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Coming to LA from ITALY need Restaurant Recommendations: Steakhouses,Burgers and SUSHI

Foolini Mar 18, 2011 10:43 AM

Hello to all,

Im traveling for the first time to LA with boyfriend, in two weeks time, I will be in town for 4 days, and then continuing my trip down the Coast, I was interested to know from you which are the best Steak Houses (including Burgers) and most advisable Sushi restaurants in the Area? I will be staying two nights in Santa Monica and the remaining two in Beverly Hills. The price of the restaurant is not an issue

Thanks in advance!

  1. tenxtone76 Apr 28, 2011 02:43 AM

    Now, I'm not sure of your tastes. But here goes.

    In N Out, like everyone else says. But Father's Office and Apple Pan are a must. Too bad they're both on the Westside.

    As you try different sushi joints, I highly suggest getting the chirashi. It's the rice bowl w/ a bunch of different sashimi on top. This is a GREAT way to get a feel for a restaurant, compare and contrast, and find what YOU like. Sushi Gen's a little pricey, service has gone down a bit, but it's not a bad starting place.

    For steak, I highly suggest Taylor's in La Canada if you ever get a shot. More bang for your buck in my opinion. Pinnacle Peak's way over near Glendora will give you more of the American experience you're not gonna get at a bunch of these franchises/chains. Try Lawry's,... not steak I know. And try Wako tonkatsu in Ktown.

    Don't miss out on the Korean, Thai, Mexican, Peruvian, and Viet food. Some of the best in the world.

    -----
    Apple Pan
    10801 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

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

    Pinnacle Peak
    269 W Foothill Blvd, San Dimas, CA 91773

    1. sarahbeths Apr 10, 2011 10:58 AM

      Ciao Foolini! This is very exciting to advise an Italian on where to eat! Well, us chows are very opinionated people and you will get a lot of conflicting opinions. For Burgers, definitely NOT Apple Pan (dry, boring, boo) and I don't like Father's office because they are too sweet and no variety, I LOVE 26 Beach (sort of close to Santa Monica) which has an amazing selection and the most incredible tasting Kobe beef patties. Yum. They also do great elaborate breakfasts, so good for a brunch if some people want hamburgers and some people want pancakes.

      I also like The Counter (LA Chain, the original is in Santa Monica on ocean) which is more casual and has amazing sweet potato fries and wonderful milkshakes.

      For steak, please do NOT go to CUT which, purtroppo, was one of the most disappointing meals I've had in LA on my 30th birthday. I liked Mastros ok not as much as everyone else- my filet mignon was underseasoned. I loved their signature cake dessert though, sooooo good. Fogo di Chao would be fun, it's Brazilian all-you-can-eat steak and quite tasty high-end chain.

      For high end sushi Nobu is good, if you go get their signature miso black cod in addition to your sushi. My favorite sushi is the original Katsu-Ya in Studio City (need car and rez), but the atmosphere is laid-back, not fancy. Sushi Zo (michelin star) is also incredible for nigri sushi only (no rolls, no appetizers, no fusion) but lacking ambiance as it is in a strip mall. Also Sasabune which is near you in Santa Monica.

      I agree that Korean BBQ is a very LA experience and better here than almost any other city in the US.

      Also Mexican food (disgusting in Italy the few times I tried it there) is something LA is good at and worth trying. I like Don Antonio's on the west side (near Santa Monica)-- I know it's not the best or most authentic mexican in LA, it's near me and I enjoy it.

      Please report back! I hope you like Los Angeles a fraction as much as I love Italy!

      -----
      26 Beach
      3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292

      Apple Pan
      10801 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

      Sushi Zo
      9824 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

      Don Antonio's
      11755 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

      Katsu-Ya
      11680 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

      Nobu
      11357 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

      Sasabune
      12400 Wilshire Blvd Ste 150, Los Angeles, CA 90025

      Mastros Restaurant
      2087 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

      4 Replies
      1. re: sarahbeths
        Foolini Apr 25, 2011 09:18 AM

        CIAO

        Thank you all for your delicious recommendations ! I only wish we had more time available to try them all, good excuse to plan the next trip here :)

        Sorry for the late reply.

        So this is my personal review on the restaurants we decided to eat at based on your thoughtful propositions:

        On our first evening after the taunting 12 hour flight we decide to dine at Umami Burger in Santa Monica, all i can say is: AMAZING! I had the truffle tasting burger it was so succulent, probably one of the best burgers I have had in a very long time! The fries and Onion Rings were so crunchy, perfect meal post flight!

        For lunch the next day, we were feeling very jetlagged so decided to head to Hillstone which was only a few blocks away from our hotel, the food did not disappoint, I had the cheese burger, and my partner had the chicken, all perfectly cooked, only glitch were the french fries which unfortunately were super salty and had to ask them to bring me a new basket. It was good for lunch but It will definitely not be on my top list of "coming back" next time type of restaurant.

