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Restaurant to impress an eighteen year old?

  • r

My friend and her eighteen year old niece will be visiting from North Carolina. I would like to take them somewhere that will impress the teenager but also somewhere two fortyish women won't feel too out of place. Good food would be a plus but not necessary - the kind of scene restaurant I would usually never choose to go to is what I'm looking for. West LA or West Hollywood areas preferred though we're pretty flexible on location and we are looking to spend $50 per person or so for food only.

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  1. Michaels in Santa Monica

    www.michaelssantamonica.com/

    Fogo De Chao in Beverly Hills

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    Fogo De Chao
    133 N La Cienega Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

    9 Replies
    1. re: flylice2x

      I like Michael's...but it's a pretty old crowd. I don't think a couple of 18 year old would feel like they were someplace fun. The food at the Chateau Marmont is supposed to be pretty good, and that's a fun scene for visiting teenagers. Pizzeria Mozza is a fun atmosphere with very good food. Red O might be a good choice as well.

      -----
      Chateau Marmont
      8221 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046

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

      Red O
      8155 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

      1. re: perk

        Thank you. I'm definitely looking for a restaurant with a young crowd. Chateau Marmont sounds interesting. Mozza is one of my favorites but I'm not sure the atmosphere is right for wowing a teenager. I'll look into Red O and Fogo de Chao.

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        Chateau Marmont
        8221 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046

        Red O
        8155 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

        1. re: perk

          i agree that chateu marmont would be the kind of atmosphere that RMJ43 is looking for, but can't imagine a couple of 18 year olds actually feeling full on $50 of food there.
          maybe if the kids had hamburgers first, THEN went to chateau marmont. . . . .

          1. re: westsidegal

            Pretty funny (and good) idea....maybe a trip to 'N & Out Burger just before dinner.....

          2. re: perk

            I saw many young people at Michaels the times that I have been there....
            Need to know what the OP is looking for as likes / dislikes???

            1. re: flylice2x

              The only dislikes are Indian food and shellfish. Other than that pretty much anything would work. Looking for atmosphere more than a particular type of food here.

          3. re: flylice2x

            1) would not think of michael's for a $50/pp food budget, going there has always ended up much higher for me
            and
            2) michael's is the kind of place that appeals to the a) expense account crowd, and b) the old fogey crowd (like me).

            fwiw, my daughter really enjoyed having her sweet 16 birthday party at Geisha house in west hollywood. don't know if it is still "the" place for the young crowd . . .
            of course, the food there is NOT chowish, but that is not the primary focus for this meal.

            1. re: westsidegal

              Chowish is not my goal here so I'll take a look at Geisha house. Thanks!

            2. re: flylice2x

              Michaels!!! Too old, too expensive.

              A young hip crowd? Try one of the Katsuyas. The one in Brentwood skews pretty young (older'n 18, but a lot of 20-somethings), it has a stylish room you won't find in N.C. and you might be able to get away for $50 per if you watch yourself.

            3. I hate to say it...but the Ivy on Robertson?

              5 Replies
              1. re: LATrapp

                Is that too old fogeyish? Mediocre food is fine here so, if not, the Ivy could work.

                1. re: RMJ43

                  Yeah, too old. You get peole who used to be an agent, then a studio exec, failed at that, tried being a producer, failed at that, and now are managers. That's the crowd you get at The Ivy. Chaya is mucho hipper - more of a 30 something crowd, but skews both ways.

                  -----
                  Chaya
                  525 S Flower St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

                  1. re: foodiemahoodie

                    I find this type of stereotyping very condescending and annoying. BTW, I also don't find Chaya to be terribly hip. I am curious as to when you were last at The Ivy? On my last visit, a few months ago, I saw a good, eclectic mix of young, old, beautiful, not-so-beautiful. Most were nicely dressed and it was clear that they were enjoying the food. Clearly, you must feel superior to that group. I have no idea why.

                    1. re: maudies5

                      last time i had weekday lunch at the Ivy on robertson, there was a mix of middle-aged industry types and tourists that were being shuttled there and back by the hotel limos.
                      saw NO young celebs.

                      the last time i saw the paparazzi crowd was at mozza

                      1. re: westsidegal

                        Interesting. I'll probably take The Ivy off the potential list. I've been to Mozza many times so it doesn't seem that exciting to me but the out of towner's perspective would likely be different.

              2. you'd be surprised at the age range in many LA restaurants.

