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Late night dinner date on Westside?

My girlfriend and I both work in a restaurant, and we haven't had the same day off in months. On a good night we can both drive straight from work and meet at a restaurant by 10:15 or so. We squeeze into Bandera once in a while before they close at 11 and that's usually fine. Other than that the only place nearby that feels like a date is Pacific Dining Car, and we're getting a little sick of it. Is there anything fun and at least a little bit romantic open 'til 11 or 12 on the Westside? We live in Brentwood, but I'm willing to drive as far as Koreatown or West Hollywood. I don't mind squeezing in a place at 10:00 if they really keep taking customers until 11, but it seems like most places that say they're open late don't have much problem closing 30 minutes early if they're not busy. Usually that leaves us as the "last guests" ten minutes after we open a $100 bottle of wine, and the entire staff is waiting for us to finish so they can go home. Price is not really an issue, we'd just like somewhere nice where we won't feel rushed. I searched older threads but most of what I found was too casual for a date. Thanks!

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  1. Try Berri's on Third. They are open till 4 AM.

    1. Well if you are willing to go to Koreatown then you have lots of options there like Hodori, Namsan and BCD Tofu House.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        We went to BCD Tofu House once but my girlfriend didn't look too happy eating tofu soup in a cocktail dress and heels. And no booze. We still go back, but not on date nights.

        1. re: la2tokyo

          I can see how your girl felt. BCD is like Korean Denny's to me.

      2. Gjelina and The Tasting Kitchen are both open late.
        Animal on the eastside.

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        Tasting Kitchen
        1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90291

        2 Replies
        1. re: citizenx

          Thanks! I had no idea that Gjelina was open that late. Tasting Kitchen doesn't list their hours on their website - it just says "6pm to close." About what time is that? Google maps says 11pm. They have a bar, so if the bar is kinda busy we won't have to feel bad being the only people in there at 11. I guess we can always call and see, and if they're closing early we can head over to Gjelina.

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          Tasting Kitchen
          1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90291

          1. re: la2tokyo

            Not sure exactly how late The Tasting Kitchen closes, but I had a 9:30 dinner there last year that finished after midnight, and we weren't the last to leave.

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            Tasting Kitchen
            1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90291

        2. How about Kate Manilini? They're open until midnight during the week. (Though I think they close earlier on Sunday & Monday. later on weekends.) There seems to be a number of late night diners there, and the food is pretty solid. Not romantic, though.

          4 Replies
          1. re: perk

            they are one of those places that closes early at times

            1. re: apple7blue

              If they were to close early, would it be more than 30 minutes early? We'll probably give it a shot one of these days. We drove by last night at 11 but they were closed, and we ended up eating at Red Medicine. Red Medicine was nice, but they only serve the (small) bar menu and we ate everything on it. The food was good, but we would have to eat the exact same thing every time we go, so I don't know how often that's going to happen. The guys there were really nice to us, so I wouldn't mind going back again for a drink and a snack.

              1. re: la2tokyo

                Well, I will also say sometimes they are open till like 3 am. They used to advertise, fairly recently 2 am everyday except 1 am on Sunday. They used to open really early too but now it says 8 am. I've been there and they were closed an hour early. I was really disappointed so I am not gonna forget that. On the other hand, business is business--I know they and many other restaurants are/were working out their service hours in response to a changing economy.

                You can tell when the staff wants you to go. I hate that though because if you want to close early then close early--don't post late hours and make me, the customer, feel like a jerk.

              2. re: apple7blue

                ok. good to know. i've had that happen as well at some places. they're supposed to be open, but you're the only person/people there and they REALLY want to go home.

            2. Some of the Izakaya places (Nanban-Kan has always been known as a "chef's after hours" spot) such as Raku on the corner of Olympic and Barrington are traditionally open late.

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              Raku Restaurant
              11678 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

              Nanban-Kan Restaurant
              11330 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

              1 Reply
              1. re: Servorg

                Aha that reminds me:
                Wakasan
                Hamakaze

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                Wakasan
                1929 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

                Hamakaze
                13327 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

              2. The Brentwood's kitchen is open until midnight, Tues-through Sat. They now have a late night menu starting at 10:00

                1 Reply
                1. re: maudies5

                  they may be open late, but i've had a couple of miserable meals here over the years. the ambience is definitely dark, but i always liken it to a place you'd take your dirty mistress. to boot, whenever i've been the music has been annoyingly loud, and not much conducive to intimate conversation... JMO.

                2. Sauce on Hampton is on the casual side, but they are open until 11 everyday and you get free cookies.

                  1. You have asked a very hard question -- I've been on the Westside more than 20 years and never really find that great, late night date spot.