        In the evening we dined at MORI SUSHI, location wise at first I wasn't so sure about it ( coming from Italy where the road are super tight and only one way, It felt almost as if it was on a high way- but that is me with my narrow road mind) :) once you are inside I understood why its so highly regarded! We had the chef's Omakase, which was DIVINE, it was all SO fresh, and I tried fish that I had never tasted before which was a great experience! I will definetely be returning here.

        The next day we flew to Cabos, where we enjoyed loads of Mexican food...

        On our return, we dined at CUT, one of the best STEAKs I have had in my life, I chose the chefs recommendation of Wagyu Beef, the most mouthwatering steak I have ever tasted, I could eat it for ever and more. My boyfriend had the 28 day New York Sirloin, mine was definetely the star meal! On the side we chose the Tempura Onion Rings (perfectly crunchy on the outside and soft in the inside), the Soft Polenta with Parmesan ( lets just say it was maybe a little too extra soft) and the Creamed Spinach with Organic Fried Egg (PERFECT!)...

        On our Last day we chose to have lunch at PARK BBQ, and I must say what a lovely experience! I really felt like I was in Korea, I loved how the meat was cooked, the wagyu was great! Definitely will try to come back here! and will recommend it to my friends! (We had the Seasoned Prime Beef Short Rib and the Wagyu Style Beef) definite must haves! The staff was very kid too.

        Grazie to all of you for being so kind to reply to my thread and give your personal advice, you really made a difference to our trip and we will definitely try to visit the other ones we did not manage to dine at.

        Hopefully I will be able to help you when you travel to Italy!

        -----
        Umami Burger
        850 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

        1. re: Foolini
          Servorg Apr 25, 2011 09:26 AM

          Great report and your wonderful attitude comes through your writing like a bright ray of sunshine. You are welcome in LA anytime and here on the Chowhound board as well. Thanks for coming back and sharing your findings. That is both a rare and much appreciated character trait.

          1. re: Foolini
            Porthos Apr 25, 2011 10:02 AM

            That is about as perfect a lineup as you can get. You definitely picked the best from each category...except for that too soft american polenta ;). I hope I do as well as you when I'm in Rome next week.

            1. re: Porthos
              mrshankly Apr 25, 2011 03:10 PM

              Glad you had a great experience!! Come back and visit soon!

        2. t
          TravelPath Mar 25, 2011 12:00 PM

          I brought my family from Torino and Ferrara to SoCal last year...most of them for the first time. I took them to Mastros which they loved and still talk about. Fathers Office was disappointing to them (I enjoy it!), but they loved the Apple Pan for its old school feel and burger (as do I!)...as a matter of fact, my family returned to The Apple Pan on the way to the airport to fly back to Italy!

          Mori Sushi and Urasawa are good choices for the area...and I also like Hiko Sushi on National Blvd.

          The one meal my family remembers most fondly was having the tasting menu at The Water Grill in downtown Los Angeles...as we know, most Italians love all things seafood...and this was a winner! On their own, they had brunch at Ocean Avenue Seafood in Santa Monica (the Water Grill's sister restaurant) and raved about the oyster bar and beautiful views of the ocean.

          I know it was not on your wish list, but you must try some of the excellent Mexican (or taco trucks!!) which are not really available in Italy or for that matter in all of Europe. My family in Ferrara took back ten containers of mole paste from Restaurante Guelaguetza and now serves chicken mole at special family dinners...they even had me teach them how to make enchiladas...yes, they now make the best corn tortillas in all of Italy :-)...they have requested that I bring more when I visit this fall!!

          Buon Viaggio!!

          -----
          Water Grill
          544 South Grand, Los Angeles, CA 90071

          Apple Pan
          10801 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

          Urasawa Restaurant
          218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

          Hiko Sushi
          11275 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

          Mori Sushi
          11500 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

          Guelaguetza
          3014 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006

          Ocean Avenue Seafood
          1401 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

          Mori Sushi
          34320 Pacific Coast Hwy Ste B, Dana Point, CA 92629

          Mastros Restaurant
          2087 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

          3 Replies
          1. re: TravelPath
            Foolini Mar 27, 2011 06:57 AM

            Grazie TravelPath,

            Unfortunately since our schedule is quite tight, I will really have to try our best to squeeze in the Ocean Avenue Seafood restaurant, as for tacos, we will be going down to Cabo San Lucas so Im pretty sure we will be having enough there :)

            Thanks for your suggestions!

            -----
            Ocean Avenue Seafood
            1401 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

            1. re: Foolini
              d
              DBoos Mar 27, 2011 03:19 PM

              The burger place we've all talked about...UMAMI?....well that is right there in Santa Monica on 5th and Broadway...right next to Fred Segal's clothing store. It only serves beer and wine, but the menu is the same as the other two, so it will be the most convenient place for you to try that scrumptious burger. I don't, however, think that their "diablo" sauce is nearly as good as the one on Cahuenga in Hollywood, but everything else is the same...for the most part. Same recipes...different chefs, so you know they will differ slightly, but they are amazing. BTW...the meat is cooked to medium rare, so if you want it done more, you need to ask them to cook it to your specifications. Enjoy your visit!