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                Angelini Osteria
                7313 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036

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

                Animal
                435 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

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

                Osteria Mozza
                6602 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

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

                Lukshon
                3239 Helms Ave, Culver City, CA 90034

                Playa
                7360 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

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

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

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

                Gjelina
                1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

                Manhattan Beach Post
                1142 Manhattan Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

                5 Replies
                1. re: raizans

                  FWIW, I don't believe they could get into Father's Office, as it's technically a bar (not sure if that's the case with Waterloo & City and Rustic Canyon too?)

                  Lukshon or Playa Rivera would be good, though, as both are a bit more "only in LA" than some of the other fine options you listed.

                  1. re: Bradbury

                    oops. i forgot about the 21 year old thing.

                    1. re: Bradbury

                      Great food and no age restrictions at Rustic Canyon.

                      1. re: Bradbury

                        Father's Office is a bar, but Rustic Canyon is not.

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                        Father's Office
                        1018 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403

                      2. re: raizans

                        Great list. Thank you. I know Fathers office won't work but one of the others might.

                      3. actually, they'd probably like Bottega Louie.
                        or Cole's.
                        or one of the Umami's.
                        or the cafe at Fred Segal's in WeHo.

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

                        2 Replies
                          1. re: maudies5

                            Rustic canyon sounds like a good choice. Thank you. Fred segal would probably be a good place to take her for lunch.

                        1. Some possibilities:

                          - Griddle Cafe

                          - Urth (Melrose Ave location)

                          - Umami (Hollywood Blvd location)

                          I'm well into my 40's and don't feel out of place at any of these.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Peripatetic

                            I don't know Urth at all. I'll look into it. Thank you for the suggestions.

                            1. re: RMJ43

                              Reading your answers to DrBruin below, I think Urth Caffe is your place. It's so popular with celebs that TMZ had a live feed outside at one point.

                              http://la.eater.com/archives/2007/11/...

                              (I believe it was ultimately banned.)

                              I don't think Urth's popularity has waned.

                              This food isn't bad, either, and some of their desserts are outstanding. I love their pumpkin and coconut cream pies. Their cappuccinos are okay.

                              One suggestion: maybe get dinner someplace like Umami or Geisha House or Chateau Marmont and then go to Urth for dessert and coffee afterwords.

                          2. Pizzeria Mozza?

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

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              I love sitting at the bar at mozza but I don't like the tables as much. I'm still considering it though.

                            2. 1. Are all of you adventurous eaters? Any food restrictions?
                              2. Since we don't know you, what kind of restaurant scene would you usually not choose to go to?
                              3. Are you looking to spot celebrities? Or, what kind of things do you think would impress your teen niece and your friend from NC?
                              4. What day of the week will you be taking them out for dinner?
                              5. Would all of you be happy with small portions?

                              Just throwing it out there... but, check out the The Bazaar by Jose Andres (menu below). The decor is funky enough... you see carts roving around making liquid nitrogen cocktails for people (and you said 50 is for food only). The only downside is that the portions are 1-2 bites for majority of the dishes. Here is their menu: http://thebazaar.com/files/thebazaar/...

                              Another suggestion would be to take them to a Korean or Japanese BBQ since you cook the food at your table... That may be somewhat of a novelty for someone from North Carolina....

                              For Japanese BBQ: Gyu-Kaku has a location on La Cienaga

                              Or, for Korean food well within your budget, try an AYCE Korean restaurant like...

                              Road to Seoul
                              1230 S Western Ave
                              Los Angeles, CA

                              -----
                              Road to Seoul
                              1230 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90006

                              14 Replies
                              1. re: DrBruin

                                I just put the question to my 21-year-old Bruin, and his immediate answer was "Korean BBQ."

                                1. re: DrBruin

                                  1. The only food restriction is that my friend doesn't like Indian food or shellfish. Anything else is fine.
                                  2. Someplace overpriced with mediocre food and paparazzi.
                                  3. Celebrities would be good. Particularly the kind a teenager would recognize.
                                  4. Saturday night.
                                  5. Small portions are fine.

                                  The Bazaar looks great to me. That would be fun for me but I don't know if it would be too intimidating for my friend's niece. I'm going to get a list together for my friend and let her choose. My own kids (who are younger and won't be at this dinner) would always choose Korean barbecue but I'm thinking it might be too messy to impress a teenage girl.

                                  1. re: RMJ43

                                    Well, the one thing about celebs, is that you often won't see them dining out on Saturday nights... They often will go out weeknights...

                                    Here's a list of places celebs were recently spotted at courtesy of Chowhound's partner, Grubstreet.

                                    http://losangeles.grubstreet.com/2011...

                                    I've personally seen celebs at http://www.katsu-yagroup.com/katsuya_... while out for sushi.

