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New in downtown L.A.

We will be at the Ahmanson theatre next weekend and would like to try one of the newer restaurants in downtown L.A. We are thinking about Church & State, Chaya Downtown and Drago Centro. We like excellent food, comfortable ambiance (quiet if possible, certainly not loud...we like quiet conversation), and intelligent, competent service. Would any of these fit the bill...if not, what would you recommend? We would like to try something new...have been to and do enjoy the Water Grill, Noe, and Patina...but want something new.

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  1. Drago fits.
    Church and State, while excellent, is not quiet.

    1. I've been to C&S several times, and Drago Centro once. C&S is LOUD once it's half-full. At DC, we were able to maintain a conversation even with the restaurant at capacity.

      One of the things I really liked at Drago was that they had a lot of wines available either by the glass or in what amounted to a 1.5 glass serving, allowing you to really mix & match per course, share with your dining companion, etc. Food was very good, too; we will be back.

      1. I love Church & State, but it is VERY loud. Haven't been to Drago Central, but also would recommend Rivera. Terrific food...very nice atmosphere...and they now have a limo that takes diners to certain events. You might want to check with them, and see if you're event is one of them.

        1. I love Church & State, but as others have said, it's not the most quiet of places. That being said our party of 3 had no problems hearing one another (unlike Comme Ca where one has to scream to be heard).

          Just ate at Rivera last night, and I'm not sure if it was an off night or what, but not a single one of us in the party of four thought it was anything more than mediocre (at best), which is such a huge disappointment since we were all really, really looking forward to it.

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          1. re: a213b

            My wife and I ate at Chaya Downtown last night. It was very quiet and the food was super. My wife had the Chicken Kiev and I had the Short Ribs. For dessert my wife had the red velvet cupcake with creme cheese frosting. Incredible. The valet service is very convenient and the first 2 hours are free. How unusual for downtown.

          2. Check out Bottega Louie. We went there yesterday for an early dinner around 4:30 and it was fabulous. They suggested family style--so hubbie and I shared the burrata & roasted grape tomatos, portobello fries, meatballs and a pasta dish with short ribs and kale. For dessert we got mini velvet cupcakes to go. They have a little shop that you can buy tons of speciality items. Everything was really great and the atmosphere very comfortable.

            1. I second Bottega Louie. Very good.

              i've been more to silverlake area - Blair's is great as is Canele in Atwater Village. This is about 10 mins from DT.

              I know the bars DT - edison and bar 107 - tons of fun.

              1. Bottega Louie.
                Can get loud during the peak hours, but meets all of your other requirements.

                1. So far in the responses to my query, it sounds like Church & State is very noisy...so regardless of how good the food may be, count us out. Unless we can talk in normal conversational tones we don't want to be there! The menu at Chaya sounds much more interesting than that at Drago and based upon that, we would prefer dining there. Is is possible to carry on a normal conversation without shouting at Chaya? If it's noisy, we will not enjoy it!

                  1. We decided on Drago Centro and had dinner there last evening. It was terrific! Food, service, ambiance, drinks, wine list and wine service were all first rate. The restaurant although about 2/3 full was quite quiet. We peeked into Chaya Downtown in the same building and it also looked very nice. We will definitely return to Drago, and will likely try Chaya soon!