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Hey La hounds, help a philly gal out!!

I am traveling to LA with my mother for a very brief stay to attend a family event. We will have a Friday free to have some fun. We should arrive at LAX at 1030 am on Friday. I am thinking that we could go have lunch somewhere good to great and then have an adventure, maybe visiting the Getty art museum or maybe going to the beach or taking a walk somewhere interesting. I have been to LA only once and it was about 30 years ago.
One thought I had was a sushi lunch after leaving the airport. I saw some good things said about Mori and if I am not too directionally challenged it looks like we could go to Mori and then go on to the Getty or to the beach after that before we go to our hotel in Burbank.
I would love some suggestions for lunch and any practical advice that you folks have to offer. I am not set on sushi, but I have heard that LA is a sushi mecca. I would definitely consider other cuisines for lunch. We may also be looking for a dinner spot for Friday and probably Saturday am coffee light breakfast.

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  1. Why don't you just go straight to the Getty and have lunch there at their nice restaurant with a good view, look at the art, the gardens, etc.?

    1. Depends on what you're looking for, good food or good atmosphere, finding both is hard, if you are looking for a great beach type atmosphere with reasonable food I would suggest Bob Morris' Beach Cafe in Malibu at Paradise Cove. Weather permetting you can sit outside in the sand under an umbrfella or inside, lots of pictures of movie stars who ate there over the years and the beach is beautiful, it is where they filmed the old Rockford Files with Jim Garner.

      1. Second the Getty suggestion--parking is expensive and the grounds are beautiful and traffic can be exhausting (especially after flying in and then starting your adventure). However, if you are looking for more variety, think about stopping somewhere in Santa Monica or Brentwood on your way to the Getty.

        For a light breakfast, think about Porto's in Burbank. If you want to have sushi for dinner, aim towards Studio City or Hollywood to shorten your drive time.

        11 Replies
        1. re: coffeebrownies

          Thanks. I am unsure about going to the Getty. The only day we have free is the one where we fly in. I am thinking about perhaps going for the great lunch and then go somewhere for a walk and then to the hotel. The Getty I have been told is an all day commitment.
          A friend of mine recommended walking on the beach in Santa Monica. Maybe we will eat lunch and then head there. I understand that it takes a long time to get everywhere in LA, so maybe we should look for lunch in Santa Monica, but we will be on vacation and in no rush so I am thinking that as long as I am not going out of my way, we could go for lunch somewhere else and then head for a walk.

          1. re: thehungrything

            The Getty is actually very easy to do and even if you just take the tram up and visit the gardens and have lunch it's worth the trip. It's $15 to park and admission is free and the food in the center's restaurants is very good.
            http://www.getty.edu/visit/see_do/eat...

            1. re: thehungrything

              Another excellent sushi choice (including a lot of interesting cooked dishes that won't be found at Mori) is Kiriko. It opens at noon and the timing ought to be pretty good for you (and if you have to poke around a little before they open you can wander down Sawtelle and scope out "Little Osaka" - visit Nijiya market or see if the Japanese "Sort of 99 Cent" store - Happy Six is open in the little mini mall just north of Kiriko).

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              Kiriko
              11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90064

              Nijiya Market
              2130 Sawtelle Blvd 105, Los Angeles, CA 90025

              1. re: thehungrything

                The Getty Center is not an all-day thing. You could easily do it in 3-4 hours.

                Here's what I suggest. Grab something to go, from either Father's Office (burgers), Bay Cities or Huckleberry, and take it with you to the Getty. Stroll the grounds and exhibits (there's a great photography exhibit on display right now), then set up a picnic on the lawn/garden area and take in the LA view.

                You definitely don't walk to take a walk at the beach ... a bit too cold - at least for most LA natives, but you're probably much hardier coming from Philly ... so who knows.

                Enjoy your stay.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Sorry no lunch at Father's Office except weekends.
                  http://www.fathersoffice.com/

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                  Father's Office Bar
                  1618 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA

                  1. re: wienermobile

                    The LA location opens at noon on Fridays.

                  2. re: ipsedixit

                    For people from Philly, even 40 degree is considered warm. :)

                    1. re: fdb

                      For people from Philly, even 40 degree is considered warm. :)

                      _______________

                      Only if by 40 degrees you are talking about air temp, and not water temp, right? :-)

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        I checked your weather, guys and 65-70 seems nice enough for a beach walk. 40 degrees would also be fine if the wind wasnt too bad.

                        1. re: thehungrything

                          The sad truth is that even when it is a beach day inland, it is rarely a beach day at the beach. Check out today's LA TImes editorial cartoons online for a very accurate assessment of how we think about the weather.

                  3. re: thehungrything

                    Traffic isn't bad until rush hour--and then it is maddening. I agree with others--the Getty is awesome, and you don't need to commit a whole day--the best part is walking around outside in the gardens and enjoying the specatular view of Los Angeles to the east, and the ocean to the west. The food is very good, and if you do your touristing and eating there you will have a more relaxing afternoon than trying to cram in a couple of destinations. But--either make sure that you leave the area by 3:30 or so, so you don't get stuck in traffic, or commit to staying on the westside until at least 7 pm. You might want to choose a dinner location on the westside rather than in the Valley. And whatever you do, avoid all freeways out of the westside between 5 and 7.

