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Need recommendation for downtown l.a. group birthday lunch

j
Jummy Jul 25, 2011 08:00 AM

Hello Chowhounders,
Please help me figure out a good restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles within walking distance of the California Water Plaza for a group birthday lunch (about 20 people)! Some suggestions I have already received include the Noe at the Omni Hotel and Nic and Stef's Steakhouse but both are more than our budget allows. It would be idea to find something within walking distance but if nothing exists, we would be willing drive a short distance for good food and cool atmosphere. Another suggestion made if we drive is Yxta. Someone help me, please! Thank you!

  1. y
    yogachik Jul 28, 2011 07:23 AM

    I think you wouldn't hear each other at Bottega Louie.

    If you don't mind going a little bit further, consider Tiara Cafe, which would be perfect.

    1 Reply
    1. re: yogachik
      b
      BSW6490 Jul 28, 2011 03:06 PM

      If your coming from an urban race and swetty Bottega is not the right place. Like it a lot though. One of the few and really good clam pizzas in town.

    2. h
      hrm Jul 27, 2011 02:18 PM

      Lazy Ox Canteen is another option, though I am not sure if they take reservations either....

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      Lazy Ox Canteen
      241 S San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

      1. s
        sushigirlie Jul 26, 2011 10:40 PM

        Walking distance -- I suggest the $20/person two-course spa lunch at Pinot (especially if it's a tucked-in collared shirt crowd). I also must grudgingly admit that Bottega Louie could be the ideal place (though I am not a fan--I think the food is average and the acoustics are unconscionably loud).

        Driving -- I suggest La Golondrina. Much more fun than Yxta. I think the food is better too, but I'm probably in the minority on that.

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        La Golondrina
        17 Olvera St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

        7 Replies
        1. re: sushigirlie
          h
          hrm Jul 27, 2011 12:21 PM

          I agree about acoustics at Bottega Louie and food, though most people love it ! Pinot is a REAL restaurant and elegant in all ways.

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

          1. re: hrm
            b
            BSW6490 Jul 27, 2011 01:45 PM

            Pinot is definately a REAL restaurant. I got the impression they were looking for a more casual fun place rather than a more formal culinary experience.

            1. re: BSW6490
              j
              Jummy Jul 27, 2011 02:04 PM

              I think you're right, more casual and fun is more along the lines of what we're searching for. I did not mention this earlier but we will just be finishing an urban race through downtown l.a. so I imagine everyone will be dressed casual.

              Pinot looks beautiful as does Bottega Louie and the atmosphere at Bottega is appealing. I really like Bottega but when we discovered that they do not take reservations (even for a party of 20!). Wursktkuche is sounding promising, actually! They do take reservations and will be able to seat all 20 of us once the last person has gone through the line. Spice Table sounds yummy, too, but it's too spicy for the celebrant! Any other suggestions would be helpful! Thank you so much!

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

              The Spice Table
              114 S. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

              1. re: Jummy
                b
                BSW6490 Jul 27, 2011 02:16 PM

                I think Wursktkuche is what your looking for. The sausages are great and a wide selection of beer. Its very casual too. Have fun.

                1. re: Jummy
                  scottca075 Jul 27, 2011 02:43 PM

                  I can't imagine getting 20 people into Bottega Louie on a Saturday would be a big problem.

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

                  1. re: scottca075
                    h
                    hrm Jul 27, 2011 02:57 PM

                    I agree . I have been on a Saturday afternoon and there were plenty of table's and space. I think this is more of "night place". The menu is limited during certain hours, mostly pizza and sandwiches if I recall correctly. Having said that , the space is interesting(and huge !) and the cocktails good!

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

            2. re: sushigirlie
              j
              Jummy Jul 28, 2011 05:36 PM

              I'll have to keep La Golondrina in mind for other occasions, too! Thanks for your suggestions!

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              La Golondrina
              17 Olvera St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

            3. j
              Jwsel Jul 26, 2011 08:02 PM

              You didn't mention the party is a Saturday until now. I assumed time would be an issue for a weekday lunch, but if you have the time to go a little farther, I would recommend Guelaguetza at Olympic and Normandie. That's only 2 miles from downtown, they can accommodate a party of 20 easily, the food is very budget friendly, there's a full bar, and it's a fun place. Or you could go to Korean BBQ in Koreatown.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Jwsel
                h
                hrm Jul 26, 2011 08:14 PM

                Again Dim-sum is good for big party's in China Town. I like Ocean Seafood.

