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HELP! Need suggestions about restaurants at Staple Center DOWNTOWN...

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Wanted to get Chowhounder opinions on the quality of the following restaurants:

1) Rosa Mexicano; and

2) LA Market (inside Ritz-Carlton hotel).

I think the chef at LA Market was the winner on one of "Hell's Kitchen" competitions, right?

Are either of these restaurants worth going to? And if not, please make suggestions of best places to eat in that area. Thanks for your help!

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  1. You might review some of these http://www.chow.com/search?query=stap... many prior threads on dining near Staples and see what you find. As you can imagine this venue/area has been a very popular subject for the LA Chowhound board over the years.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Servorg

      Thanks, Servorg!

    2. Rivera!!!

      4 Replies
      1. re: graphika

        Thanks, graphika. RIVERA got mixed reviews on Yelp (small portions, pricey) so I have stayed away so far.

        1. re: Liquid Sky

          Rivera DOES have relatively small, relatively pricey dishes - but they're good!

          1. re: aching

            yup,. went recently...instead of ordering a main dish, we just ordered a bunch of the small plates. we had a very good meal. if you go the small plates route, probably $30-35 a person without drinks...but then you get to try about 4-5 different small plates.
            and dont use yelp for reviews..use them to find places..then check here for real reviews :)

        2. re: graphika

          I really liked Rivera last year -- went there twice in a week. but then again I was on a business trip using an expense report.

        3. LA Market is excellent. Go!

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          LA Market
          900 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

          3 Replies
          1. re: apple7blue

            apple7blue: Have you been to LA Market recently? What did you get? Thanks!

            1. re: Liquid Sky

              Sorry I missed this earlier, I get the mezze plate, pizzas most often again and again.

            2. re: apple7blue

              I completely agree. We went to LA Market on X-mas eve and had a wonderful experience. The edamame, and tuna dynamite are wonderful as appetizers. Our server was very knowledgeable and patient with us. I highly recommend.

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              LA Market
              900 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

            3. I was majorly underwhelmed by Rosa Mexicano.
              i won't be going back.

              -----
              Rosa Mexicano
              800 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

              3 Replies
              1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                SilverlakeGirl: Too bad. It looked like a good place to eat and get a decent margarita in the area...

                1. re: Liquid Sky

                  it is a good place to get a margarita. Just don't expect anything more than an upmarket El Torrito and you'll be happy.

                  1. re: AAQjr

                    AAQJR: Sounds like a plan!

              2. I really like Wood Spoon a few blocks away, home of a wonderful homemade Brazilian chicken pot pie with hearts of palm, olives & roasted corn and their famous Pork Burger.
                http://www.woodspoonla.com/

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                Wood Spoon
                107 W 9th St, Los Angeles, CA 90015

                2 Replies
                1. re: wienermobile

                  wienermobile: I'm a fan of Wood Spoon also. Love their pork burger, chicken pot pie and their SANGRIA (of course). Some people complain about the size of the pot pie... but it is so dense with food, I was completely stuffed after eating one!

                  1. re: wienermobile

                    Note - quite far from LA Live/Staples center area, if you are looking to park the car only once and go two separate places.

                  2. Believe it or not...Fleming's Steakhouse is the bomb! If you stick to certain menu items...you can't go wrong. I personally recommend the pepper encrusted NY strip with the 3 sauces offered on the side. Absolutely the BEST au gratin potatoes I've ever eaten in this town ANYWHERE!! Has a lovely atmosphere, and I've have had continually great service every time I've gone! I also have to agree that LA Market is outstanding! It's so new, and Gordon Ramsey has such a vast knowledge of really great fresh food, that you try just about anything that appeals to you and you won't be disappointed. So many good places in downtown L.A. these days that it's hard to keep up. If you like Chinese...highly recommend Full House Seafood right across from Chinatown on Hill....open till 3 am. Fantastic lobster cantonese!!

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                    Full House Seafood Restaurant
                    963 N Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                    LA Market
                    900 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: DBoos

                      I love the new El Cholo on Flower...the carne asada, the guacamole made at your table and the homemade tortillas..great. The margarita for $10 is worth the price....and you only need one.

                      Also recommend Wood Spoon...and Katsuya if you want to eat right at LA Live. The Corkbar and Bottle Rock are two other tasty places. For lunch...New Moon on 9th east of Broadway is so good for Chinese.