                    There are some 24 hour type places -- that's not what you're looking for. There are casual places (like the Vietnamese place on Sepulveda -- Pho Show) but they aren't romantic.

                    I used to go to La Cabana on Lincoln and Rose in Venice -- they are open to 3 am. It's okay -- they're legitimately open late and they make a pretty good margarita. It's always crowded -- maybe it fits your "fun" criteria. It's pretty casual, probably too casual for your purposes.

                    Man -- I want to see the recs in this thread as much as you do.

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                    Pho Show
                    4349 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: PaulF

                      A couple of other west side spots that can be "date friendly" even if they aren't on the fancy side are Dahab on Sawtelle just south of Santa Monica Blvd. and (why am I blanking on the name - which I'll recall as soon as I post this) the Brazilian cafe on Pico Blvd. just east of Sepulveda.

                      ADD: Bossa Nova (knew I'd recall it as soon as I posted)

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                      Cafe Dahab
                      1638 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

                      Bossa Nova Brazilian Cuisine
                      10982 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                      1. re: Servorg

                        Rainbow Bar and Grill in West Hollywood - amazing pizza, soup and stuffed mushrooms - open until 1:30. The Bowery in Hollywood - decent bar food - closes at 2:00. Dan Tanas in W Hollywood - old schooll Italian closes at 1:00.

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                        Dan Tana's Restaurant
                        9071 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069

                    2. I just realized Pizzeria Mozza is also open til midnight. It's a bit of a drive from Brentwood during the day, but at 11pm I'm starting to realize this city isn't as big as it seems. Thanks for all the recs everyone, all these places will keep us busy for a long time!

                      1. We often come for weekend trips to LA and need restaurant which are open late on Fridays (We normally arrive at 10pm at the restaurant). Our rotation includes: Pizzeria Mozza, Lazy Ox, Animal, Gjelina and soon Son of a Gun

                        1. their website is very ambiguous about closing time, but La Cachette on Ocean in Santa Monica offers a friday and saturday night price reduction of 30% for diners who eat in the DINING ROOM (as opposed to the bar) after 9pm.
                          certainly implies that they will be open late. . . . .

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                          La Cachette
                          Little Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90067

                          1. Here are some good westside restaurants that offer 10.30pm reservations on weeknights:

                            Hal's on Abbot Kinney
                            Beechwood
                            Ford's Filling Station
                            Whist at The Viceroy
                            Toscana in Brentwood
                            Rustic Canyon
                            Sor Tino
                            Brentwood
                            The Galley on Main St
                            La Botte
                            Boa Steakhouse Santa Monica
                            James Beach
                            Salute Wine Bar on Main St
                            Xino in Santa Monica Place

                            I did a quick search on Opentable for 10.30pm on a Wednesday and then picked out the good ones. There may be others listed there that are good but I haven't been to or haven't been crazy about.

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                            Ford's Filling Station
                            9531 Culver Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90232

                            James Beach
                            60 N Venice Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

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

                            Xino
                            395 Santa Monica Blvd #308, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: hrhboo

                              What about A-Frame and Waterloo & City? Aren't they both open on the late side?

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                              Waterloo and City
                              12517 W Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90066

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

                              1. re: Servorg

                                I'm pretty sure they are, and both excellent choices. Waterloo & City serves until at least 10.30pm, because I've been there quite late a couple of times. Per A-Frame's website, they serve food until midnight and the bar is open till 2am.

                                1. re: Servorg

                                  W&C according to their website has a late night menu until midnight. Sunday is only until 11. Latest I've ordered food there is 10:30 or so though so don't have first hand experience as to how much later they'll serve. The late night menu seems decent enough, just a smaller selection of their regular menu.

                              2. i was going to suggest la cabana in venice - but it's not really date-worthy.

                                all the chefs i've known go to chez jay. i don't really like the food - but it's cute.

                                have you thought about local hotel bars? most hotels have 24-hour room service and would probably serve it in the bar. there are tons of hotels in santa monica. maybe it's worth a drop in to see.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: dtud

                                  In that light, I'd check out Kerry Simon's LA Market. It's adjacent to a bar that serves well past when they stop taking orders from the Market menu--but its the same kitchen.

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

                                2. Gaby's on Venice/Mentone is open late and very trendy. Get some booze at the liquor store next door.

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: rcompton

                                    How romantic . . . from the op's posts it sounds like Gaby's isn't the sort of place he, and especially his girl, are looking for.

                                    1. re: apple7blue

                                      It's actually very trendy but they don't sell booze.

                                      1. re: rcompton

                                        They do sell beer. That's actually my pet peeve about Gaby's. I like their food but their beer is not served cold enough. it's luke-cold.

