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Please help: deciding on resto's for dinner - FRI & SAT - first time in LA

t
tripaddict28 Apr 15, 2011 07:22 PM

We're a married couple, early 30's, coming to LA for the first time from Toronto; we're looking for dining suggestions for Friday & Saturday night (for dinner) - we'll be staying at the W Hollywood and are looking for lively, trendy dinner places that you think are a must-try! Thanks in advance.

  1. ipsedixit Apr 15, 2011 08:11 PM

    Without knowing your budget or what kind of food you like, here are some off-the-cuff suggestions:

    Saam

    Animal

    Red Medicine

    Urasawa

    Mo-Chica

    Hatfields

    3 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit
      westsidegal Apr 16, 2011 08:45 AM

      just a heads up,
      if you go to urasawa, expect to get out of there for about $500 per person.

      1. re: AYSConsulting
        ipsedixit Apr 16, 2011 08:09 PM

        Whatever you do, please do not go to Crustacean. Better off at a place like Koi, Katsuya, or heck, even Mr. Chow or Joss.

        1. re: ipsedixit
          goodhealthgourmet Apr 16, 2011 08:48 PM

          Whatever you do, please do not go to Crustacean.
          ~~~~~~~~~~~
          agreed. and fortunately Ketchup is no longer open so we don't have to steer the OP away from that one as well!

      2. Phurstluv Apr 15, 2011 08:12 PM

        I would try:

        The Bazaar - high end molecular in west hollywood, close by
        Katsuya Hollywood - for sushi & scene watching, close to hotel
        Cleo - super close, extremely new w/decent 1st reviews Mediterranean
        Animal - meat centric no frills but a CH favorite in mid city
        Scarpetta or Culina - for Beverly Hills Italian

        These are really just scratching the surface, and hitting the immediate area where you will be staying, so it doesn't include much travel time. I know my fellow CHers will come through with even more.

        -----
        Katsuya Hollywood
        6300 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

        Culina
        300 S Doheny Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90048

        Scarpetta
        225 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

        7 Replies
        1. re: Phurstluv
          t
          tripaddict28 Apr 15, 2011 08:25 PM

          Sorry I should've specified, budget is about $100+ per person.
          In terms of food, we're open to suggestions !

          1. re: tripaddict28
            t
            tripaddict28 Apr 15, 2011 08:42 PM

            I booked a table at The Bazaar through Open Table but am a bit confused -- is this one restaurant or several restaurants/bars? Which one am I booked for through Open Table? Help please!

            1. re: tripaddict28
              ipsedixit Apr 15, 2011 09:28 PM

              Go to Saam instead, it's the private dining room at Bazaar. Better food, better atmo. Bazaar is all about style over substance.

              1. re: ipsedixit
                t
                tripaddict28 Apr 15, 2011 09:35 PM

                When I clicked on the reservation for 'The Bazaar' it didn't give me an option to pick which place I'd like to reserve -- so does this reservation encompass all these locations? I'm not sure.

                1. re: tripaddict28
                  ipsedixit Apr 15, 2011 10:20 PM

                  Don't believe Saam is available on OpenTable.

                  1. re: tripaddict28
                    honkman Apr 15, 2011 11:50 PM

                    You have to call Saam directly (go on their webpage). Definitely worth the visit - they have only one tasting menu ($120)

                    1. re: tripaddict28
                      f
                      fdb Apr 16, 2011 03:31 PM

                      The Bazaar consists of a bar (Bar Centro) , a dessert area (The Patisserie) , and a restaurant which is split into two areas, Roja and Blanca. Saam is the private room (designed to feel like a library) tucked in the back that serves a prix fixe chef tasting menu of 20+ small bites. Saam is more elegant and quiet but the dining areas in The Bazaar is more lively and trendy which may suit a young 30's couple like you. Open Table will reserve you a table at The Bazaar. You can call to request being seated at either Rojo or Blanca sections. Rojo is inside an enclosed area where you can watch the chefs cook in the kitchen while Blanca is open to the bar area where lively actions take place. After dinner, you may request to be moved to The Patisserie area for your coffee and dessert. While Saam is great, I think you can't go wrong at The Bazaar. Enjoy!