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                Ocean Seafood Restaurant
                747 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                1. re: hrm
                  wienermobile Jul 26, 2011 11:02 PM

                  +1 for Ocean Seafood. Dim Sum carts with a nice atmosphere and large room.
                  http://www.oceansf.com/

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                  Ocean Seafood Restaurant
                  747 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                  1. re: wienermobile
                    j
                    Jummy Jul 26, 2011 11:34 PM

                    Thank you all for the Dim Sum recommendations but I should probably clarify that this group often goes out for Dim Sum so we will probably steer clear of Chinatown restaurants.

                    1. re: Jummy
                      Servorg Jul 27, 2011 03:09 PM

                      One other delicious, reasonable and casual option would be Colori Kitchen for Italian food. No standing in line to order and in my experience larger groups do well with Italian food finding something they like.

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                      Colori Kitchen
                      429 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

                      1. re: Servorg
                        j
                        Jummy Jul 28, 2011 05:35 PM

                        Thanks! I'll check it out!

              2. ipsedixit Jul 26, 2011 07:44 PM

                Wood Spoon?

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

                2 Replies
                1. re: ipsedixit
                  JAB Jul 26, 2011 09:14 PM

                  They would have to reserve the entire restaurant with 20.

                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    j
                    Jummy Jul 28, 2011 05:37 PM

                    Wood Spoon sounds good, too. I'll have to check it out! Thanks!

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

                  2. scottca075 Jul 26, 2011 01:08 PM

                    What about Church & State or Botega Louie? Yxta Cocina Mexicana is good, but can you get all 20 in at a convenient time? What about Cafe Pinot. What about dim sum in Chinatown? Empress Pavilion has easy parking and so does Ocean.

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                    Cafe Pinot
                    700 West Fifth St., Los Angeles, CA 90071

                    Church & State
                    1850 Industrial Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021

                    Yxta Cocina Mexicana
                    601 S Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90021

                    Empress Pavilion Restaurant
                    988 N Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: scottca075
                      j
                      Jummy Jul 26, 2011 02:10 PM

                      Thanks! Church & State are only open for dinner on Saturday and we discovered that Yxta is only for dinner on Saturday, too. Botega Louie sounds like a good possibility (right price, casual, and only a few blocks away). Thank You for the suggestion!

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                      Church & State
                      1850 Industrial Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021

                      1. re: Jummy
                        h
                        hrm Jul 26, 2011 07:37 PM

                        Bottega Louie has a great celebratory atmosphere and cocktails ! have fun!

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

                    2. h
                      hrm Jul 25, 2011 12:39 PM

                      Yxta, is great.Good food, easy parking and reasonable prices. Better then Border Grill in my opinion.Nice atmosphere.

                      1. b
                        BSW6490 Jul 25, 2011 12:32 PM

                        Another fun choice is Zip Fussion Sushi. The food is interesting and they have a nice patio.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: BSW6490
                          j
                          Jummy Jul 26, 2011 12:15 AM

                          Thank you for all of the great suggestions! We are going to check out Wurstkuche (sounds like so much fun!) and Yxta (sounds delicious!) to see if they can accommodate our party.

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

                        2. j
                          Jwsel Jul 25, 2011 11:05 AM

                          Within walking distance, Border Grill at the corner of Figueroa and 5th might work. There also is McCormick and Schmick's, which is about two blocks from California Plaza.

                          If you're trying to keep costs down, dim sum in Chinatown -- though not as good as in San Gabriel -- is relatively inexpensive.

                          -----
                          Border Grill
                          1445 4th St., Santa Monica, CA 90401

                          1. r
                            rmb123 Jul 25, 2011 09:41 AM

                            I second Wurstkuche! I want to also add The Spice Table. However, both might be too casual for a brthday lunch. You may want to check them out beforehand.

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

                            The Spice Table
                            114 S. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

                            1. b
                              BSW6490 Jul 25, 2011 09:34 AM

                              Wurstkuche is a fun gormet saugage place a short drive awaty in a cool arty enviornment. Great saussages and beer with a cool vibe. Link is below.

                              http://www.wurstkucherestaurant.com/

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

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: BSW6490
                                JAB Jul 26, 2011 09:16 PM

                                I can't see Wurstkuche working for 20. I would think that the 1st person who ordered would be finished eating well before the 20th person was even served.

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

                                1. re: JAB
                                  j
                                  Jummy Jul 26, 2011 11:32 PM

                                  Thank you, JAB, that is a good point about Wurstkuche.

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

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