              -----
              Fred Segal
              500 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401

            2. re: TravelPath
              j
              Jwsel Apr 25, 2011 02:36 PM

              Guelaguetza is a great place to take visiting relatives and friends. They've always loved. A few years ago, when the figure skating world championships were at Staples Center, I organized a group lunch at Guelaguetza for about 20 people from all over the world. Everyone loved it, and several of them returned the next day.

              The one thing about Guelaguetza is that, for people whose knowledge of Mexican food is limited to burritos, tacos, enchiladas and fajitas, the menu can be rather scary. I usually go out of the way to suggest the tamales with mole negro and get a clayuda for the table to try.

              -----
              Guelaguetza
              3014 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006

            3. yinyangdi Mar 22, 2011 07:46 PM

              I can wholeheartedly recommend sushi at SHUNJI'S on Melrose (approx ~2 miles east of BH).

              I dined at Shunji's last week and ordered the "house" omakase that included sashimi, vegetables, cooked dishes, nigiri and desert (although I declined desert and had green tea, instead).

              As I do not take notes while eating out (note-to-self: rethink not taking notes at awesome restaurants), one of the standout hot dishes was the agadashi tomato: not only was it a unique take on agadashi tofu, it was absolutely scrumptious and the broth was oh so oishii ! It was so tasty now; I can’t even imagine what it will be like during tomato season. Oh, and another standout was the house-marinated/stewed (?) octopus; so tender and savory. Mmm Mmm.

              I have to say that my dinner at Shunji’s was the BEST Japanese food (both cooked and raw) that I have had in a long while; and I have been *really* liking the Japanese restaurants I've recently been eating at! ;-)

              And, if the delicious food wasn’t enough, the room is beautiful, the staff is hospitable & knowledgeable and the chefs are uber-talented.

              http://www.shunjis.com/

              -----
              Shunji's
              7015 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

              3 Replies
              1. re: yinyangdi
                Servorg Mar 23, 2011 04:45 AM

                Interesting. Asanebo's owner has come to the other side of the hill and opened up down on Melrose. First, have you eaten at Asanebo before, and if so how do you compare this new place to that? And secondly what are the places you've been eating Japanese food lately that you are comparing Shunji' to?

                In any case thanks for posting about this place. I guess they opened up in early January of this year.

                -----
                Asanebo
                11941 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

                Shunji's
                7015 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

                1. re: Servorg
                  d
                  DBoos Mar 23, 2011 05:04 AM

                  Both places sound good...will try them

                  1. re: Servorg
                    yinyangdi Mar 24, 2011 04:30 PM

                    I'm pretty sure Asenabo's owner is Tetsuya Nakao, Shunji's brother.

                    Yes, I have eaten at Asanebo many times thru the years; it has always been excellent. In fact, one of the times I was dining at Asanebo many years ago, Shunji (who I believe was still the chef at The Hump) was there and Tetsuya was feeding him. ;)

                    As for the other places I've been loving the Japanese food: Toranoko, Sushi on La Cienega and Izakaya SaSaYa.

                    -----
                    Asanebo
                    11941 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

                    Sasaya Japanese Restaurant
                    11613 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

                    Shunji's
                    7015 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

                    Sushi on La Cienega
                    359 N La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                2. a
                  albatruffles Mar 21, 2011 12:19 AM

                  CUT is LA's best steakhouse. I've been to Mastro's twice and found it very bland.

                  For burgers, there's is no need to spend $15 on a burger. In-n-Out is the way to experience an LA burger. I would steer clear of the high-end burgers. Umami is my favorite sit-down burger, though.

                  If money is not an issue, try Urasawa. May not be able to get a res within two weeks. I find Zo and Mori to be great options in your area.

                  -----
                  Urasawa Restaurant
                  218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                  Mastros Restaurant
                  2087 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: albatruffles
                    Peripatetic Mar 21, 2011 01:31 AM

                    > For burgers, there's is no need to spend $15 on a burger.
                    > In-n-Out is the way to experience an LA burger.

                    I like In-N-Out and I like gourmet burgers such as those at Father's Office, Umami and 26 Beach. However it's a mistake to say one can be substituteted for the other. In-N-Out is a high quality fast-food burger that can really "hit the spot". Good gourmet burgers are a different class entirely, with more complex flavors and textures. Seriously, try both!

                    1. re: Peripatetic
                      Peripatetic Mar 21, 2011 01:52 AM

                      BTW, my favorite burger at In-N-Out is the Double-Double: "Two 100% pure beef patties, hand-leafed lettuce, tomato, spread, two slices of American cheese, with or without onions, stacked high on a freshly baked bun". I didn't "get" In-N-Out until I tried the Double-Double. The first time I went (in 2006) I had a regular cheese burger and wondered what all the fuss was about. Now I understand a little better.

