Downtown, mellow, good atmosphere and good food?
I have old friends coming in town for only a few hours on Thurs night. I'm picking them up downtown and want to take them somewhere nearby for dinner and drinks.
They are hippyish and won't be into something stuffy or too fancy, but would love a place with cool atmosphere. Think The Edison without the scene.
i would go w/ Wood Spoon and Varnish based on your description
107 W 9th St, Los Angeles, CA 90015
In addition to the Lazy Ox, the Gorbals is great and pretty low key (open late, too).
501 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
There's also Wurstkuche, though it's on the loud side for conversation.
800 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
To late for now but next time try The Urth Cafe,
they serve all organic food & coffee & teas
and also have a great patio.