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                      BottleRock
                      3847 Main St, Culver City, CA 90232

                      1. re: RobertC

                        Thanks Robert....but not a huge fan of El Cholo. Standard fare to me, and actually, the one noteworthy thing that Rosa Mexicano has besides great atmosphere, and an excellent selection of tequillas....IS the tableside guacamole. A margarita at $10 is a good deal especially if they are really big. I'm a fan of both Wood Spoon, Katsuya, and New Moon. Need to try the Corkbar and Bottle Rock. What are they serving up at these two places? I have to have walked by the both at least 6 or o7 times and didn't notice them....unusual for me, but I guess I was already thinking about where I was going to dine instead...had tunnel vision...:-)

                        -----
                        BottleRock
                        3847 Main St, Culver City, CA 90232

                        Wood Spoon
                        107 W 9th St, Los Angeles, CA 90015

                        New Moon
                        112 W 9th St, Los Angeles, CA 90015

                        Rosa Mexicano
                        800 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

                        1. re: DBoos

                          Corkbar is really very good. I like the Mac n' Cheese and the White Bean Puree, while my husband loves the Pulled Pork Bruschetta. Their happy hour is an excellent value, and on Tuesday nights they have "test kitchen" dishes for $2.

                      2. re: DBoos

                        Just in case its unclear--Gordon Ramsay doesn't run LA Market--I think he just had it featured on his show and part of the prizes of the show was some sort of career opportunity at the place. Chef Kerry Simon runs LA Market and I have only seen him once--during all star weekend (NBA).

                        -----
                        LA Market
                        900 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

                      3. Of course any suggestion has to take in to account the person suggesting (in this case, me, who likes really high end - but GOOD - food and has no qualms paying for it)...but I would suggest Rivera over any other spot in the hood. It's beautiful, the food is incredibly well thought out and executed and the bar makes drinks that are second to none. Again, only me, but it's where I would head.
                        OH, and LA Market is in the Marriott. And it's beyond terrible.

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                        LA Market
                        900 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: rachaeln

                          Rachel...to me, food does NOT have to be high end to be good...it just has to be good! Interstingly enough...you are the only one who has slammed LA Market. To each his/her own I guess, but the taste of the food is what matters to me. I've eaten a lot of things in my life that I probably would have been better off not knowing what they were, but still...it it tastes good, THAT is what matters. The rest is psychological....flavor is where it's at! I've lived all over the world, and am kind of the female Anthony Bourdain in some ways...meaning that I've traveled to some pretty remote places and chowed down on some things that I had a hard time pronouncing even when reading it again. I wouldn't bother to suggest over 1/2 these things as they are not anywhere around here to indulge in, but to me...and to most here on Chowhound I believe, is the quest is for find killer flavors...blending together to create the "perfect bite". At least that's why I bother to blog in general...to share my passion and love for great creativity in making that happen. Atmosphere is only germaine if you're in the mood. My stomach has yet to see "lighting or atmosphere"...it just wants what it wants. I know we're on the "Langer's" thread here, but seems to be segueing to other places as well, so I will put this out again. On a quest to see if ANYONE knows anything about Cajun/Creole food, and if so, where I can go to get some. I haven't found anything worth mentioning yet, and I'm about ready to open up my own place on the westside....(sorry....previously mentioned that). Any takers on this? I really want to indulge this craving and can't unless I make something myself. I can do that already...want to go and relax and enjoy someone else's creations if that's possible.

                          -----
                          LA Market
                          900 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

                          1. re: DBoos

                            Thanks to all of you for your extensive comments! I am taking note of everything you said...

                            P.S. Out of the places you mentioned, are any of them KID-FRIENDLY? I have to entertain a 5- and 8-year-old this weekend (with their parents) and was thinking that ROSA MEXICANO would be the most kid-friendly place of the bunch? (Wood Spoon might be too small a place for this outing.) Cheers!