                      Many people get the Double-Double "Animal Style": cooked in mustard with additional pickles, cheese, spread, and with grilled onions. You won't see this on the menu, you just ask for it. Part of the allure of In-N-Out is the "secret menu": an extensive list of things the staff recognizes that are not listed on the menu along with various code words. For example, I never just order a Double-Double. My usual order is:

                      - Double-Double with extra grilled onions and "extra toast" (crispier bun), no tomato
                      - well-done fries
                      - "Neapolitan" shake (chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry mixed together, resembling an Americanized spumone.)

                      You can read more about the secret menu here and here:

                      - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In-N-Out_Burger_products
                      - http://www.badmouth.net/in-n-outs-sec...

                      Reportedly, the staff will make almost anything you ask for with the raw ingredients available to them.

                      Finally, the one thing that In-N-Out can't seem to get right is french fries. They are usually soggier and less flavorful than McDonald's. I get them well done, but that usually only helps a little.

                      1. re: Peripatetic
                        m
                        mc michael Mar 21, 2011 11:51 AM

                        Yes, even getting the fries Animal Style does not save them.

                      2. re: Peripatetic
                        b
                        Burger Boy Mar 22, 2011 10:05 PM

                        From reading their list of what they want, it does not sound to me like they want fast food burgers. They want an experience. 26 Beach, Umami, Father's Office, Comme Ca all offer that. If you want fast food, give them In n Out, The habit, 5 Guys but do not discourage them from trying some very unique burgers,

                        -----
                        26 Beach
                        3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292

                        1. re: Burger Boy
                          d
                          DBoos Mar 22, 2011 10:13 PM

                          I agree, and would never have recommended any fast food burger...including In n Out. It's good, but just that....fast food. Umami is my fav, like 26 Beach, and Father's Office is great except that you MUST order that burger with the bleu cheese. That's the turn off for me. You can't even order one without it. If you don't like bleu cheese, then you will NOT like Father's Office burgers...so beware that it's a "must come with" deal or not at all.

                          -----
                          26 Beach
                          3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292

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

                          1. re: DBoos
                            m
                            mc michael Mar 22, 2011 10:54 PM

                            please don't fling me in that bleu cheese!

                            1. re: DBoos
                              b
                              Burger Boy Mar 23, 2011 12:01 AM

                              He is the Burger Nazi! Check out the new Eel Burger at 26 Beach, pretty damn great!

                              -----
                              26 Beach
                              3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292

                              1. re: Burger Boy
                                d
                                DBoos Mar 23, 2011 12:15 AM

                                Really???...and eel burger? I don't know...just can't wrap my head around that one. I like all kinds of kooky crazy things, but somehow...that one just doesn't sound appealing to me. So sorry Burger Boy....and I love me a good burger!! Maybe I'll change my mind, but for now...I think I'll stick to the standard fare of at least just beef and pork.....:-)

                                1. re: DBoos
                                  b
                                  Burger Boy Mar 23, 2011 02:12 AM

                                  LOL Ok...........Your loss!

                                  1. re: Burger Boy
                                    d
                                    DBoos Mar 23, 2011 04:32 AM

                                    Probably...and who knows...I might just change my mind

                          2. re: Peripatetic
                            Foolini Mar 24, 2011 05:05 AM

                            I definetely want to try both types of burgers, the more upscale ones and the "IN-N-OUT".

                        2. Foolini Mar 20, 2011 12:11 PM

                          I will definitely let you all know which restaurants we picked and how we enjoyed them. Thank you all for being so kind to take the time to answer! Nothing can beat getting info from the insiders!
                          As I said Before I will try my best to help on threads regarding Italy and our restaurants!
                          O.

                          18 Replies
                          1. re: Foolini
                            y
                            yogachik Mar 20, 2011 05:34 PM

                            Others may find this odd, but one of the best steaks in town (that isn't at the price of Mastros or Cut) is at R+D Kitchen and Hillstone, both in Santa Monica.

                            Umami is my favorite burger - the stilton and port wine burger is amazing. Rustic Canyon's burger is also fantastic.

                            Would be a shame for you not to have tacos on your list of must-eat. LA has so many great taco places! But the best is probably Tacos por Favor in Santa Monica.

                            1. re: yogachik
                              Foolini Mar 24, 2011 04:50 AM

                              Than you yogachik for your suggestion, I think we will be having lots of tacos in Baja :)

                            2. re: Foolini
                              d
                              DBoos Mar 22, 2011 06:34 PM

                              Surprised that no one has mention the Grill on the Alley in Beverly Hills. Wonderful atmosphere, and great food. Also, for the whole true Chinese dining experience....Mr. Chows right around the corner...also in Beverly Hills. They make the noodles right in front of you. Quite a show. Expensive...yes, but well worth it. Also known for a "star sighting" or two...:-) IMHO, Maestro's is a "cut" above CUT, and right up the street is Il Pastaio...I know....it's Italian, but it's really good and love the outdoor seating. Enjoy your trip

                              1. re: DBoos
                                Servorg Mar 22, 2011 07:38 PM

                                Mr. Chow should be brought up on charges of oxymoronia...(now if he is going for truth in advertising it would be "Mr. Faux" or even "Mr. Egaux" - then he would be on target)

                                1. re: Servorg
                                  d
                                  DBoos Mar 22, 2011 08:08 PM

                                  Sorry...but I've been there so many times that I have to disagree with you. I was thinking that for someone visiting, it's a fun experience, and I was there about 2 months ago for dinner and the food was great...albeit a bit pricey, but what isn't in BH?

