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Former Angeleno returning for a weekend visit - anything new/amazing I shouldn't miss?

j
jba6478 Sep 30, 2010 08:09 AM

Hi Chowhounders...

I lived in LA for 8 years but moved back east to Miami a year and a half ago. Since I often miss my old stomping grounds, I return every few months to visit old friends, old favorite spots, and eat and drink the LA way. I stay up on the LA foodie scene via Chowhound, LA Weekly, LA Mag, etc so as to find out what to check out whenever I go back. I will be back in town October 7-11 for just such a weekend o'fun. Can I get some recommendations for anything that is new/notable that I may not know about being all the way down here in South Florida? Looking for the following - but any suggestions would be welcome:

-One super foodie amazing dinner for group of 4 on Saturday night...any kind of food will do, but group really loves Californian/new American/local/fresh...not outrageously pricey but doesn't have to be on the cheap either...just looking for something 'wow' that would not have been around when I lived there 2 years ago.
-Fun/tasty new lunch spots
-Best new brunch/breakfast ideas for the weekend mornings
-Any new bar/food spots...gastropub or small plates kind of spots
-best new snacks? food truck spots maybe or must-have dessert

I'm staying in my old 'hood (Fairfax/Melrose) with friends but will have a car and willing to drive pretty much anywhere around town for this little adventure in new awesome eats. I know I'm asking for a lot of info, but I'm sort of type-A that way and want to have all the goods so we come armed and can make the most out of our weekend visit back 'home'.

Thanks!!

  1. Servorg Sep 30, 2010 08:34 AM

    Staying in Fairfax/Melrose area and looking for something with a WOW factor? Your best choice is Animal without doubt. Read the following review and then see if you can resist the chance to dine here while you're in town: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/620960

    Wherever you end up please do follow up with a post dining action report back here.

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    Animal
    435 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

    1. c
      carter Sep 30, 2010 08:35 AM

      While Spendy, you should try Bazaar at the SLS Hotel on La Cienega, near Burton Way.

      1. y
        yogachik Sep 30, 2010 08:39 AM

        For gastropub, go to the Yard in Santa Monica (see Jonathan Gold recent review).
        Food trucks cluster in Miracle Mile and on Olympic at Centinela - look for Ludo Chicken or Grilled Cheese or Greasy Weiner.
        Get ice cream at Sweet Rose on 26th Street (Country Mart) - amazing.

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        Centinela Cafe
        4800 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066

        1. m
          mikester Sep 30, 2010 09:00 AM

          I would suggest Pizzeria Mozza for lunch.

          Also, check out the amazing food truck scene, particularly the grilled cheese truck, frysmith, and of course the kogi truck(s).

          I second the rec for Animal -incredibly good !

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          Pizzeria Mozza
          641 N. Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036

          1. j
            jba6478 Sep 30, 2010 04:05 PM

            Thanks for all the replies everyone! I will definitely check out where the food trucks live and see if they live up to the hype.
            I actually have been back to LA a few times this year...so I've been to Bazaar already. And Animal is around the corner from my old house and was around when I lived there, spent many a Friday night enjoying their fried Quail magic! Same goes for Pizzeria Mozza and Mozza. I was looking more for tips on new, new places. Like spots that have opened since Spring and are the buzzed about, can't miss new plates in town. I've read about spots like Eva, Tavern, Westside Tavern, Bouchon, First & Hope, etc. Still can't make a decision on the one pricier dinner we want to have on the Saturday night. So any more recommendations along those lines would be fantastic.

            Thanks again!!
            J

            6 Replies
            1. re: jba6478
              Servorg Sep 30, 2010 04:12 PM

              Then maybe something like Salt Cure (if it's open yet?) or Test Kitchen http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7291... in Venice might be of interest.

              1. re: Servorg
                mollyomormon Sep 30, 2010 09:49 PM

                I think you probably mean Tasting Kitchen in Venice, although it might be worth checking out who is cooking at Test Kitchen while you're in town. Salt Cure is open for brunch on the weekends and lunch during the week and should be open for dinner soon if they aren't already. I loved the brunch I had there on opening day. I also really love the Mercantile for brunch and that should be new to you. Next to the Mercantile is District, which might be a good choice for your nicer dinner. Second yogachick's rec for the amazing ice cream at Sweet Rose Creamery.

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                Sweet Rose Creamery
                225 26th St #51, Los Angeles, CA 90049

              2. re: jba6478
                aching Sep 30, 2010 04:14 PM

                I recommend Gjelina for your foodie dinner - or Lazy Ox Canteen - but I like Gjelina just a hair more.

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                Gjelina
                1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, USA

                Lazy Ox Canteen
                241 S San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                1. re: aching
                  wienermobile Sep 30, 2010 04:16 PM

                  I agree that Gjelina is great but if you want to go make a reservation fast.
                  http://gjelina.com/

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                  Gjelina
                  1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, USA

                2. re: jba6478
                  Porthos Sep 30, 2010 04:44 PM

                  I highly recommend Bistro LQ for your foodie dinner. It's more exciting, tasty, and probably even better priced than Tavern, Bouchon, or Lazy Ox.

                  The creativity and level of cooking at Bistro LQ is extraordinary and it boggles the mind that it's not more talked about. You can also make it your pricier dinner and go with the tasting menu at BLQ.

                  http://www.kevineats.com/2010/06/bistro-lq-los-angeles-ca.html

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7375...

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                  Bistro LQ
                  8009 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                  1. re: Porthos
                    c
                    carter Sep 30, 2010 05:43 PM

                    Porthos has the answer - while Bistro LQ was here when you were here before, but if you have not eaten here, you should really try it.
                    It is realllllly good.
                    And if you have a special bottle of wine you want to bring for that Saturday dinner, do so.
                    If not, then buy one and pay the corkage.
                    But the food is sensational.

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                    Bistro LQ
                    8009 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                3. j
                  jba6478 Sep 30, 2010 04:08 PM

                  ALSO - meant to say in my last reply that I have a car so can go anywhere for deliciousness...does NOT have to be limited to fairfax/melrose or even hollywood...beaches, silver lake, brentwood, bev hills - open to going anywhere.

                  thanks!

                  1. wienermobile Sep 30, 2010 04:10 PM

                    You will be here during DineLA week. Lots of amazing meals and deals to chose from. Here is the link with all the special menus. I'm going to Spago. Enjoy!
                    http://discoverlosangeles.com/restaur...

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                    Spago
                    176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

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