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Oct 18, 2005 01:26 PM

Dinner w/ Good Food and Decor between Pasadena and Westside

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I need to have a dinner on a Tuesday night for 6 for a group that is coming from both Pasadena & the Westside. It's a business dinner with spouses. It shouldn't be casual, but absolute high end is not necessary. Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Latin are already well covered at other times.

Ideally, something downtown would be geographically convenient. Someplace with a moderate tasting menu would be nice ($40-$60) Water Grill would be great, but 2 members don't eat seafood. Cicada and Zucca for Italian would work, but I get mixed reviews for the food.

If I were on the Westside, restaurants I would pick would be Valentino's, Drago's, Joe's and Josie's.

The restaurants in Hollywood, West Howllywood and Beverly HIlls seem a little difficult travel time from the freeway since everyone will be traveling toward the end of rush hour.

Comments and suggestions?

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  1. How about Maison Akira in Pasadena? Or maybe Xiamora?

    2 Replies
    1. re: ipse dixit

      How about Hollywood? I think Vert by Wolfgang Puck is a nice place with a varied menu, nice decor & medium prices in the Hollywood and Highland Center. I'm sure others here have other Hollywood suggestions too.

    2. Well, there is a newly-opened branch of Roy's Hawaiian smack-dab in Downtown L.A. (8th & Fig).

      It must have opened sometime in the past two weeks. The last time I went by, they were still putting the finishing touches on the interior. I have dined at Roy's on the Big Island and at the Inn at Spanish Bay. Both were quite nice. I think they might have some sort of tasting menu.

      If Hawaiian fusion is acceptable (there are things other than seafood), this might be a good option.

      800 S. Figueroa
      (213) 488-4994


      2 Replies
      1. re: Jack Flash

        Roy's isn't a bad call at all. they have a $35 prix fixe, too.

        1. re: Jack Flash

          Great idea!

          I've got reservations. They opened last Tuesday. The tasting menue is not ready yet, but they have a $35/person prix fixe menu.


        2. For what you are looking for, I really think Cicada is your best bet. I've had nothing but wonderful meals there, and it seems to be everything you are looking for (location and ambiance).

          2 Replies
          1. re: The Oracle

            We ended up switching from the new Roy's to Cicada.

            Great decor, great service, great food, but very empty on a Tuesday evening. There were maybe 6 groups of diners that evening. We started at 7:15 pm and were the last to be seated.

            People liked in particular: Specials(warm duck salad, macadamia crusted halibut), veal chop, crab pasta, lobster pasta.

            Good recommendation, and would return, but in a more lively time slot.

            1. re: altstarr

              Glad it worked out. Personally I like a quiet room, as long as it's not empty But if you want to return when it's lively, definitely go on a Sunday night... live retro (20s-40s) music and dancing.

          2. For whatever it's worth after the fact......Palate in Glendale is probably one of the best restaurants in So Cal right now. Created by the former chef and wine director from Patina, it's a mind blower. On Brand Bl in an old wine storage facility, they have a wine bar in the back and small restaurant in the front. They are super foodies and wine freaks...homemade butter everyday: you get the picture. Must go for your next biz dinner!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Senzinina

              I agree on all counts, except for the fact that it's not between Pasadena and the Westside. The folks in Pasadena would have no trouble getting there, but Glendale is a pain for folks on the westside. If only they'd open a location in Santa Monica...