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Downtown LA new places

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I've been living in Downtown LA for 2 months now and I think I've hit all of the cool places am I missing anything.
Already did....
Zipfusion, pete's, 410 boyd, the whole tokyo thing, cafe metropol, R23, Capperii's, weiland brewery.

Help I have guests in town this weekend.


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  1. Angelique Cafe is good for affordable French. I like their croque monsieur, roast chicken, and fries

    Link: http://www.angeliquecafe.com

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ernie

      I love the croque monsieur there! Just be sure to start with a charcutterie plate, then move to the croque monsieur followed by the chocolate mousse and a coffee!

    2. Tiara Cafe (at the New Mart Building, 127 E. 9th St.) was slated to open in March ... dunno if it did. But supposed to be the new brain-child of Fred Eric (nee of Vida and Fred 62).

      Blue Star, at 2200 E. 15th St., might be worth trying, but it's only open for lunch (closes at 4 p.m.). Meatloaf and porkchops are good.

      Finally, if you have guests, might be worthwhile to visit the San Antonio Winery, 737 Lamar St., (323) 223-1401 ... a real life winery (with a restaurant) right in the heart of downtown LA.

      1. Current issue of Downtown News has its annual restaurant issue that can be picked up and saved for the entire year. Highly advisable, yet might not have the newest of the new, yet does cover the entire market of those open at press time.

        1 Reply
        1. Have you tried Cafe Pinot (5th & Flower, by the Central Library)? Their patio is great for lunch!

          The Standard Hotel's restaurant has mediocre food, but the rooftop bar may impress your guests somewhat.

          After 5 visits, I still find Patina (at the Walt Disney Music Hall) stuffy and unimaginative, but it's kinf of a destination restaurant. I have to eat there at times for work purposes.

          I actually prefer Kendall's Brasserie at the Dorothy Chandler down the street much better, even though Cafe Pinot, Patina and Kendall's are all operated by Joachim Splichal.

          4 Replies
          1. re: JL

            I work across the street and have been to the Standard many times....Pinot is cool for the lunch/work crowd. Kendall's, I've never been and is walking distance...........chowhound folks have ripped this place a new one???

            1. re: tony

              Houndliness is where you find it. The Grubs walk to Kendall's frequently. While service &, frankly, food can be spotty during pre- and post-theater rush, if you have the luxury of being able to avoid those times, your experience can actually be terrific. (Downer hounds notwithstanding.)

              While the decor is brasserie-by-way-of-Citywalk, it is quite comfortable & actually charming in its own awkward way. Les Grubbes like to eat around, tho prefer just to sit at the bar. The outdoor cafe is lovely in good weather & the bar seating is very comfortable & relaxed. The main DR somehow seems harried frantic rather than brasserie-busy frantic.

              We've had great experiences w appetizers & daily specials, but have had some disappointments w the mains. You can do much worse than sitting at the bar, having a martin, a dozen oysters, a bowl of onion soup & the special -- esp Tuesday's steak tartare (not the best ever, but decent & available). Also love the stuffed quail.

              Drinks are spot-on. Wine list is well selected. Pricing is bistro, not brasserie. Overpriced for what it is, but it is where it is.

              What can I say? We like it.

              1. re: tony

                If you are craving French, you are better off at the cheaper and more authentic Angelique Cafe in the garment district (breakfast and lunch only). I had a really underwhelming group dinner at Kendall's last week and am now completely turned off to Patina restaurants in general after giving Patina, Zucca, and Cafe Pinot many chances. Their price/quality ratio is way out of whack.

                Angelique does not have drinks, but I can't imagine them having a problem if you BYO wine.

              2. re: JL

                Operated by Splichal's company, not Splichal. Having known the old Patina when he actually ran it, hard to believe he has anything at all to do with the current front line operation. I think Cafe Pinot is a better choice than the flagship.

              3. I've really enjoyed the sushi restaurant inside the Bonaventure Hotel - but I never remember its name. It's on the 6th floor I think on the east side. The hotel and the restaurant are typically populated mostly by Japanese visitors, for what that's worth.

                And then you can go up to the revolving bar afterwards...

                2 Replies
                1. re: Key Lime Guy

                  Good to know, have been curious about that Japanese place. Also at Bonaventure, Korean BBQ Plus is not too bad either.

