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Sep 7, 2011 10:15 AM

Dinner Thur night between LAX and Valencia

Flying into LAX at 7pm tomorrow (Thur) night and driving up to Valencia. Would like to stop for a good and fun dinner along the way. Prefer not to stray too far off of the 405, but would detour (into Santa Monica, for example), if it makes sense. Money is not an issue, but don't want to go too formal; and although we're willing to spend some bucks, that doesn't mean that we wouldn't be interested in a great cheap eats place, too. Not looking for ethnic food unless it's mind-blowing-can't-be-had-in-nyc ethnic food! Bonus points if it's bookable on opentable.

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  1. Some places to check out would be Upstairs 2 (buy a bottle of wine downstairs from the Wine House and the corkage is only $10) or Tavern in Brentwood or Toscana in Brentwood or Josie in Santa Monica. All easily accessible off of the 405 going N to Valencia.

    2424 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405

    Upstairs 2
    2311 Cotner Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90064

    11648 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049

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

    5 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      All superb choices, yet ultimately the selection of Upstairs 2 would be my choice, in that you can get in without a wait, altho a reservation should be made(even though you might be late), the food is very good, and your dining room is adjacent to the 405 Freeway. It sits atop one of the better wine shops with a selection deserving of any wine snob.
      All places mentioned by Servorg are bookable, btw.

      Upstairs 2
      2311 Cotner Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90064

      1. re: carter

        Thanks. Upstairs 2 will be our fallback if we can't make it to our Josie reservation.

      2. re: Servorg

        Thanks. Josie looks like a good option, assuming we can get out of the airport, pick up our rental car, and get up there by 8pm (the latest they accept reservations on a Thur). Coming from LAX at around 7:30pm, would you recommend the 405 or Lincoln Blvd?

        1. re: Blumie

          i'd go to Cafe del Rey in Marina del Rey in part because i'm assuming that your car will be containing luggage.
          in addition to good food, great views, good service, great wine list, they also have an ATTENDED parking lot in front of the restaurant. if it were my luggage, i'd ask Manny (or any of the other parking attendants) to park my car right in front of their station so that it would be continuously monitored all evening).

          1. re: Blumie

            Go N on Sepulveda to Centinela and go L to Jefferson and turn L (west) to Centinela and turn R to Pico( which will put you about 8 blocks E of Josie) and turn L (west) to Josie.

        2. Just want to report back that Josie was an excellent recommendation, and the timing worked out perfectly: our flight landed a little early and the rental car pickup was quick, so I think we probably were there by around 7:30. And the 90 minutes or so in the restaurant was sufficient for traffic on the 405 to die down, so the post-dinner drive to Valencia was relatively painless. Which was good because I had to wake up ridiculously early to get in a run before my 8am meeting in order to burn off the insanely rich buffalo burger and truffle fries I ate at Josie!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Blumie

            Glad everything worked out to your satisfaction. Thanks for reporting back, it's much appreciated.