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New Restaurants Downtown?

My friend has offered to take me downtown for a bday dinner tomorrow pm. Any suggestions for new places (I'm a Westsider and perennially west of the 405) that might have a fun atmosphere for two 30-something women? Nothing crazy expensive but fun? Thanks in advance!

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  1. I'm going with Church and State. There's lots of great options though.

    1. Drinks at Edison. Dinner at Sushi-Gen (?), or Rivera (Nuevo Mexican) or Zucca (Italian). Then to J's for dancing.

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      Sushi-Gen
      422 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

      1. Church & State is outstanding, and not too pricey. Make reservations.

        Bottega Louie might be fun.

        And Rivera has a great bar, and you can order small plates or the ceviche bar at the tequila bar.

        1. I'll echo some of the other posts and say Church & State. Went last night for the first time and it was incredible. The crispy fried pig's ear was a real treat, if you are up for some adventure. The beef short rib was by far the best I've ever had. I never knew it could taste like that. It sat on the plate fully intact, not falling apart. The outside was a deep brown crust, almost black. When I stuck my fork in, it revealed a deep red meat that pulled apart with no effort. It was extremely tender and with an intoxicating flavor. Must try it.

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          Church & State
          1850 Industrial Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021

          2 Replies
          1. re: cravingcoppa

            I agree with the Church & State suggestion. It is delicious and the price is in your range. Drinks at Varnish, The Association or Edison could also be a fun addition.

            I prefer Drago Centro, but as another poster mentioned it is expensive.

            1. re: Senor Popusa

              Add Varnish to my rec too.
              Which BTW, the bartender from Varnish also does the bar at Church and State.

          2. Drago or Chaya (they're next to each other).

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            Drago Restaurant
            2628 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90403

            Chaya
            525 S Flower St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

            3 Replies
            1. re: J.L.

              Drago's probably too pricey for the OP.

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              Drago Restaurant
              2628 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90403

              1. re: J.L.

                Hubby and I just went here last night for our anniversary dinner. It was EXCELLENT. I made the reservations through Open Table and noted I wanted a nice romantic table to celebrate our 8 yr anniversary. When we got there they gave us personalized menus that said, "Happy 8th Anniversary Mr. & Mrs. Thomas!" Of course, the food was EXCELLENT. The entrees range from $48-$33, with most in the mid-high $20s. Lots to choose from. We had the Crunchy Yellowtail Crudo for an appetizer - awesome. I had the duo of beef for my entree - a small NY strip steak w/ a peppercorn sauce and haricot verts and small Kobe beef short ribs served with a demi glace over potato puree. We shared two awesome desserts too - ginger creme brulee and milk chocolate croissant bread pudding w/ caramel ice cream.

                We can't wait to go back. Their happy hour menu looks darn good too!

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                Chaya Downtown
                525 S. Flower Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071

                1. re: brattenheimer

                  You say the range is $48-$33, didn't you mean $28 instead of $48, as you follow up that comment with most in the mid-hgih $20s? Just asking on that front, as it was my experience with nothing near $48. Good food and fun.
                  My favorite is Rivera though, and you can make it as cheap or expensive as you choose. Love sitting at the chef's bar in the back and watching the show. But since it is your 8th, maybe a table might be more appropriate, yet if you also want to be entertained and not charged any more for it, highly suggested.

              2. We went to Church + State! Thanks so everyone for their recommendations. This place is so good, I might actually go downtown again (which is really saying something for a Santa Monican). Got the pigs ears, the brandade, the short ribs, the sea bass and the chocolate pot de creme--all were amazing! The short ribs particularly, have me dreaming about returning to that great place. The staff was warm and helpful and the sommelier was really on point with his selections. Thanks to everyone with your suggestions!

                1 Reply
                1. re: BunnieBear

                  Glad you enjoyed it. I'm moving up to the Bay Area in January, and I'm thinking I need to make a farewell trip to Church & State beforehand. Those short ribs... sublime.

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                  Church & State
                  1850 Industrial Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021