                2. Another place you might really like for lunch is LA's Original Farmers Market on 3rd and Fairfax. It's open everyday and is truly a taste of LA with all it's food stalls with everything from tacos to gumbo to fresh produce. Great for people watching.
                  http://www.farmersmarketla.com/

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                  Farmers Market
                  6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                  1. typically after a cross country flight, i'm pretty hungry. i'd probably go to mariscos chente on inglewood for their pescado zarandeado. you could then go to the getty and spend the entire day. that night, i'd make reservations for kiriko and go with servorg's recommendation. it's very good sushi and it's easy to get to from the getty. it'll only take you like 10 minutes depending on traffic. as for a light breakfast, in the area, i'd go to huckleberry. great baked items.

                    1. The OP mentioned a desire to try Mori. Since there's been some talk about Mori-san moving on, it may be the right time to put this on the priority list...

                      1. Welcome to LA. I like your plan and it's very doable--lunch at Mori and then the Getty Center. Getty is my favorite place to take out-of-town guests. Beautiful architecture and killer view from the ocean to the mountains. I would allow about two hours to stroll in the garden and meander through its different exhibit halls.

                        I'm not all that familiar with Burbank but if you somehow skipped Mori, you may want to try another sushi place, Asanebo in Studio City for very good omakase for Friday dinner.

                        Aroma Cafe in Toluca Lake is a wonderful place for breakfast. Beautiful garden in the back but it's a very popular neighborhood spot so get there early to avoid long lines.

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                        Asanebo
                        11941 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

                        Getty Center
                        1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90049

                        1. Asenabo looks great, but I am wondering about timing of driving related to rush hour. If we have lunch away from the Museum, and then go to the museum we are likely to be leaving the museum in rush hour, so the suggestions for dinner in Santa Monica are probably the best.
                          I am thinking about lunch at Rivera straight from the airport, then on to the museum then dinner at Mori, hopefully omakase at the sushi bar as is recommended on the threads about this place. Or dinner at Kiriko. I do like cooked dishes as well as sushi, so that sounds really good, as does Asenabo for the same reason.
                          I do have to consider the lunch at the museum option as well to simplify things.
                          But I am a crazy foodie at heart so I may go for it as long as my mom holds up with the schedule.

                          -----
                          Kiriko
                          11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: thehungrything

                            Rivera is in downtown so it's actually out of the way! You are better off staying on the westside. I would do lunch at Mori or Kiriko. Plan to finish lunch at around 1:30pm then you'll have plenty of time to spend at the Getty. I would try to leave the Getty before 4:30 pm, and head down to Santa Monica Pier. The view of the coastline is very pretty from the tip of the Pier. You could stop for a drink or even dinner at The Lobster right at the entrance to the Pier. Then if you are so inclined, visit the new Santa Monica Place or stroll on the Third Street Promenade before heading back to Burbank. Ruku in Santa Monica is a very good izakaya so that's a nice option for dinner (be sure to make reservation). I live on the westside and often drive to the Valley so I suggest you stay on the westside till traffic eases up after 7 pm. LA is huge but you'll be surprise how much you can do in one day.

                            *Note: I mean Musha in Santa Monica for izakaya experience (not Ruku which was a typo for Raku)

                            -----
                            Kiriko
                            11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                            Musha
                            424 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                            1. re: fdb

                              This is why it helps to get advice from you natives. On the map it looks like I could just zip over to downtown LA from the airport and then head to the museum on the Santa Monica freeway. I'm sure there is lots of traffic going from here to there even not in rush hour.

                              1. re: thehungrything

                                Traffic is particularly miserable on Fridays. Other hounds could probably give a better estimate, but my guess is it would take 1.5 hours to get from LAX to downtown, and an hour from downtown to the Getty at the times you'd be driving. Especially if you're not familiar with the various tricks for getting across town, e.g., strategic use of "surface" (non-freeway) routes.

                                1. re: Peripatetic

                                  And if there's any event(s) going on at the Staples Center/Nokia Live, the drive will be miserable. Driving straight from LAX to Burbank would be the most efficient thing to do, but nothing would be accomplished Chow-wise. If a meal at Mori or Kiriko along with a visit to The Getty and/or the beach are on the angenda, I'd head out to Burbank in the evening after the crowds start to settle in. Poster fdb is on to something good...

                                  1. re: bulavinaka

                                    Totally agree. Mori, which you were already interested in, is almost ideally situated for a stopover on the way to the Getty from LAX. Getting to Santa Monica from the Getty is relatively painless, and getting from SM to Burbank after 8pm should be relatively painless too.

                                  2. re: Peripatetic

                                    It would probably take even longer than that for an out-of-towner.

                                    A person who knows and drives the fwys on a daily basis knows little time-savers and shortcuts in/around the fwy on and off ramps that can save precious minutes that all add up to something like 10+ minutes.

                                    Plus, you just drive slower when searching and hunting for exit and street signs.