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early light dinner for a group downtown?

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hello angelenos -

do you have any recommendations for early cocktails and a bite to eat on saturday night downtown? we're mostly out of towners (sf, boston) attending a wedding celebration at 8p and so I thought something along the lines of bar food/small plates might work best.

rivera looked good but they're booked. i'll try again, but was wondering if getting 6 people in at the bar at 6:30 on a saturday would be possible or a nightmare?

maybe church and state - oysters and tartes?
any other ideas?

we all eat everything! things that especially make us happy when eating include: cocktail culture, nice design and local/organic blahblah.

oh and while i'm at it, if you any suggestions for the after party, that would be great too.
i was thinking maybe cole's or the roof at the standard....

many thanks!

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  1. bottlerock is one option. wine bar with food.

    1. you can do a search for bars in downtown here and tons of options will show up. The Standard is great for the vibe and views.
      you can try Edison. good drinks and some decent bar food for your midnight snack.
      another bar for the afterparty is some dive bars like 7 Grand.

      1. Haven't tried it yet but what about the Lazy Ox in downtown (Little Tokyo area)? They do small plates.

        1. I think Chaya Downtown would be great for this! I've heard good things about Rivera too, but haven't been.

          I like Lazy Ox, but it's not the place I would recommend first to you - given your post. Look at its website and see if you feel the vibe. Creative cooking and somewhat pricey for smallish portions.

          Also, Blue Velvet might be kind of fun for your post party. (the Standard roof is cool, but might be hard to get into if you're not staying there.)

          Church and State is kind of out of the way, and unless you are really set on Bistro food, I wouldn't choose it.

          1. Pete's Cafe is good. I went there for the first time recently. Good food....nice, neighborhood kind of feel. There's a bar and a dining room.

            1. If you're worried about getting a seat, Lazy Ox and Church and State are likely out. Drago at the bar is good, and there is a bar menu with small plates. A relative sure thing is Water Grill. There is bar seating and there are bar tables.

              1. I would do bar at Water Grill, particularly if people like oysters and such.