                  1. re: Key Lime Guy

                    My one experience with the sushi place inside the Bonaventure was pitifully bad, although this was a few years ago.

                  2. I have lived downtown for just about 5 years and dining is dismal, especially given how much has happened in residential etc. Outside the places you note, I would consider taking out of town visitors to Sushi Gen, Kagaya (though I have been bitterly disappointed on my last 2 visits), tempura bar at the New Otani (!!), and most obviously, Water Grill. Cafe Pinot is ok too but as noted, other Splichal restaurants are an outrage.

                    Of course, other areas (Koreatown, Silverlake etc) are easily accessible but if you are limited to dt, these are reasonable places to start.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Dbird

                      Japanese food is so boring and overpriced, I would never take visitors to one of those.

                      Downtown dining is far from dismal if you enjoy small mom & pop Mexican, Chinese, and Middle Eastern places. Granted, there are not too many yuppie-comfortable establishments (yet), but give it a few years.

                      1. re: Dbird

                        W money, downtown dining is far from dismal. W/o, it is terrific.

                        For the AMEX Platinum set, Grand Ave alone has (N to S): Kendall's, Patina, Noe, Nick n Stef's (w new chef), Checkers & Water Grill. & around the corner on Olive is Cicada; around the corner on 5th is Cafe Pinot. YMMV, but Grubquality here varies from very good to superb. Bonus: you can get your Atkins steak at the estimable Arnie Morton's, Pacific Dining Car or the Palm ... or even Windows or LA Prime.

                        For indiscriminate diners and the business lunch crowd, there are all those other Patina Groupies, Engine Company 28, Ciao Trattoria, Ciudad, Pacific Grille, or Tesoro Trattoria.

                        For the loft-poor, Grand Central Market, Little Tokyo, Chinatown, Mercado La Paloma, & 20 Broadway taco temples all offer outstanding noshing for only a Washington or 2.

                        Downtown dining rocks.

                        1. re: Mr Grub

                          Of the restaurants you note, I am a fan of Water Grill and have not been to Checkers. My response to the others ranges from not impressed to active dislike (in the latter category I would especially note terrible experiences at Kendall's, and bad ones at Ciudad and Engine Company).

                          I love Grand Central Market etc but for some reason thought the poster was looking for dining & GCM is just for lunch. I was not including Chinatown, Mercado etc in my more narrow thinking about 'downtown'.

                      2. I drove by and saw that there was a new Smoke House on
                        Spring and Cesar Chavez... I suppose one could be adventurous and try a new place out, eh?

                        It is across the street from Asian Noodles, the Philipino restaurant that has been written up.

                        1. You have left out the whole Chinatown thing.

                          1. nick and stef's actually has a pretty great happy hour if your guests are in during the week.

                            1. I would also recommend La Parrilla (although it is not in downtown - on Wilshire, 1/2 mi. west of the 110) for great Mexican. Cool? Nope, but definitely great food (I like the Filete al Chipotle) at great prices. Also, it is in Charlie Chaplin's old house.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: WildSwede
                                Silver Lake Guy

                                Sidebar: Since I've been in LA, I've heard countless references to Charlie Chaplin's old house. Rumors abound: Campanile, A&M Records, Franklin Ave, apt bldgs all over Silver Lake and east Hollywood. Either the man moved around like no other, or good ol' Charlie was a real estate baron extraordinaire!

                                1. re: Silver Lake Guy

                                  Well, La Parrilla has a Charlie Chaplin room (and it is actually a house) - if that ain't proof enough, I don't know what is!! ;-)

                              2. You might want to try Warung Cafe, a new Indonesian place that opened up right down the street from Pete's Cafe on 3rd (in the lobby level of the Hellman Building).

                                1. I am ashamed to say I haven't actually eaten there but Traxx in Union Sation is just so cool..to me. Great destination place for visitors. I am sure there are plenty of reviews here somewhere

                                  1. La bella cucina. great iatlian food. No crazy BS. just real good stuff. Try the Tricolore salad. pine nuts, gorgonzola cheese, and lettuce with, splash of virgin olive oil. everytime i thing of a tasty salad or pizza i think of here. Back in the VAlley i use to have cafe belissimo. and zachs in studio city. but after eating LA Bella Cucina. i noted that it was not traditional Italian food.