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help? ONE DAY ONLY in LA - 20-somethings visiting from NYC

hi all

visiting LA with a few friends, coming from NYC-- will be in the city for one night only (a thursday), staying in hollywood.

NYC native, big into food, looking for a fun, fairly casual dinner restaurant, definitely a cool kinda young "hip" place to be (but not obnoxiously so), great food but can be simple. not too pricey (but doesn't have to be dirt cheap). willing to take a little drive for an interesting scene. maybe something like "very LA" or "very california" (in a good way).

if you're familiar with NYC, some of our favorite places here are (in manhattan) cafe habana, corner bistro, veselka, balaboosta, taim, (in brooklyn) roberta's, egg, frankie's 457, fatty cue, m wells

also-- a cool lunch spot straight from the airport thursday? a dazzling spot to grab breakfast to-go on friday morning?

many thanks, california folks!

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  1. Lunch after leaving LAX would be Gjelina on Abbot Kinney. Nothing else like it - anywhere - it's very very good.

    6 Replies
    1. re: yogachik

      Name one thing about Gjelina that no other place has???

      1. re: emosbaugh

        i keep seeing gjelina mentioned-- though seems similar to some places in NYC?

        someone had suggested "joan's on third" but it seems the draw there might be more scene than food... thoughts?

        1. re: emilysaraheats

          "joan's on third" is a must. Has great cupcakes!

          1. re: imafoodiegear

            Hey emilysarahearts, Gjelina might have stuff other places has--but they have it different. It's kind of rough, healthy, and high taste. The chef, Travis, is doing something unique upstairs also--he's making cuisine that happens to be vegetariant but is quite consciously not being labeled vegetarian. I've been going to Joan's on Third before it became cool and a lot more expensive. Forget the cupcakes--their other food is great. It has become scene-y and really expensive. I always thought it was expensive before it came popular. I spend like $40 to $60 there.nowadays getting the stuff I used to get for half the price. I'd also recommend Bottega Louie. I am in your age range myself, but I am guessing on the younger range of 20 something ages--because I can only recommend like lucky charms in dr pepper for breakfast to wake you up and more late night eats like 4-5 am--like finish the night then--Damiano's, Berri's, Toi's, Canter's, etceteras. I am only half kidding . . . I don't think LA is great for breakfast. I've had Clementine recommended to me also, but haven't made it there. I am gunning for their grilled cheese month this month to visit.

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            Bottega Louie
            700 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90017

            1. re: imafoodiegear

              I love Joans but there's twenty similar places in NYC.

              Animal is a great suggestion for the dinner as is Gjelina. Note both are difficult reservations.

              Fun, hip, casual, very LA place for dinner screams A-frame to me. Only downside is once dinner is over you're not really anywhere interesting. But hey, that's LA as well. Lukshon might also be a good option.
              Second the Marciscos and 26 beach recommendations for lunch near the airport.

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              Lukshon
              3239 Helms Ave, Culver City, CA 90034

              1. re: Discokill

                A-Frame is an excellent suggestion. Afterward, you could go to Alibi for drinks, or head down Washington to Beechwood for drinks.

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                A-Frame
                12565 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

      2. Animal immediately pops into mind for your night out.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Obessed

          we thought of this, and also "son of a gun". have you been? pros/cons of either?

          1. re: emilysaraheats

            I've never been to Son of a Gun but I love Animal. Even on their off nights the food is still pretty good. It looks like Son of a Gun is more seafood focused, and of course Animal is meat-centric, so it might just depend on what your party feels like eating that particular night.

            For lunch I would suggest Forage in Silverlake - it has Williamsburg feel, but it's very California in concept and raw material. Most of the food is from local farmers, including some backyard farmers (they used to source more from backyard people, but the city made them stop buying from "uncertified" farmers). However it's a pretty tiny space so I would only go if your party is 4 or less.

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            Son of a Gun
            8370 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

        2. if we were looking at joans on third for lunch, then potentially son of a gun for dinner-- they are right in the same neighborhood? that seems a shame. is there another 'hood (and food spot) that would be good for diversity?

          1 Reply
          1. I don't love the food & it is expensive but I think The Ivy on Robertson is the perfect Hollywood/California scene place for lunch. Cute little cottage--probably will see some celebrities--paparazzi out front. And you can walk down to Kitson after to do a little shopping. Or maybe some place on the beach--The Lobster on the Santa Monica pier maybe?

            1. Some of those places you mentioned are very "hip" not to mention great food. I think you are gonna have a hard time matching some of those places here. I would agree with Animal and Gjelina if your looking for something on the higher end. Other places that come to mind are Wurstkuche (I'll put my money on this one) and Bottega Louie.

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              Wurstkuche
              800 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

              Bottega Louie
              700 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90017