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Dec 15, 2009 02:58 PM

Downtown (or downtown-convenient) for dinner tomorrow night

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. 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

      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

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

        1. re: cls

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

      2. re: cls

        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

          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

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

            1. re: wilafur

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

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

            1. 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. 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.