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Downtown (or downtown-convenient) for dinner tomorrow night

AshC Dec 15, 2009 02:58 PM

An out-of-town friend is staying at a hotel downtown, and I'd like to take him out for a nice dinner. He's willing to drive, but I don't want to ask him to trek too far. I'm on the westside and not really familiar with the restaurants in the downtown/hollywood area. Looking for something fun, not too stuffy, a bit nicer than jeans and t's (I'll be coming from work). He'd prefer something with a patio (as long as the heat lamps work!)...but not a requirement. Any type of food is fine, price range is open. Any recommendations? Thanks in advance for your help!

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  1. c
    cls RE: AshC Dec 15, 2009 03:48 PM

    Drago Centro - a bit upscale, IMO the best Italian in the city right now (I think the patio is closed)
    Church and State - soho vibe, very good bistro French, you can dress up if you want (outdoors)
    Botega Louie - good, loud, great large space (no patio)

    7 Replies
    1. re: cls
      rickym13 RE: cls Dec 15, 2009 03:59 PM

      i agree with drago and church & state. also would add chaya downtown or even some places in l.a. live?
      cafe pinot have very nice patio but food can be hit or miss....

      1. re: rickym13
        cls RE: rickym13 Dec 15, 2009 08:14 PM

        Hmmm, I like LA Live, but have never been without a 3yo. What places would you think are appropriate? Flemmings maybe?

        1. re: cls
          rickym13 RE: cls Dec 16, 2009 03:05 PM

          i hear rosa mexicano is decent and there are katsuya, rock'n fish and trader vic's at la live

      2. re: cls
        westsidegal RE: cls Dec 17, 2009 10:19 PM

        respectfully disagree with the botega louie recommendation.

        not only was the food poor,
        the service was poor,
        the loudness of the restaurant was deafening
        and to top it off, not only did they (correctly) charge me for the night i ate there, but they also charged my credit card as though i ate there again the following night (i wasn't even in town).
        had to go back and forth several times demanding that they produce a signed charge slip, instead of the series of fraudulent, unsigned slips, that they kept submitting, before my credit card company removed the charge for good.

        1. re: westsidegal
          mc michael RE: westsidegal Dec 18, 2009 06:32 AM

          Whoa. I found the service just OK, the food pretty good. And the sound crazy. You just can't hear anything there. Might be a good place to take someone you don't want to talk to. Otherwise it has that loud frenetic scene aspect that the crowd seems to go for. Why?

          1. re: westsidegal
            wilafur RE: westsidegal Dec 18, 2009 10:05 AM

            i wouldn't say the food at bottega is poor, i find it to be just ok. nothing worth fussing over.

            1. re: wilafur
              cls RE: wilafur Dec 18, 2009 02:55 PM

              It sounds like the whole experience tainted westsidegal's impression of the food. There are some good things at Bottega Louie, and it is a great space. No one will confuse it for quiet though.

        2. mollyomormon RE: AshC Dec 15, 2009 04:12 PM

          Bottlerock also has a patio. no patio, but i think Rivera would also be a good option.

          1. h
            houndofmusic RE: AshC Dec 15, 2009 04:18 PM

            Ciudad is my favorite downtown restaurant. Great food and a good bar scene.

            1. j
              Jack Flash RE: AshC Dec 15, 2009 06:51 PM

              Chaya Downtown, Church & State, Drago Centro. Any of those. The first two, I believe, have patio seating. There's also Cafe Pinot, which may also have patio seating. Food is much better at the first three.

              1. m
                mc michael RE: AshC Dec 15, 2009 07:01 PM

                I think you can eat outside at Nick N Stef's. Zucca is a good Italian, but no patio, There is an outdoor place at the Hotel Figueroa.
                You can eat on the patio at Pete's which is a place many go after work but also gets casual.

                1. ipsedixit RE: AshC Dec 15, 2009 08:19 PM

                  Cafe Pinot.

                  You can dine under the stars outside beneath the shadows of the LA County Library, the Library Tower and the Jonathan Club.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    J.L. RE: ipsedixit Dec 16, 2009 11:21 PM

                    The Jonathan Club has a patio too.

                    1. re: J.L.
                      mc michael RE: J.L. Dec 17, 2009 05:32 AM

                      Right but it's a private club.

                      1. re: mc michael
                        J.L. RE: mc michael Dec 17, 2009 09:58 PM

                        And it can get a bit stuffy, too.

                        1. re: J.L.
                          mc michael RE: J.L. Dec 18, 2009 06:29 AM

                          At least they allow female members now--for a price.

                          1. re: mc michael
                            ipsedixit RE: mc michael Dec 18, 2009 09:21 AM

                            But they do make a great burger -- for both men and women (same price too!).

                            1. re: ipsedixit
                              J.L. RE: ipsedixit Dec 18, 2009 09:52 AM

                              California Club is better, food-wise.

                  2. tbwenzlau RE: AshC Dec 18, 2009 02:19 AM

                    Church & State is great. Nic and Stefs is nice, and Cafe Pinot has a nice patio

                    1. r
                      RobertC RE: AshC Dec 18, 2009 09:04 AM

                      Zip Fusion has the best patio..and the building is over 100 years old. Fun place for dinner. It is located near Little Tokyo. He will love the patio.

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