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Friend in from out of town where to go?

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I have a friend coming in from Atlanta and I wanted to show him an exceptional place that is "LA". A dining experiance. This is a friend not a female companion.

I narrowed down a list of restaurants that look to fit the bill:
Providence
Spago
Dining Room @ Langham
Bouchon
Bazaar
Mastros

What would you pick? If not on this list what are some other good suggestions?

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  1. All good choices.
    Spago is always good, escpecially if the visiting someone is unfamiliar with LA. For a hipper scene with more adventurous food, Bazaar is super-great. While Providence and Mastro's are very good at what they do, they are hardly unique nor very "LA." I think you can have equally great steak and seafood in Atlanta. Bouchon, too is more of what you can find elsewhere (and better and cheaper elsewhere).

    1. You might just want to peruse the voting results for the 2009 Ultimate LA restaurants: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/673605 broken down into over and under $25 per person catagories.

      1. Spago, Bazaar, or Providence.

        There are other Bouchons and Mastros, so I wouldn't call them uniquely LA.

        1. imho, every major city in the US has at least one terrific steakhouse, so Mastros would not be my choice.

          1. Definitely Spago out of that list. Puck basically invented California cuisine with his flagship. Note that most likely he won't be there, he has an empire to run.

            I might want to show my friend the Latin influence of this city, which is larger than any other US City, save for maybe, Miami. Rivera in downtown at LA Live is supposed to be great, chef is well known, and well-liked. Or maybe our Asian culture, don't know if Atlanta has places like Matsuhisa (has Nobu already conquered Atlanta?) or a high end Korean restaurant, which you can find by doing a search on this board.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Phurstluv

              "Note that most likely he won't be there, he has an empire to run"

              Actually you'll find him there alot.

              1. re: latindancer

                Please stop! I am craving that WIENER SCHNITZEL like crazy right now:)

            2. So I made reservations for sunday at 8:45 at Spago.

              One thing I didn't think of was the availability of the tasting menu. I guess I would not be able to order it so late? How long does the tasting menu take?

              2 Replies
                1. re: P3R3

                  Maybe give Spago a call and see what they say. The speed with which dishes can be brought out can be varied to some extent, depending on what sort of dining pace you enjoy.