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Where to take friend visiting from NYC?

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One of my oldest friends is visiting this weekend from NYC. I want to go out to dinner on Friday night in Beverly Hills/West Hollywood or Santa Monica. We both like all kinds of food, don't mind spending money for a great meal (we care less about the scene) but I'm pregnant so no sushi.

What would you recommend? I don't get out much either (having kids kind of slowed down our eating out :)) so I am having a hard time deciding.

Thanks!

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  1. I always think taking out-of-town guests to the ocean is a nice California experience. Not really up to speed, though, on the best places at the beach.
    I think a couple of the hotels have good restaurants with lovely views. Maybe someone else can fill in the blanks.
    If you stick to Beverly HIlls....Spago is always a nice Southern Cal experience.
    And, as always, Providence for the food. I also read really good things about Playa, Jonathon Sedlar's new place. I really like Rivera, and the food is always creative and tasty!

    1 Reply
    1. re: perk

      Speaking of the beach, Malibu is a great place to take guests. Geoffry's Malibu is a really nice restaurant, views are just as good as the food.
      For cheaper eats, you can hit up Neptune's Net. Its kind of a drive but its worth it.

    2. My go to place for East Coast guests is Cafe del Rey in Marina del Rey. It's very California. Great food, good service and and nice views of the marina and the boats. I've never been disappointed. And reasonably priced for what you get.

      1. The Lobster has amazing views of the Santa Monica pier and is best around sunset. Gjilna's on Abbot Kinney is a hidden gem. You must make a reservation a week in advance though. Blue Plate Oysterette and The Ivy on Ocean are also amazing. Good Luck!

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        Blue Plate
        1415 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403

        Good Luck Bar
        1514 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

        1. I'd highly recommend to go to 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. But the best way to see all of LA is to buy some sightseeing tour like this one http://www.extranomical.com/tours/los...

          1 Reply
          1. re: donaldig

            I have to tell you as a NYer who has lived in LA for nearly 20 years, Id cry or threaten to "moida" someone if i was taken to the 3rd St Promenade...I dont go there and i live here! I 2nd Cafe Del Rey...maybe Gjelina in Venice...

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

          2. not exactly what you asked for, but:

            here are a couple of places i'd AVOID for a New Yorker:

            Italien or Pizza places. this type of restaurant is nyc's strong suit.
            Blue Oysterette. same story.
            why pay more for the same kind of food they can get every day better and cheaper at home