                                        1. re: PaulF

                                          Interesting. I live about 100 yds. from Gaby's and somehow missed the beer sales. I'm a regular at that liquor store though :/.

                                            1. re: PaulF

                                              Heineken, there's your first problem right there. LOL!

                                  2. Since you already realized that at night, LA is much smaller getting around. And if you don't want to have to rush anywhere also, I think a great romantic late night dinner could be had at Shojin. They now close at 1 am on Fridays and Saturdays.

                                    -----
                                    Shojin
                                    333 S Alameda St Ste 310, Los Angeles, CA 90013

                                    11 Replies
                                    1. re: apple7blue

                                      did shojin ever get a liquor license?
                                      the last time i went they had no license NOR would they allow any type of byob.

                                      i love their food, though

                                      1. re: westsidegal

                                        "the last time i went they had no license NOR would they allow any type of byob."

                                        An LA restaurant actually obeying the liquor laws of California? I'm shocked! If you don't have a valid license you can't allow byob. If you do, and you are caught at it then your own license (if you're applying for one) is going to be delayed and you are going to get fined.

                                        1. re: Servorg

                                          so,
                                          do you have an answer to my question or are you just adding to my knowledge about the liquor laws in a sarcastic fashion?

                                          btw, i wasn't being critical of their policy, i was just giving the info.

                                          (the answer to my question doesn't affect my personal behavior toward this restaurant one way or another. when i go there, i only want to drink tea anyway.)

                                          1. re: westsidegal

                                            You seemed to indicate that you were surprised that that they weren't allowing byob when you said "...NOR would they allow any type of byob." and just wanted to let you and those who may come upon this thread later why that is the case (and I guess my movie allusion to Casablanca went wide of its mark when Captain Renault said "I am shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!") since it is such a frequent violation that folks seem to assume that it must be okay to do...

                                            1. re: Servorg

                                              i capitalized the word, "nor" because i, too, have noticed that folks sometimes make assumptions about this subject--nothing more. just wanted to give folks a heads-up.

                                              1. re: westsidegal

                                                It's typically those places who have applied for their license who are sticklers about hewing to the letter of the law as they tend to not want to set back the already agonizingly slow process AND get fined for their trouble on top of the delay.

                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                  I don't drink so I don't know--but I assume it would go against Shojin's ethos to serve alcohol. Shojin itself measn to drive out evil thoughts and strive for enlightenment with one's whole heart. I don't think in this tradition imbibing alcohol is considered healthy.

                                                  -----
                                                  Shojin
                                                  333 S Alameda St Ste 310, Los Angeles, CA 90013

                                                  1. re: apple7blue

                                                    "I don't think in this tradition imbibing alcohol is considered healthy."

                                                    All medical evidence (of moderate alcohol intake actually being healthy) to the contrary...

                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                      well, it might be the mental state as a result of intoxication. I don't begrudge them their traditions and opinions anyway. There are plenty of places where you can bring alcohol or purchase from the proprietor themselves.

                                                      1. re: apple7blue

                                                        I'm guessing this will either be moderated or spun off to another thread, but I tend to view alcoholic beverages as a part of eating first - it's a choice of beverages that hopefully complements what you're eating on the plate (or bowl, etc.). Getting intoxicated to me means drinking to the point where your body's enzymes can't keep up with the amount of alcohol consumed; thereby, buzz... buzz... I'm far from my youth - I'm learning to appreciate drinking not for what excess can do to drastically alter my physiological state, but to my general enjoyment via moderation via food & drink matchmaker.

                                                        1. re: bulavinaka

                                                          Well thats cool as your personal view or some restaurant's style of service--but I was just saying Shojin has a specific style or tradition of cooking. I am not making a judgement. It seems like you guys are making an issue when there is no issue here. I wouldn't go to a Italian restaurant and insist they serve me a burrito. I know thats not the same thing, but the closest analogy I could think of. If you really want alcohol just order the food from Shojin to go and find somewhere you can get alcohol. They can't stop you when you do that.

                                                          -----
                                                          Shojin
                                                          333 S Alameda St Ste 310, Los Angeles, CA 90013

                                    2. Have you tied animal? Open late. I suspect Son of A Gun is too.

                                      1. I left Fig and Olive around 11:30 last night and they were still going strong.

                                        1. Let's not forget Red Medicine.

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                                          Red Medicine
                                          8400 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

                                          1. Agree A-Frame could be a great choice. Where did you end up going?

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

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: ElJeffe

                                              With the sllightly warmer nights now, A-Frame's outdoor table by the fire pit (our favorite spot) would be very nice.

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