cafe.com/contact.php
      http://www.langolo-cafe.com/langoloca...

      1. You could settle for mediocre Italian at Ciao (which starts dinner service at 5 p.m.)
        www.ciaotrattoria.com

        Or you could go to Pete's Cafe. http://petescafe.com/

        Along the same lines as Pete's Cafe is Redwood Bar and Grill. http://www.theredwoodbar.com/site08/h...

        And, lastly, what about The Farm at LA Live? http://www.thefarmofbeverlyhills.com/

          1. Bottega Louie on Seventh and Grand. Loud but great food at reasonable prices. Get the portabello french fries, and the burrata with grilled tomatoes

            2 Replies
              1. re: mlgb

                I agree but be aware of the Mob scene. We have been there @ 1030 pm on a Tuesday night and 3:30 pm on Sunday afternoon and both times it was packed to the gills

            1. Your best bet is probably CASA. It's right down the street and they have some pretty tasty happy hour specials. I prefer the food to Ciudad's and it is a quick walk to the Ahmanson.

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              Casa
              350 South Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071

              1. Provecho 800 Wilshire. Great creative Mexican in a really sleek setting.

                1. i'd probably stick with ciudad given your restrictions... but I don't think Rivera is more expensive than ciudad.

                  1. Have you tried Chaya Downtown?
                    525 S. Flower
                    213.236.9577
                    thechaya.com

                    1. Did you see that Ciudad is having a special mojito pairing dinner tonight? Not sure if that goes in the pro or con column for you, but sounds pretty good to me.

                      1. I know it's a chain, but it's not bad for what it is: California Pizza Kitchen is open, is at 3rd & Grand (3 blocks from Ahmanson without having to go down or up a hill), and fits in your price range. My position on CPK is that you can have a good meal if you order carefully (I happen to like their silly pizzas).