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Jul 9, 2010 09:29 AM

Downtown solo dining options...

I have to take my daughter downtown twice a week, from around 5-8, so I need to find a decent restaurant and time to kill...have tried many places, and am open to new suggestions.

Places I've tried:

Nick & Stef - tried happy hour menu - not bad, but nothing to write home about...airport marriott like ambiance
Drago Central - bar menu was terrible, regular menu nice, but a little pricey.
Philippes - Always good, but have been going for 20 years.
CPK - Fine for chain.
Bottega Louie - Food not so good, though I like ambiance.
Sushi Gen - Very solid sushi, but a little pricey at dinner...also, little things like 2.50 for parking and 1.50 for extra ginger bug me.
Sushi Komasa - tried last couple weeks for first time - very respectable dinner combos at excellent prices...terrific miso soup and tempura...validated parking!
Church & State - was not impressed, and this was before WM left...also, don't want to spend $50 for dinner on a regular basis.
Lazy Ox - overrated. Barebones decor, pricey for what it is. Flavors and presentation were not my cup of tea.
Sushi Go 55 - terrific $10 sushi dinner, have not tried a la carte.
Daikokuya - don't like waiting in line, no parking...good on a rainy day, tho.

Any other suggestions would be terrific - I'm going to try the two Shabu Shabu places (not a big fan of it, but will try once more)...


327 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Sushi Go 55
333 S Alameda St Ste 317, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Drago Restaurant
2628 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90403

Church & State
1850 Industrial Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021

Bottega Louie
700 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90017

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  1. On Thur and Fri, Starry Kitchen is open for dinner.

    Chaya is always good for some of the better eats during happy hour.

    Nickel Diner is open as well, and a nice slice of peanut butter potato chip cake will easily hold you over for a couple of hours.

    525 S Flower St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

    Starry Kitchen
    350 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit

      "Nickel Diner is open as well, and a nice slice of peanut butter potato chip cake..." (actually a cupcake) "...will easily hold you over for a couple of hours."

      Chased down by a bacon - here is the entire "Rogue's Dessert Gallery" in photos at the ND (just to further whet appetites here on CH - because that's our mission)...

    2. Have you tried Gorbals? It works well for solo diners for several reasons:

      1) 'Kitchen bar' seating (as well as regular bar, long table, small table options) for chatting with chefs and fellow diners; your time slot should be a bit more conducive to conversation than the later, louder crowd

      2) Good selection of small plates at fairly reasonable prices (their famed bacon-wrapped matzoh balls plate was actually the only thing I tried that wasn't great, but it was only $5 so no big regrets)

      3) Intriguing selection of wines by the glass

      The menu changes daily, but last night they had a bone marrow/salad/toast plate that was - dare I say it? - the best I've had since St. John's.

      The Gorbals
      501 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bradbury

        BACON WRAPPED MATZOH BALLS!!!!!!!!! OY VEYl What's this world coming to??????

      2. Maybe go on up to the 24th floor of the RC and eat in the lounge at WP 24 and ogle the view?

        900 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

        1. i was going to suggest sushi go 55 but i see you already enjoyed it. i like mr. ramen on first- a few stores down from daikokuya. it's really mellow inside, they always play the mamas and the papas when i'm in there, and they have vegetarian ramen which is what i always get. also, what about haru ulala on second, spitz on second, also, the redwood bar has good food i'm told, as well as pitfire pizza though i've never tried them, i plan to at some point - both on second.

          1. McCormick & Schmick's has a good happy hour, they're in the US Bank tower.

            There is a new'ish (probably opened 18 months ago) Mexican restaurant in California Plaza (the two large mirrored towers on Grand Ave.) next to the fountain between the two towers - I honestly can't remember the name of it, but it looks like a place worth trying.

            Finally, Mandarin West in the Bonaventure Hotel is a pretty good take on Chinese food (that is, if you can't make it over to Chinatown). There's also a pretty good Chinese place on the second level of the atrium between the Wells Fargo and KPMG towers - I believe its called Taipei.

            Mandarin West
            404 S Figueroa St Ste 605, Los Angeles, CA 90071

            McCormick & Schmick's
            2101 Rosecrans Ave, El Segundo, CA 90245

            1 Reply
            1. re: HastaLaPasta

              The Mexican restaurant is called Casa and the food is good there.