                                  1. re: DBoos
                                    m
                                    mc michael Mar 22, 2011 10:53 PM

                                    in the old days it used to be Madame Wu's. now it's Mr. Chow's. but let's not kid ourselves that these are the best Chinese food LA had/has to offer.

                                    1. re: mc michael
                                      d
                                      DBoos Mar 22, 2011 11:54 PM

                                      I certainly never said it was the best, just a cool experience, right there in BH and always happening.

                                      1. re: DBoos
                                        Servorg Mar 23, 2011 04:36 AM

                                        If "Mr. Chow" doesn't know you to be someone important then the visitor can have the sublime experience of being seated in the gulag and treated with disdain. That's one experience I expect that visitors to our fair city can do without...

                                        1. re: Servorg
                                          d
                                          DBoos Mar 23, 2011 05:02 AM

                                          Apparently...that has happened to you....and I'm sorry, but I've NEVER had that experience there...and I'm certainly NOT important. Sorry your experience there was unpleasant.

                                          1. re: DBoos
                                            Servorg Mar 23, 2011 05:36 AM

                                            Nothing for you to be apologizing for. And if that experience was only ours one could put it down to an (actually in our case two) anomaly. But this is something that Mr. Chow is infamous for. And, given the price of their decidedly mediocre food, this place is a total miss (by a mile). I know folks go there hoping to see "someone" from the entertainment industry. And if that is the intent, fine. There are just do many better restaurants in this town that Mr. Chow wouldn't even make my top 1,000...

                                            1. re: Servorg
                                              d
                                              DBoos Mar 23, 2011 07:17 AM

                                              ....and that's why we're all here....to give our opinions about our experiences at the places WE like. For me...never an unpleasant visit...never a bad meal, and always a big check...and a few sightings over the years. It's not on my top 20 list, but it makes my top 100....that's good enough for me. Yes...there are plenty of other places in this town that are better overall, and a final bill that doesn't leave you feeling overly indulgent, but I need to be in the mood to travel to Montery Park and surrounding areas for that....including great Japanese as well. I was specifically addressing Mr. Chows as the person that started this blog will be staying for 2 nights in BH and it's right there.

                                              -----
                                              Mr. Chow
                                              344 N. Camden Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                              1. re: DBoos
                                                Porthos Mar 23, 2011 08:02 AM

                                                and that's why we're all here....to give our opinions about our experiences at the places WE like
                                                ===========================
                                                That's only part of the reason. The original goal of CH was to promote delicious food for the sake of good food and the scene be damned. It's still in the manifesto somewhere...

                                                Since even you agree that the food at Mr. Chow isn't one of the better examples of Chinese food and that it's more for the scene, we should be recommending places in Monterey Park or SGV for Chinese food (eg. Elite for dim sum) if we were making recommendations based on food. To put it another way, I'd be royally pissed if I asked for a great Roman trattoria experience and ended up paying $300+ for sub-par Italian food and "cool scene" based on someone's recommendation off the Italy boards.

                                                1. re: Porthos
                                                  d
                                                  DBoos Mar 23, 2011 08:42 AM

                                                  I personally like the food there....like I said....I've never had a bad experience as others apparently have, so my recommendation was valid, but again...anywhere in BH is going to be expensive, so do you always get what you pay for there????...no, and I did say that Montery Park and surrounding areas has the best Chinese food in SOCAL. I put out there that Mr. Chows is...IMHO the whole experience, and yes, there is better Chinese food, but I've always enjoyed it. I also recommended the Grill on the Alley which is right around the corner. Villa Blanca also has great food, and a phenomenal atmosphere. Recommending places right in BH for her two nights stay there. Crustatean also has a beautiful atmosphere, and wonderful fusion food. It's all a matter of perspective.

                                                  -----
                                                  Mr. Chow
                                                  344 N. Camden Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                                  Villa Blanca
                                                  9601 Brighton Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                                  1. re: DBoos
                                                    Servorg Mar 23, 2011 08:50 AM

                                                    I probably reacted more strongly in a negative fashion than I normally do because I would hate to see visitors from Italy who are only here for 4 days, (and who have an interest in good food) waste one of them at Mr. Chow.

                                                    Even in B. Hills there are reasonable and taste driven restaurants available. Momed and Da Pasquale immediately spring to mind. And not a far drive to places that you like as much as I do such as Gloria's Cafe (just completed a remodel to spruce the place up) for Salvadoran and Mexican food.

