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European foodie in LA

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I will be staying at the Westin on So Figueroa for a week in July and would like to find Japanese, Mexican, seafood, American restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. I am not particuarly interested in Italian or French cuisine but rather food that is not readily available to me in the Netherlands. I find the geography of the LA posts somewhat confusing so I apologize if this question has been asked and responded to in earlier posts. POY

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  1. Hi POY,

    Welcome to L.A. :) It's not quite walking distance (but very close if you wanted to take a taxi):

    * Rivera - Very good Modern Latin cuisine; outstanding Farmer's Market fresh Cocktails.

    As for great Japanese restaurants within talking distance of your hotel? There's nothing I can recommend. If you're willing to take a taxi, let us know, and we can add some recommendations.

    Enjoy~

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    Rivera Restaurant
    1050 S. Flower Street, #102, Los Angeles, CA 90015

    1 Reply
    1. re: exilekiss

      "If you're willing to take a taxi, let us know, and we can add some recommendations."

      ____________________________________________________

      Or the downtown DASH. http://www.ladottransit.com/dash/

      So, with that in mind, I'll let exilekiss recommend away! :-)

    2. Well, if you are staying at the Bonaventure and are set on walking, you are missing out on a huge slice of the LA dining scene. The one thing not to be missed downtown is a French Dip sandwich. Two places in LA claim to have originated it: Cole's Pacific Electric Buffet (closer to the hotel) and Phillipe (my choice, take the suway to Union Station then walk from there). Both have been serving it for about 100 years. I also like Ciudad, especially for happy hour, and it is a very easy walk. My favorite bar is the rooftop bar at the Standard, again as easy walk. It gets crowded and too hip, but I love being on the roof around sunset and watching the skyline transition from day to night.

      It may not get a lot of love, but I also like Roy's Hawaiian. He diluted the heck out of his brand by opening up so many spots, but I think the food is good and the prixe fix dinner is a good bargain. Patina is also a good call, an easy walk and a very pretty spot next to the Central Library, but I have not been in quite a while. You should walk over to LA Live, especially on a night when the Lakers have a home game. It is fun to check out the crowd. There are tons of chains there - mid to upscale - so don't expect great food. My pregame spot now is Lucky Strike. The have good happy hour specials and I like the sliders.

      Definitely do a search on the site for Little Tokyo and Chinatown recommendations. Both are long walks/short cab rides from your hotel. Phillipe's is on the edge of Chinatown, so the subway can get you there as well. If you have a car, I recommend venturing beyond walking distance. You can also take the subway out to Pasadena. I used to work in LA and walked around a lot after dark, and the area is very different at night. I have never had a problem, but be aware of where you are, and walking to some of the further spots might put you in a very bad area heading back after dinner.

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      Ciudad
      445 S Figueroa St Ste 100, Los Angeles, CA 90071

      4 Replies
      1. re: ocshooter

        Okay, a taxi it will be. I like to walk to my restaurant but I think LA is spread out enough that walking does not appear to be a reasonable option for a week's worth of food. Your suggestions for restaurants within striking distance are welcome.

        1. re: ocshooter

          I second the recommendation for Roy's. The misoyaki butterfish is fantastic, and the food has Asian influences. In my experience, the Roy's branch in downtown LA is one of the best and most consistent. Water Grill is the other excellent seafood restaurant downtown. It is very expensive, but the fish and shellfish is top quality.

          If you want to try some regional Mexican, consider going to Guelaguetza for Oaxacan food and try the mole sampler -- chicken with several different types of complex mole sauces -- or my favorite, the pork tamales with mole negro or coloradito. Guelaguetza is at Normandie and Olympic. You can either take a cab (about $10) or walk to Olympic and take the bus east about 2 miles. The food is generally in the $10-$15 range per entree. (Rivera is supposed to be very good, so you might try that as well to get a sense of very high-end and expensive Mexican.)

          I also agree that you should check out the Little Tokyo and Chinatown recommendations. Better Chinese can be found in the San Gabriel Valley (cab ride) and I find the better sushi is on the westside or San Fernando Valley, but what you have near downtown is still probably better than what you can get in the Netherlands.

          Also, while it is a chain and I will probably get some criticism, you might want to try California Pizza Kitchen for "California-style" pizzas. They won't resemble Italian pizzas very much, especially if you try BBQ chicken or Thai chicken. It just is a very California place. My European friends always enjoy going there.

          1. re: Jwsel

            must respectfully disagree with the recommendation of california pizza kitchen.
            imho, not a place to eat food.

        2. Look up La Serenata di Garibaldi...wonderful Mexican Seafood - doubt there's anything like it in Holland, or Europe for that matter. Well worth the cab fare.

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          La Serenata
          10924 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

          1. The Ciudad rec is a good one. It's a pan-Latin place with good drinks. Water Grill has the best seafood downtown. I think it's walkable. Engine Co. No. 28 is sort of a good all purpose American restaurant not too far away.

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            Water Grill
            544 South Grand, Los Angeles, CA 90071

            Ciudad
            445 S Figueroa St Ste 100, Los Angeles, CA 90071

            8 Replies
            1. re: mc michael

              I was underwhelmed by Engine Co. No. 28 when I ate there and have not been to Water Grill is ages, but when I went, it was amazing. Expensive, but amazing.

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              Water Grill
              544 South Grand, Los Angeles, CA 90071

              1. re: mc michael

                For American, you're better off going to Pacific Dining Car. www.pacificdiningcar.com.

                Engine Co. No. 28 is like Bob's Big Boy, without Bob's.

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                Pacific Dining Car
                1310 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90017

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  I've had good crab cakes at Engine Co. And good ahi. And it's close to where OP is, but yes PDC is better. But it's a cab ride. And more expensive.
                  An interesting question is whether OP is better getting a steak at Prime in the Westin (where I have not dined) or trekking to PDC for one.
                  Bob's indeed. Let's not go there.

                  1. re: mc michael

                    Steak at Nic and Stef's or at La Bistecca, or if he wants to trek out to the Palm that's an option as well.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      I would go to Morton's over any of those steak places. I especially find Nic & Stef's underwhelming.

                      1. re: Jwsel

                        IIRC, Nic N Stef's has a good steak salad.

                  2. re: ipsedixit

                    Another option for American Bistro/Pub food is the Daily Grill. Yes, it is a chain, but I like the chicken pot pie there and they were the one of the first places Downtown to open up based on the condo crowd, and not relying on lunches and the Music Center or Staples.

                    1. re: ocshooter

                      If you want really good chicken pot pie, do NOT go to Daily Grill. Go immediately to Wood Spoon which is conveniently located downtown.

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                      Wood Spoon
                      107 W 9th St, Los Angeles, CA 90015

                2. For Japanese within walking distance from Westin Bonaventure at 4th & Figueroa I recommend Chaya Downtown. The restaurant is technically fusion but if you sit at the sushi bar you can ask the itamae to serve you traditional omakase. Fantastic chow!

                  Chaya Downtown
                  525 South Flower Street
                  Los Angeles, CA 90071
                  (213) 236-9577
                  http://www.thechaya.com/downtownlosan...

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                  Chaya Downtown
                  525 S. Flower Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071