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Aug 4, 2009 05:52 PM

Seeking for the WOW experience in LA

I will be in LA in a few weeks and hoping to try as many great restaurants in LA as my schedule allows.

Can you recommend: (price is not an issue)
- A Japanese restaurant offers omakase
- A restaurant for stargazing
- A modern or ethnic restaurant

Thank you!

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  1. Urasawa -

    The Ivy on Roberston

    Bazaar -

    Urasawa Restaurant
    218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

    113 N Robertson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

    The Bazaar by José Andrés
    465 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048

    4 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      Yep, that pretty much does it.

        1. re: Servorg

          3 for 3.... right on, Servorg!

          1. for more stargazing:

            Cut - Puck's new steakhouse
            Spago - his original, tho not the location
            Mr. Chow - Cal Asian, 344 N. Canon Dr
            Dominick's - Italian, 8715 Beverly Blvd
            all in Beverly Hills

            176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

            9500 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212

            1 Reply
            1. re: Phurstluv

              Katsuya Hollywood seems to be getting a fair share of celebs these days, too.

            2. Everything above sounds pretty good, just want to add Matsuhisa

              129 N. La Cienega Blvd
              Beverly Hills, CA 90211

              11 Replies
              1. re: A5 KOBE

                Make sure you get the private omakase room for better food. As for stargazing, stay in the main dining room at Matsuhisa.

                The rule in LA for stargazing: Go on a non-weekend for higher chances. Chateau Marmont and Whole Foods Market are frequented by celebs as well.

                1. re: A5 KOBE

                  All fine choices for the OP but Matsuhisa. That place is a dump with overrated food and rushed service, IMHO.

                  And that comes from someone who loves that cuisine.

                  1. re: epop

                    No one doubts your professed love of Japanese-Peruvian fusion cuisine (I am also a big fan!). The food from the main dining room at Matsuhisa these days is but a sad remnant of its former glory, true, but...

                    I think that the food found in Matsuhisa's private omakase room is an order of magnitude better, when compared with the main dining room. (BUT the stargazing factor suffers...)

                    1. re: J.L.

                      How is the food in the private room as compared to Nobu? I had their top tasting menu in Malibu recently. Some incredible items (as good as any I've ever had) but overall not a great tasting.
                      Too many regular menu items that I could've ordered. Overall I found the food and service far superior at Nobu (to Matsuhisa).

                      I'm glad not to be doubted all the time, JL. Getting some slack sometimes for controversial opinions.

                      1. re: epop

                        Hey epop, I'm a regular at Matsuhisa (50+ visits!)... I no longer do the main dining room - it's too disappointing.

                        I think the Matsuhisa (the flagship restaurant) private room is still the best way to experience the best of Nobu Matsuhisa's creations. It contains its own separate private kitchen & chef/staff, which is dedicated to the 8 or so patrons lucky enough to be seated in the room. Yes, sometimes orders for main dining room do come in to this kitchen, but for the most part, the chefs there are there to make sure the private room customers are happy and content. Expect lots of interaction with your chefs, and off the menu stuff (ask for the corn tempura) is possible.

                        This dining experience transcends any of the ancillary Nobu locations around the globe I've eaten at, including Nobu LA, Malibu, NYC, Tokyo, & Las Vegas. It's pricey, but also - it's special. Yes, admittedly, it does help to be a regular.

                        Chowhound thrives on different opinions. Constructive discourse is always welcome!

                        1. re: J.L.

                          kindred spirit then, JL.

                          I don't doubt you on it. PHD in Nobu Studies. I think I'm ready for the private room. Too bad my favorite dining mates live outside of LA. I'll see what I can do. Maybe a Hound Meal?

                    2. re: epop

                      The OP asks for a stargazing restaurant....and Matsuhisa is probably one of the best places in LA to watch celebrities.

                      I am not saying it is in the ranks of Urasawa.

                      1. re: A5 KOBE

                        I read the OP as asking for 3 distinct restaurants, one for sushi, one for stars, one for modern/ethnic. Since I could care less about celebrities I answered ignoring the second, perhaps erroneously.

                        After a lousy meal at Matsuhisa I take the opportunity to express my dissatisfaction.

                        1. re: epop

                          In recent years, Matsuhisa has really become a caricature of itself.

                          I think to get decent service and quality food at Matsuhisa you really have to be either an insider, or some important celeb or industry bigwig. Otherwise, you'll get treated like a customer at the Ralphs sushi bar.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            Funny. My guess is that the Ralph's sushi bar guys are quite personable.
                            I'd fear for my stomach though.

                            I've gone to Matsuhisa with major players and still didn't like it so much.

                      2. re: epop

                        I did have the most perfectly cooked lamb chop lollipop there at lunch the other day, though. But I guess that's not really what anyone goes to Matsuhisa to eat, though...

                    3. Stargazing ... any Starbucks in Manhattan Beach.

                      1. What a great way to start my day by reading all the wonderful responses! Urasawa looks like the traditional kaisaki we liked so much on our last trip to Kyoto. Thank you guys!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: aquahot

                          It's kaiseki for the first part of the meal and then it becomes omakase when Hiro-san feeds you the sushi/sashimi/kobe beef that he feels is the best he has been able to find/put together that day. Traditional kaiseki dinners comprise someplace between 6 and 15 specific dishes (IIRC). Urasawa ends up being 30 plus bites/dishes.

                          1. re: Servorg

                            Our Urasawa experiences have been 45+ bites/dishes, with dinner time from 6:00 pm to 11:30 pm.