                                    I frequently hear about them dining at places like Mr. Chows in Beverly Hills and Crustacean.

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

                                    1. re: DrBruin

                                      Guess she'll have to miss out on the celeb sighting then. Thanks for the lists.

                                      1. re: RMJ43

                                        One of the fun things about Urth is that it's been used fairly often as a location for the TV show Entourage. So...even if you didn't see celebs....that would still be of interest.
                                        If you did lunch in Malibu....and walked through the shopping centers....you'd have a good shot at spotting a couple of celebs.

                                    2. re: RMJ43

                                      The Bazaar is a good choice. If you're not drinking and ordering small plates - you could easily do $50 per person - you won't be full, but you won't be hungry. Get some sparkling with that! Fills you up a little!:)

                                      1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                        <<you won't be hungry>>

                                        feeding an 18 year old is quite different from feeding most of us.. . .

                                        1. re: westsidegal

                                          True. For some reason I thought t would be an 18 year old. An 18 year old guy is clearly another thing altogether.

                                          1. re: westsidegal

                                            She's a tiny eighteen year old girl so I think small plates will work fine.

                                            1. re: RMJ43

                                              my "tiny" 20 year old daughter normally packs away about 3000 calories a day and still stays tiny.
                                              if i did that you'd see the word GOODYEAR painted horizontally on my torso.

                                              1. re: westsidegal

                                                Took 2 18 year olds and a 20 year old and two adults to Bazaar last month. I had a $400/budget. With one drink each for the adults and water for the kids, the bill came to exactly $397 before tip. None of the kids (or adults) were big eaters--in fact, we are all very light eaters. We didn't get more than 2 of any kind of tapas for the table--and all we ate were tapas plates (almost all from the modern menu) and 2 desserts without coffee. So, I think $50 per person would be really tight--even with a size 0 eighteen-year-old. however, it is a really fun place to eat and really fun food if the kids care about the food at all. if not, take them to 101 cafe. This is my 18 and 20 year old's favorite. Lots of indy rock star sightings. Really cool, but since it is attached to a motel, not so odd to go there if you aren't an indy rock star. Also try the Brite Spot in Silverlake. And by all means take them to Farmers Market and the Grove. Also, know that in LA, there are lots of old hipsters.

                                                1. re: coffeebrownies

                                                  The 101 Coffee Shop is an interesting pick. The food is just so-so but they have a great juke box. At various times over the years, I've seen William H. Macy and Minnie Driver there. And lots of wannabe actors. The ink and piercing quotient can vary from visit to visit. The place was the setting for a scene or two in "Swingers."

                                                  -----
                                                  101 Coffee Shop
                                                  6145 Franklin Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028

                                                  1. re: coffeebrownies

                                                    +1 for the Farmers Market. A taste of LA and great for lunch time people watching. Open every day too.
                                                    http://www.farmersmarketla.com/

                                                    -----
                                                    Farmers Market
                                                    6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                                    1. re: coffeebrownies

                                                      I can live with going over budget so I'm going to keep The Bazaar on the list, mainly because I want to try it. Thank you for the warning though. I've never heard of 101 cafe but it sounds like a good option.

                                        2. I say take him to Hooters. The impression you make on the kid will so outweigh the impression of the two 40-year olds, it'll balance the whole thing out. (Let me know how it goes.)

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: Steve2 in LA

                                            It's her 18 year old neice..she might get imtimidated or feel insecure......

                                            1. re: flylice2x

                                              It's a horrible idea anyway you look at it. But I think he was joking anyway.

                                            2. re: Steve2 in LA

                                              Niece. Not quite the scene that's likely to impress her.

                                            3. Border Grill in Santa Monica would meet your qualifications. My daughter and her friend went to lunch at The Ivy when they were 18 and while they did not see any celebrities they enjoyed it.

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

                                              10 Replies
                                              1. re: chuck

                                                We were recently at Rustic Canyon with a couple of teens. They loved everything about it (even the noise). They were crazy about the stuffed squash blossoms, burger and a pasta dish with little meatballs. Of course, they were also in love with the desserts. Make a reservation and get there as early as possible.

                                                1. re: maudies5

                                                  My two teenage sons loved Rustic Canyon also. The fried cauliflower is a must.

                                                  1. re: wienermobile

                                                    Rustic canyon is probably my first choice at this point. I'm going to send a list to my friend: Rustic canyon, Katsuya, The Bazaar, The Ivy and maybe a couple others and let her decide. Then definitely Urth Caffe for coffee afterwards.

