Suggestions for a nice dinner in the South Bay?
I have guests from Japan and want to take them to eat dinner in the South Bay on Friday night. Something "different" (and good) other than Japanese food. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
Though I've not eaten there, for the sheer history and experience of it all, I would suggest the Queen Mary in Long Beach. With the weather having been so nice, you may even have a spectacular view of Catalina.
Other 'Hounds may have thoughts on which restaurant, or whether it's worth a consideration, but I think the extra 20 minutes to venture down there would prove to be a nice gesture to your out-of-towners, and a nice setting to boot.
There have been some recent postings/thoughts on restaurants, especially those at Trump National Golf Course (what was once Ocean Trails). Zagat, if you believe anything in there, gives both the restaurants' food and setting high marks. Because I personally think driving along the bluffs on the peninsula is a great way to show visitors some of the most beautiful parts of Los Angeles (and it's always fun to laugh with them about how the golf course became a 15 hole golf course a few years back with the landslides), I'd vote for something in that area, and veering away from the beach cities.
Just my $.02!
re: Sunshine Girl
If you go with the Queen Mary, try the Chelsea Restaurant. It's reasonably priced, the food is fine (not fabulous), and it has a picture-window view of the LB cityscape, which is pretty at night. Sir Winston's is terribly overpriced, in my opinion, though the ambiance is more romantic than Chelsea's (darker, nice wood finishes in the room). Either way, you can walk around the ship after dinner.
One of my favorite restaurants in the South Bay is Kabab Curry in Torrance. It's located on Crenshaw Blvd just north of PCH - right by Torrance Airport. It's Northern Indian food. Compared to other Indian restaurants, the portions are well sized and the food is very consistent.
This is not a fancy-shmancy restaurant, but the decor has Indian flare and it's definitely clean. The food quality gets an A+. They sell beer and wine.
Their booths will seat 4, but they have tables to accomodate very large parties, so no problem there.
A good selection for the beginner would be Chicken Tikka, Vegetable Biryani (rice) and regular Nan (bread). Oh, and one must indulge in the Mango Chutney! The above fare is not too spicy and doesn't require a particularly developed palate.
I'm getting hungry just thinking about it...
What's the date and when should I arrive? ;)
I'm afraid I'll have to strongly disagree with this recommendation for a couple reasons. First, I have noticed a serious decline in Kebab Curry's food quality. Five years ago it was very good; I went for the LAST time over the Christmas holidays (a visting brother is a vegetarian, so Indian works well for him) and it was pretty awful. And, it doesn't have interesting ambiance, so I wouldn't consider it a "special" destination.
Secondly, I don't know anyone from Japan who likes really spicy food.
I think the Kincaid's recco is a good one for out-of-town visitors. It's pretty, expansive---in a very "California" way, you can stroll around the pier, and there's a good selection of different things on the menu. Like steaks, which few people can afford in Japan.
Chloe in Playa and Avenue in Manhattan Beach are my favorite places. Both are run by Christian Schaffer and are similar. I happen to enjoy the atmosphere of Chloe better but Avenue is the typical upscale Manhattan Beach scene which may be more enjoyable for an out of towner. Note--if you like expensive wine, BYOB it, since the wine prices are pretty high at both places and they treat BYOBed wine well at both places.