                                                    -----
                                                    Gloria's Cafe
                                                    10227 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                                                    Da Pasquale Restaurent
                                                    9749 Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                                    Momed
                                                    233 S Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90212

                                                    1. re: Servorg
                                                      Foolini Mar 24, 2011 05:03 AM

                                                      Dear Servorg and DBoos, having dined at Mr Chow in NY and the one in London, Its true I did enjoy the noodle making show, the food for being Chinese was quite nice, especially since in Milan I never eat Chinese cuisine (I cant even think of one restaurant) so im not a connoisseur on the matter. I did find the attitude in the NY one not quite right, but in the London, much smaller, the service was a completely other story.
                                                      So thanks for suggesting Mr Chow, but I think I will focus on the other restaurants that seem very appetizing. :)

                                    2. re: DBoos
                                      a
                                      albatruffles Mar 23, 2011 10:57 PM

                                      I'd like to add fuel to the fire by taking sides. If we are going to recommended Mr. Chow or Mastro's, we might as well include Sizzler and Cheesecake Factory. Mr. Chow is a 2nd tier restaurant for those who love chains and trends, but not food. And Mastro's being the most overrated steakhouse in town. Best Steakhouse from begining to end is CUT no doubt about it.

                                      Regarding burgers, you don't get a true taste of any city by just going to 3 star Michelin restaurants. With that in mind, In-n-Out in the quintessential LA Burger.

                                      -----
                                      Mr. Chow
                                      344 N. Camden Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                      Mastros Restaurant
                                      2087 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

                                      1. re: albatruffles
                                        m
                                        mc michael Mar 23, 2011 11:10 PM

                                        would that be a FLAMED grilled burger?

                                        1. re: mc michael
                                          a
                                          albatruffles Mar 24, 2011 12:16 AM

                                          you tease

                              2. n
                                nikibigmouth Mar 19, 2011 05:06 PM

                                I would love to hear which places you go to try!
                                I hope you enjoy your stay here, I lived in Firenze for 2 years and, as am sure you will do, avoid the typical Italian/american style restaurants! They would make you cry!!
                                I still dream about the food in Italy, one of the only countries where young men discuss food with as much passion as they discuss women... well almost!!
                                Ciao
                                Nicola

                                1. l
                                  Lambster Mar 19, 2011 03:41 PM

                                  Suggestions for Santa Monica:

                                  Burger - Rustic Canyon Wine Bar (probably the best burger in L.A.)
                                  Sushi - Mori Sushi or Kiriko

                                  Suggestions for Beverly Hills:

                                  Steak - Cut or Mastro's
                                  Sushi - Urasawa

                                  -----
                                  Rustic Canyon Wine Bar
                                  1119 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                                  Urasawa Restaurant
                                  218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

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

                                  Mori Sushi
                                  34320 Pacific Coast Hwy Ste B, Dana Point, CA 92629

                                  1. s
                                    speculator77 Mar 19, 2011 01:30 PM

                                    Beau Rivage in Malibu is awesome ,right across from the beach and romantic. The food is great! They have the best filet with your choise of sauses, escargot that is the best anywhere and creme brule that they light at the table. The owner is Daniel and his wife. They have been open for many years. They are in their 80's. This is a must go... Sushi... Chia Venice on Main in Venice or Nobu in Malibu at Crosscreek Chia venice has a great happy hour in the bar or at the sushi bar(ask when you get there)

                                    -----
                                    Beau Rivage Restaurant
                                    26025 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265

                                    Nobu
                                    11357 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: speculator77
                                      Foolini Mar 20, 2011 12:06 PM

                                      Thank you Speculator77!!

                                    2. b
                                      Burger Boy Mar 19, 2011 10:02 AM

                                      For some great burgers try 26 Beach Restaurant. Wait for some great Sushi & Burgers try 26 Beach Restaurant, they have sushi hamburgers! What you say, they have a California Roll Burger, a Spicy Tuna Burger and now, wait, wait, an Eel Burger, yes, yes, Unagi on a hamburger! I had it last night and this thing is great, my server told me it was their latest Sushi Hamburger. I liked it a lot! So you can try something totally unique to America, a Sushi Hamburger! Enjoy your visit. Sushi Gen is great for some great sushi alone, Mastro's & The Palm do a great steak, if you want old school steak houses with flavor and character but with out paying an arm & a leg try The Dale Rae or Taylor's Steak House.

                                      -----
                                      26 Beach
                                      3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Burger Boy
                                        Foolini Mar 20, 2011 12:04 PM

                                        Oh wow! this sounds very extravagant! Never heard of something quite like it! Thank you will try to persuade my partner to try!

                                        1. re: Foolini
                                          b
                                          Burger Boy Mar 20, 2011 08:44 PM

                                          It os so unique, no one has done it and anyone that does it now will just be copying it,

                                      2. v
                                        vali1005 Mar 18, 2011 05:41 PM

                                        If price of the restaurant is really, really not an issue (around $350 per person), then Urasawa is the best fine-dining Japanese restaurant in L.A.

                                        I see a lot of people say "Mori Sushi", but my recommendation would actually be "Sushi Zo", at around $120 per person it has the best omakase sushi offering

                                        Burgers, I would split them in two:
                                        a) "healthy" burgers: Umami, Juicy Burger, The Counter, Father's Office
                                        b) "down and dirty" burgers: Fat Burger, In & Out

                                        -----
                                        Urasawa Restaurant
                                        218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

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

                                        Juicy Burger
                                        6340 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: vali1005
                                          Foolini Mar 20, 2011 12:02 PM

                                          Grazie for suggestions! down and dirty burgers sound deliscious!