                                                    -----
                                                    Urth Caffe
                                                    2327 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405

                                                    1. re: RMJ43

                                                      After you've taken out your NC family, please report back on where you went, and if the 18 year old niece was impressed. ;)

                                                      1. re: RMJ43

                                                        Part of what you need to determine is the interests and sophistication of the 18-year old. If she rolls her eyes at movie stars, then go somewhere cool and unusual. (Bazaar is definitely cool and unusual). If she feels awkward and out of place somewhere that is too cool, then a more laid back people watching place like Farmers Market might do the trick. If she is a foodie, go somewhere with great food, and if she is a cautious eater, a burger place like Umami or pizza, like Pizzeria Mozza, will be both glamourous and easy to stomach. Some less glam options: If she wants to take in all the sites in LA, take her to the Getty for a meal on the patio. If she is athletic, maybe rent roller blades or bikes on the beach and skate or ride over to Back on the Beach for brunch. I wowed some 20 year olds with Ethiopian food recently, and one of our next family foodie adventures will feature Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles.

                                                        -----
                                                        Back on the Beach
                                                        445 Palisades Beach Rd, Santa Monica, CA

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

                                                        1. re: coffeebrownies

                                                          I don't really know the girl at all. I haven't seen her since she was in grade school. I'm going to get a list together with general food and atmosphere descriptions for my friend, her aunt, and let her make the final decision.

                                                  2. re: chuck

                                                    The Ivy is definitely a possibility. I'll look into Border grill too. Thank you.

                                                    1. re: RMJ43

                                                      Ivy is much better and will be more fun.

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

                                                      1. re: RMJ43

                                                        In my opinion the Border Grill is nothing special, but neither is the Ivy. I love Spago. Great food, wonderful patio and still a classy Hollywood scene. If Wolfgang is there he aways comes by to say hello.

                                                        -----
                                                        Spago
                                                        176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                                    2. Wolfgang puck at LA Live. Plenty of scensters mixed with the occasional celebrity. It's located in a complex that LA wishes to be it's own version of times square although it is hardly that. What it does have is nightlife(a hipster bowling alley upstairs) and plenty of epilepsy inducing lights which is quintessential L.A. excess.

                                                      The food happens to be surprisingly very good...

                                                      1. When my son was a teenager, for a VERY special occasion, I took him to Crustacean. Why? For his great love of expensive Asian cuisine? Heck no! So that he can walk on top of fish! They have that glass walkway, with an aquarium/fish pond underneath. He also marveled at the Ahn's "special secret menu." I have to say, it was memorable and fun. We drove home over one of the canyons and I showed him where Sharon Tate once lived. (The house is gone, but the street is obviously still there.) Okay,so that's a little sick, but at least I didn't take him to Lucy's El Adobe where they say Sharon Tate had her last meal! My kids are also avid sushi eaters and R24 and Katsuya impress them as well.

                                                        -----
                                                        Lucy's El Adobe Cafe
                                                        5536 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

                                                        1. My friend overruled all of my suggestions and decided she wanted sushi with a view so we're going to Yamashiro. Thanks for all the help everyone! Now I have a great list for the next out of town visitor.

                                                          -----
                                                          Yamashiro
                                                          1999 N Sycamore Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: RMJ43

                                                            Any recent review of Yamashiro would be greatly appreciated so please report back!

                                                            -----
                                                            Yamashiro
                                                            1999 N Sycamore Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068

                                                            1. re: LATrapp

                                                              The dinner is in a few weeks. I'll report back then.

                                                              1. re: LATrapp

                                                                We went out last night. Perhaps the less said about the food, the better. The view was amazing but the food not as much. We had the lobster sushi rolls special which had little lobster taste and was strangely covered in chewy bacon. The darth vader roll that they advertise as their specialty was goopy with spicy mayo and fell apart when touched by a chop stick. The fried calamari was extremely chewy. We didn't try any main dishes but they didn't look any more impressive than the sushi/appetizers. However, after dinner I went out for drinks with my husband to Waterloo and City. From 10-midnight they have a happy hour special with a $4 beer of the day - last night it was Green Flash IPA - and $6 mixed drinks. Also tasty pizzas and charcuterie plates at reasonable prices.

                                                                Next time my friend and her niece are in town I'm taking them to Pizzeria Mozza. Now that I know the teenager better I think that would be more her scene.

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

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

                                                                1. re: RMJ43

                                                                  Sorry to hear that not much has changed at Yamashiro.

                                                                  It's so sad that some of the best restaurant views in Los Angeles serve such sub-par food. Gladstones for example....

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Yamashiro
                                                                  1999 N Sycamore Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068