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In need of LA help from Chowhounders! 2 nights!!!!

Thank you in advance!
I will be in LA for 2 nights, and in Anaheim for 1 (less important). I am stressed to make sure we go for a nice meal for our anniversary (Im a private chef in Montreal, so a night out for a good meal is rare and exciting for me!!)

My husband & I will be celebrating our wedding anniversary one night, and eating with another couple the next. I NEED some suggestions for mexican to eat with friends. I dont want to hit a taco truck, but dine in somewhere with fresh mexican food. Not a fancy place, just delicious and fresh with choice! Please.

My list for the other night, for the two of us. we are staying in Santa Monica- but will have a car. Japanese, or other ideas?

so far I have:
Izaka-ya
Musha
Animal
Mozza

Where else?

Many thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Musha
424 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

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  1. Welcome. For Japanese, I cannot recommend Kiriko in West L.A. (Sawtell & Olympic) highly enough.

    For Mexican, try Loteria Grill. The one on Hollywood is an actual sit-down restaurant with full bar. Very good and somewhat unusual food.

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

    Loteria Grill
    6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036

    1 Reply
    1. re: Lambster

      I've only been to the the Loteria Grill at the Farmer's Market (and only once about 5-10 yrs ago), but was totally unimpressed w/ the food (which I found fairly flavorless). Maybe the restaurant is better?

      I like La Cevicheria (which is on a *VERY* desolate and rundown strip of Pico in Mid-City). Wonderful cooked dishes (in addition to the ceviche), and the owner is extremely gracious. Was sort of shocked to see a line of people waiting for a table (the place is admittedly tiny) last time I went there several months ago.

      Closer to the westside, I like Monte Alban or Juquila for Oaxacan (although I wouldn't consider either place "fresh"-tasting). I thought Tlapazola was fine (nice ambiance) and perhaps "fresher"-tasting, but the flavors weren't as strong.

      Agree that Melisse would be lovely for an anniversary. Went there once for the Thanksgiving menu and was very tempted to lick the plate clean (and I'm not normally a fan of turkey....).

      Also enjoyed La Botte in Santa Monica (that might be preferable to Mozza simply b/c it's closer to you; I enjoyed both places immensely and thought that La Botte was a little less "formal" than Osteria Mozza).

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      Juquila
      11619 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

      Monte Alban
      11927 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

      Loteria Grill
      6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036

      La Cevicheria
      3809 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019

      Osteria Mozza
      6602 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

      1. for the Mexican night with the other couple, i have two suggestions:
        La Serenata restaurant on 4th in Santa Monica (i usuallty go to one of their other locations, but i never recommend driving more in LA than one absolutely has to)
        http://www.laserenataonline.com/index...

        or
        for oaxacan fusion food TLAPAZOLA , which is located in venice not too far from santa monica and they have a parking lot.

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        La Serenata
        1416 4th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401

        1. second Kiriko. also, for mexican if you don't mind the drive, Cacao in Eagle Rock is amazing! i'm addicted to the red salsa.

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

          1. do you have a $ limitation for your wedding anny dinner? if not, i would say Melisse in Santa Monica area.
            or Hatfields (table next to the kitchen) in the Hollywood vicinity.

            Both offer excellent meals with a good atmosphere.