                                          1. re: vali1005
                                            westsidegal Mar 20, 2011 08:48 PM

                                            completely agree with vali 1005's Sushi Zo recommendation.
                                            went there last Thursday night and had a completely wonderful experience.

                                            -----
                                            Sushi Zo
                                            9824 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                                          2. j
                                            JAW522 Mar 18, 2011 05:00 PM

                                            Sushi Gen - Downtown LA
                                            Hiko Sushi - Sawtelle and National
                                            Umami Burger
                                            Rustic Canyon Wine Bar for Burger - Santa Monica

                                            -----
                                            Rustic Canyon Wine Bar
                                            1119 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                                            Hiko Sushi
                                            11275 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                            Umami Burger
                                            850 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: JAW522
                                              J.L. Mar 18, 2011 06:12 PM

                                              Sushi Gen is OK, but if I was coming all the way from Italy, I'd want to hit up something even better: Sushi Mori (sit at the bar!) or Urasawa.

                                              Hiko is serviceable as a neighborhood sushi joint, but that's pretty much it in my book.

                                              Zo's attitude is icy towards first-timers. Even though the offerings may be good, it may not be the best for out-of-towners (unless you're looking for a sushi nazi-esque experience).

                                              Umami Burgers are meh. They have good onion rings, though.

                                              For me, the best "gourmet" burger is still at Father's Office (go to the Helms location, not Santa Monica) - The Golden State burger is a close second.

                                              Do have a legendary casual In-N-Out burger when you are on your way to (or from) LAX.

                                              Best steakhouse (both in Beverly Hills): Mastro's, Wolfgang's.

                                              Best beef in L.A., however, is at (invitation-only) Totoraku. Best Korean BBQ is Park's.

                                              -----
                                              Urasawa Restaurant
                                              218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                              Totoraku
                                              10610 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                              Umami Burger
                                              850 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                              The Golden State
                                              426 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                              1. re: J.L.
                                                Foolini Mar 20, 2011 12:01 PM

                                                Thank you for your advice!

                                                1. re: J.L.
                                                  Ashibi Mar 20, 2011 03:49 PM

                                                  Second on IN-N-OUT burger. My family from Japan is still talking about it! Must try.

                                              2. m
                                                mc michael Mar 18, 2011 12:35 PM

                                                You should try Cut for steak, Mori for sushi, and Morton's for the burger.

                                                -----
                                                Cut
                                                9500 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212

                                                Mori Sushi
                                                11500 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                                Arnie Morton's, the Steakhouse-Beverly Hills
                                                435 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048

                                                6 Replies
                                                1. re: mc michael
                                                  l
                                                  la tache burger Mar 18, 2011 01:11 PM

                                                  Perfect 3 from mc michael

                                                  Though you gotta go to In N Out Burger, also.

                                                  1. re: mc michael
                                                    Foolini Mar 18, 2011 02:54 PM

                                                    Thank you Micheal for the reccomendations, I hope when all of you travel to Italy, I will be able to help as much!

                                                    1. re: Foolini
                                                      Porthos Mar 18, 2011 03:03 PM

                                                      I got some good recs for my visits to Rome and Florence so I'm here to return a favor:

                                                      Burger: Father's office
                                                      Steak: Cut - in Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills
                                                      Sushi: Mori-very traditional. Ask him also to give you some cooked items in the beginning.

                                                      Extra: Park's is an excellent recommendation . Get the Gal bi. I would normally recommend the unseasoned so you can taste the quality of the ribs but it would be nice to also taste the ribs seasoned since korean BBQ is not widely found in Italy.

                                                      1. re: Porthos
                                                        m
                                                        maudies5 Mar 18, 2011 03:06 PM

                                                        We hosted friends from Venezia and they loved Toscana. They loved everything and they ate quite a bit. Most of all they loved the steak which is cooked in the wood burning oven. Also they enjoyed conversing with the waiters; all of whom speak Italian.

                                                        -----
                                                        Toscana Restaurant
                                                        11633 San Vicente Blvd Ste 100, Los Angeles, CA 90049

                                                        1. re: Porthos
                                                          Foolini Mar 20, 2011 11:59 AM

                                                          Thank you Porthos!

                                                        2. re: Foolini
                                                          m
                                                          mc michael Mar 18, 2011 03:12 PM

                                                          Grazie!

                                                      2. t
                                                        TailbackU Mar 18, 2011 12:22 PM

                                                        Mastros for steak in Beverly Hills. You won't be disappointed. Order the bone in rib eye if you like fatty, flavorful steaks. Or order the bone in filet if you like more of a lean cut.

                                                        Mori Sushi for well....sushi. Not far from Santa Monica.

                                                        People will discuss burgers all day here on CH. But for my money, Golden State on Fairfax has the best burger in the city. Also noteworthy would be Father's Office, 25 Degrees, and Oaks Gourmet.