            2. goodhealthgourmet Apr 15, 2011 09:52 PM

              if you're meat-lovers, you should definitely try to get a table at Animal.

              i'd skip Scarpetta, because though it's one of my favorite restaurants in LA, you now have a location in Toronto. but if you haven't been there yet, go when you get home! ;)

              Hatfield's was another good suggestion. the other spot i'dd add for consideration is Pizzeria Mozza

              -----
              Pizzeria Mozza
              641 N. Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036

              18 Replies
              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                t
                tripaddict28 Apr 15, 2011 10:34 PM

                Scarpetta in Toronto is great, so we'll skip that in LA.
                Not a big time fan of meat (although hubby is!), so we'll skip Animal as well.
                So far I'm thinking: Bazaar, Katsuya, Pizzeria Mozza....
                The others on my list were: Koi, Geisha House, Mr. Chow's, Nobu....thoughts?

                -----
                Geisha House Restaurant
                2773 North Main Street, Santa Ana, CA

                Pizzeria Mozza
                641 N. Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                Koi Restaurant
                730 N La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069

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

                Scarpetta
                225 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                1. re: tripaddict28
                  n
                  New Trial Apr 16, 2011 01:52 AM

                  Osteria Mozza (next to the Pizzeria, serving great pastas and offering a fantastic mozzarella bar) and Providence (wonderful and creative seafood) would be worthwhile additions to the list. Koi, Geisha House, Mr. Chow and, to a lesser degree, Nobu (best of the four), are highly missable. If you want superb high end sushi, go to Mori instead or, if you want a Japanese place which offers great cooked dishes as well as sushi, Kiriko or Kiyokawa.

                  -----
                  Providence
                  5955 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

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

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

                  Kiyokawa Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar
                  265 S Robertson Blvd Ste 10, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

                  Koi Restaurant
                  730 N La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069

                  Geisha House
                  6633 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028

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

                  Nobu Los Angeles
                  903 N. La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069

                  Osteria Mozza
                  6602 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                  1. re: New Trial
                    westsidegal Apr 16, 2011 08:49 AM

                    imho, skip Geisha House.
                    that place was perfect for my daughter's "sweet sixteen" party, but if your tastes are more developed than those of the average sixteen-year-old kid, the food will be a disappointment.

                  2. re: tripaddict28
                    y
                    yogachik Apr 16, 2011 08:17 AM

                    I can't believe Geisha House is still on a list of any kind. Out of towners think this is the place to go when in LA, but it's not - and you'd only be in a room with other tourists. Skip it, and Koi.

                    Mr Chow's is sceney, but just so-so. Katsuya will scratch that itch to be among the young and happening scene with decent (and sometimes very good) food. Bazaar fits the bill perfectly

                    I highly recommend going to Santa Monica/Venice --. At least try to get to Gjelina for breakfast or lunch.

                    1. re: yogachik
                      t
                      tripaddict28 Apr 16, 2011 06:36 PM

                      Is Gjelina's open for dinner? We'll be in Santa Monica/Venice in the latter half of the day. Any other recommendations for that area?

                      1. re: tripaddict28
                        n
                        nosh Apr 16, 2011 07:50 PM

                        Gjelina is definitely open for dinner -- if you haven't filled your evenings -- but also has most of their best dishes on the lunch menu (maybe brunch on weekends). Be sure to get a pizza (lamb sausage), at least a couple of the roast veggies (the radicchio for sure, and the cauliflower or broccolini), the gnocchi in brown butter, and don't miss the butterscotch with salt for dessert. My favorite in L.A. these days.

