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Jul 24, 2009 01:33 AM

Downtown Sit-Down

Some friends and I are cruising up there to wreak havoc. And since causing mayhem also causes hunger, we need a swell place to grab some eats.

What are some great sit-down places that are somewhat upscale but still casual dress? (Think $10-$15 a person).

Somewhere with flash, zest and gives satisfaction for a job well done.

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  1. Maybe the newish Nickel Diner would work? By the way, how did things go (food, ambiance, service) on your date to Drago Centro ( )? It's great when people give follow up reports once they are finished getting board advice on where to go.

    Nickel Diner
    524 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

    4 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      One other thought. The Brazilian cafe, Wood Spoon. It's a great liittle spot with excellent service and an absolutely killer pork burger.

      Wood Spoon
      107 W Ninth St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

      1. re: Servorg

        My apologies for not replying sooner my good man. I rarely check the follow-ups (a bad habit). The date itself was excellent. The food was ravishing in taste and texture. Easily one of my favorite restaurants.

        How long have you been on this site btw?

        1. re: RyanD22

          8 yrs (if you ever come back to look)

          1. re: Servorg

            Wow that's a long time. Thanks for your help by the way. :)

      2. Colori's an Italian that doesn't have much flash, but it has zest and gives satisfaction for a job well done. It's a fancy place in street clothes. Like a rich kid in the hood.

        Colori Kitchen
        429 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

        1. This may be a bit above your budget, but if you select carefully maybe Botegga Louie. Definitely a place with zest, a bit upscale but still casual dress (i.e., we went there before a Coldplay concert in shorts & sneakers).

          1. Have you looked into Wurstkuche?

            We are going to try it this Saturday night. I think it is in your price range, for a dog & a brew.

            9 Replies
            1. re: Phurstluv

              Wurstkuche is a great rec, though certainly not the least bit upscale with its tray and picnic table vibe. But $10-15/per doesn't really = upscale anything, so perhaps you should give it a look. Heck even Wurstkuche would be hard to get out of for $15, unless you skip the great beer selection.

              1. re: wutzizname

                Right, what is upscale at 10-15 pp? Even Gelson's deli or WP Cafes are hard to get out under $10.

                I don't care about the tray & picnic table vibe - in fact, it'll be great with my two young boys! And can't wait for the beer selection - my DH will be so psyched! We are not worried about the cost of this meal, just looking forward to it.....

                1. re: Phurstluv

                  I thought Wurstkuche was grossly overpriced when I went.

                  Good vibe, cool building, ok food.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Probably is. We'll see what we think.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      Not really sure how you can call fresh, gourmet sausages from $6-$8 and a beer list with lots of interesting choices in the $4-$6 range "grossly" overpriced.

                      No, it's not a hot dog cart or a strip mall dive in Reseda, but for a cool, casual, hipster/yuppie eatery on the edge of downtown (which is what it is) I'd call those prices more than reasonable.

                      1. re: wutzizname

                        I don't have a problem with paying $10 or more for a hot dog, sausage, weiner, etc. But only if it tastes good.

                        I didn't find the offerings at W all that great. To each its own, I guess.

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          All the sausages I've tried there (and I think I've tried at least half of them) have only been good to pretty good. But those fries...

                      2. re: ipsedixit

                        I was satisfied with the $ : food quality ratio. I can't say the same for my experience at Mo Chica today.

                2. Yxta? Get tacos al pastor... and their margaritas are killer.

                  Yxta Cocina Mexicana
                  601 S Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90021

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                    Can you really get out of Yxta at $10-15/person?

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      If you eat an entree or maybe two appetizers, yes. Same-ish price point as Colori and Bottega Louie.

                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                        Same price point as B L for tacos al pastor???

                        1. re: Phurstluv

                          The menus in general are similar prices... sheesh.

                          1. re: Das Ubergeek

                            going to drago centro on sat before we see a show at the ahmanson. i believe the show starts at 8. my drago rsvp is at 6. is that plenty of time? i wont be doing the tasting menu.
                            also, never been here,....did i make a good choice or should i change to church and state (although i think its further away)

                            1. re: samtron608

                              Yes, I think you're fine. You can easily walk from Drago Centro (5th/Flower) to the Ahmanson in 20 minutes, which gives you more than an hour and a half to eat. If you're concerned just say it's a pre-theatre dinner.

                              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                There's a shuttle that'll take you there, so you don't have to hike Bunker Hill.

                                As far as time, dunno, 1.5 hours (give or take) for a tasting menu? That's cutting it a bit close ...

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  He said he was NOT doing the tasting menu.

                              2. re: samtron608

                                you'll be fine...fortunately for you it's almost always empty...unfortunate for the restaurant and for me who would like to see it survive....

                                1. re: samtron608

                                  C&S is much further outside of downtown, in the industrial section by the ELA interchange.