                                                        -----
                                                        25 Degrees Restaurant
                                                        7000 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

                                                        The Golden State
                                                        426 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036

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

                                                        Oaks Gourmet
                                                        1915 N Bronson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: TailbackU
                                                          Foolini Mar 18, 2011 02:53 PM

                                                          Thanks for the suggestions, Im intrigued by this Mori Sushi, and yes as I have noticed, the burgers question causes quite a stir here on CH.

                                                          -----
                                                          Mori Sushi
                                                          11500 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                                        2. mrshankly Mar 18, 2011 11:50 AM

                                                          Make reservations ahead of time for Mastro's in Beverly Hills for steak.

                                                          http://www.mastrosrestaurants.com

                                                          9 Replies
                                                          1. re: mrshankly
                                                            Foolini Mar 18, 2011 02:47 PM

                                                            Will look into it tomorrow! thanks!

                                                            1. re: Foolini
                                                              Ashibi Mar 20, 2011 03:46 PM

                                                              ... and I suggest seating at the second floor for the best dining experience at Mastro's.

                                                              -----
                                                              Mastros Restaurant
                                                              2087 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

                                                              1. re: Ashibi
                                                                Foolini Mar 24, 2011 04:47 AM

                                                                Thanks will ask for it!

                                                                1. re: Foolini
                                                                  m
                                                                  mc michael Mar 24, 2011 06:37 AM

                                                                  Presumably we are talking about the Beverly Hills outlet.

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Mastro's Steakhouse
                                                                  246 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                                                  1. re: mc michael
                                                                    d
                                                                    DBoos Mar 24, 2011 11:22 AM

                                                                    Absolutely...

                                                              2. re: Foolini
                                                                d
                                                                DBoos Mar 24, 2011 11:21 AM

                                                                No one has mentioned this one, and I have personally eaten there as well, but BOA on Sunset at Doheny is marvelous. It's open and absolutely beautiful. The food is fantastic although a bit loud. It's actually considered West Hollywood, but right on the BH line. Very romantic. They also have another location in Santa Monica as well, You will be in both places, so this might suit your needs very well.

                                                                1. re: DBoos
                                                                  u
                                                                  uwsister Mar 25, 2011 12:33 AM

                                                                  Dined at BOA in Santa Monica a couple weeks ago and found it to be pretty bad - perhaps the one on Sunset is better. Good steak (not great or mind-blowing) cooked correctly and "truffle" fries are delicious in that guilty pleasure way, but other than that - lackluster apps and desserts, the worst creamed spinach I've EVER had (it's my favorite steakhouse side) and terrible, terrible service. I sure hope we went on a bad night - either way I won't be returning!

                                                                  Edited to add yes, Mastro's is much better.

                                                                  1. re: uwsister
                                                                    d
                                                                    DBoos Mar 25, 2011 03:38 AM

                                                                    Have only been to the one on Sunset...don't know anything about SM location. Mastro's is wonderful, but BOA has such a cool, romantic atmosphere. I really like the WHW location, and the truffle fries are amazing. Dinner and service were above average, but no, it's not Mastro's...still very good.

                                                                    -----
                                                                    Mastros Restaurant
                                                                    2087 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

                                                              3. re: mrshankly
                                                                d
                                                                DBoos Mar 22, 2011 06:19 PM

                                                                Totally concur Mrsshankly....outstanding restaurant!!

                                                              4. wienermobile Mar 18, 2011 11:47 AM

                                                                Not a traditional steak house but Park's BBQ is Korean BBQ with some of the best prime cuts of meats in Los Angeles cooked at your table. Their boneless beef short ribs are incredible. Wonderful service and a true dining adventure with wonderful flavors.
                                                                http://www.parksbbq.com/

                                                                -----
                                                                Park's BBQ
                                                                955 S. Vermont Ave, Suite G, Los Angeles, CA 90006

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: wienermobile
                                                                  Foolini Mar 18, 2011 02:41 PM

                                                                  Thank you wienermobile, this sounds interesting definetely out normal, I have only been to a Korean BBQ in London and the experience was great, I will try to get to go to Park's.

                                                                2. m
                                                                  mc michael Mar 18, 2011 10:56 AM

                                                                  A search of the board will disclose numerous threads on burgers, steaks and sushi (btw, the area does have more to offer). You might indicate where you will be staying, your price range, whether you will have a car, etc.

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: mc michael
                                                                    Servorg Mar 18, 2011 11:01 AM

                                                                    One review (when the burger query arises) I always point to is Exile (on Main Street) Kiss' epic "Total Carnage - Gourmet Burger Battle" post: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/701081 if for no other reason than it still takes my breath (and cardiac rhythm) away...

                                                                    1. re: Servorg
                                                                      m
                                                                      mc michael Mar 18, 2011 11:23 AM

                                                                      An epic thread to be sure.

                                                                      1. re: Servorg
                                                                        Foolini Mar 18, 2011 11:32 AM

                                                                        Thank you Servorg!

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