                        -----
                        Gjelina
                        1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

                    2. re: tripaddict28
                      westsidegal Apr 16, 2011 08:47 AM

                      if great food is a criteria, don't go to mr. chow's

                      1. re: tripaddict28
                        goodhealthgourmet Apr 16, 2011 10:21 AM

                        as others have said, skip Geisha House. PLEASE.

                        Mr Chow's isn't worth your time, particularly when you've got Susur Lee cooking in Toronto...unless you're more concerned with ogling celebrities than you are with your meal ;)

                        and Koi, while perfectly serviceable, isn't nearly the best representation of sushi in this town...i'm not sure it's even a worthwhile scene anymore for someone interested in that aspect.

                        Nobu is what you'd expect Nobu to be - good, expensive, and yes, sometimes a bit of a scene. but at least you'd get to enjoy a beautiful drive to Malibu if you go to the *original* location. it's certainly not the ultimate, but IMHO the best choice out of the places you listed.

                        -----
                        Nobu
                        11357 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                        1. re: tripaddict28
                          f
                          fdb Apr 16, 2011 03:40 PM

                          I've never been but my 30-something niece and her husband always go to Bar Marmont when they are in town. You may want to check it out.

                          -----
                          Bar Marmont
                          8171 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046

                          1. re: fdb
                            t
                            tripaddict28 Apr 16, 2011 06:34 PM

                            Thanks for all the replies so far! Much appreciated!
                            We booked Saam for Sat night but didn't realize it takes 3.0-3.5 hours to get through all the courses! Hopefully it will be worth it.....sounds like many people recommend this place!
                            Mr. Chow's, Nobu, and Geisha House are off the list - thanks for the feedback.
                            For Friday night, we're thinking Osteria Mozza or Katsuya, and we'll definitely be dropping into Cleo's during our trip as it is right near our hotel.

                            1. re: tripaddict28
                              Phurstluv Apr 16, 2011 06:36 PM

                              Sounds like a good plan, have fun and let us know how it all went!!

                              1. re: Phurstluv
                                t
                                tripaddict28 Apr 17, 2011 02:02 PM

                                Between Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza, which one is recommended? Thanks!

                                -----
                                Pizzeria Mozza
                                641 N. Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                Osteria Mozza
                                6602 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                1. re: tripaddict28
                                  wienermobile Apr 17, 2011 02:05 PM

                                  Both great food. Pizzeria more casual. Osteria is more pricy and has Nancy Silverton's wonderful mozzarella bar. Can't go wrong with either.

                                  1. re: tripaddict28
                                    Phurstluv Apr 17, 2011 04:56 PM

                                    Yes, wienermobile is correct, they are different, with Osteria being more formal, though it's not formal at all, just a level up from the Pizzeria. But I love that the Pizzeria is open all day, and you can reserve a table off peak hours, in order to get the date that you want.

                                    1. re: Phurstluv
                                      t
                                      tripaddict28 Apr 27, 2011 01:39 PM

                                      Thank you so much for the recommendation for Saam! We had an incredible dinner on Saturday night and the food and service was out of this world. We enjoyed a very lively night at the Bazaar afterwards.
                                      We also enjoyed meals at Pizzeria Mozza, Gjelina, and Cleo's. Thank you again for all the recommendations, you guys rock!

                                      -----
                                      Pizzeria Mozza
                                      641 N. Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                      Gjelina
                                      1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

                                      1. re: tripaddict28
                                        Phurstluv May 5, 2011 06:05 PM

                                        So glad you had a great time! You hit some great places!

                                        1. re: tripaddict28
                                          t
                                          tissue May 7, 2011 01:03 AM

                                          Go to Hungry Cat!

                                          -----
                                          The Hungry Cat
                                          1535 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028

                                          1. re: tissue
                                            goodhealthgourmet May 7, 2011 12:02 PM

                                            they've already come & gone.

                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7789...

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