                            1. re: Liquid Sky

                              Hey Sky...thanks so much for the response. If you have children that age it doesn't really matter where you eat....because expose to all types of food hones the palate...BUT, in Los Angeles, people seem to be finicky about "kids" in certain types of restaurants. Having lived in Spain for 5 years...all restaurants are KID FRIENDLY...the restaurants are usually built around a playground or have one attached to it....swear this is true. Unfortunately, the U.S. hasn't embraced this concept except for the obvious fast food places, so it's hard to take kids places without feeling like you have to be hurried because "we" feel uncomfortable....so here are my suggestions for kid friendly based on not outrageously phenomenal food, but a GREAT time and will keep the kids engaged and happy the entire meal. First in Gardens of Tasco in Hollwood on the corner of Santa Monica and Harper. They have a prix fix menu of 5 courses, but you can get just one for the kids to share...plenty enough food for two smaller children. They've been there for 40 years now, and it's just fun. Was there just recently with friends who really enjoyed the whole experience of the music...etc. They also have their own free parking. Now...I'm probably going to get hammered for this next suggestion, but putting it out there anyway. Don't know if you know anything about Moroccon food, but years ago Dar Maghreb on Sunset just past Fairfax had to be one of the best and most fun experiences of my young culinary life. For kids...it's just the bomb! Eating on the floor with your hands???...couldn't get any better than that!! However...it has apparently gone downhill throughout the years, but Koutoubia on Westwood has about the same experience and the food is outstanding!! Love the belly dancing. They also have a prix fixe menu or single dishes to order. Check out all the websites and see what you think. If you need any other suggestions...I will more than happy to help. Have many others, but that depends on how far you are willing to drive to indulge..:-)

                              -----
                              Dar Maghreb
                              7651 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046

                              Koutoubia
                              2116 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

                              1. re: DBoos

                                DBOOS: Thanks! When I think of "kid-friendly", it's more about a place that has a fun, open atmosphere and space. Don't necessarily need a playground. A year ago, I brought everyone to BABY BLUES in Venice. The vibe there is kind of loud and group-oriented. But the food was also good... so the adults were happy too. I thought of Rosa Mexicano because I figured it would have the fun decor and music -- and the food would be good enough to satisfy the adults. So I guess I kind of answered by own question, didn't I? LOL.!

                                -----
                                Rosa Mexicano
                                800 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

                                1. re: Liquid Sky

                                  Your very welcome...and strange to hear that you really liked Baby Blues. Went there about a year for the first and last time. The people were friendly, but having been around southern BBQ, I thought the food was awful. The sauces were hot with NO flavor...just hot. I was very disappointed, and unfortunately, there isn't really any really great BBQ in this town....other than Korean or Asian of some sort....is there???? I mentioned Gloria's Salvadorian restaurant, but maybe on another thread....however, it's atmosphere is conducive to "kids", and their food is amazing....great carne adobada, pupusas, and the supa de siete mare is out of this world...a meal in itself! It's on Venice just east of Motor in Culver City.

                                  1. re: DBoos

                                    I know Baby Blues is not the best if you're looking for REAL SOUTHERN BBQ... but since my standards for Los Angeles BBQ are pretty (ahem) LOW... they were just fine. Plus, I like the vinegar-based sauce they are quite generous with.

                                    Someday I will try the real thing...

                                    1. re: Liquid Sky

                                      The "real" thing is not only ketchup based sauces, but vinegar based as well, just depends on the region of bbq that you are indulging in....however, either one has to be good, and I was really looking forward to going to Baby Blues because I'd heard so much about it. Both my daughter, (who was raised in the south) and I dug in and we were so disappointed that we couldn't eat it. I actually told the waitress that they needed to take that "hot bbq" sauce and lose it forever! It was that bad to both of us. It was just hot, but without flavor. Anyone have any suggestions for BBQ around here that is actually really good? Sorry Sky..my opinion only, but I thought it was awful.

                              2. re: Liquid Sky

                                LA Market seems kid friendly to me--not that they cater to kids just kid friendly

                                -----
                                LA Market
                                900 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

                              3. re: DBoos

                                I agree with your reply to Rachel, DBoos, about taste and the rest being psychological. It's true that LA Market is in the Marriott--its also in the same building as the Ritz, but I don't find it being in the Marriott a big deal. I have an issue with people who break out "the hood" or "da hood" referring to neighborhoods, but I won't elaborate. Maybe the food is beyond terrible to Rachel, but the food I received has been so good I have to state my disagreement.

                                -----
                                LA Market
                                900 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015