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critique our itinerary!

I'm heading to LA with a couple of girlfriends the first weekend of November. We are all early 30s architects - 2 coming from Charleston, SC and one from Atlanta, GA - so mostly looking for great spaces & interiors (sadly, my friends have said that's more important and/or celeb sightings than great food, though I've been trying to steer towards good food too). This is my 2nd time to LA and their first. We are staying in West Hollywood. Here's our itinerary so far for your critique:

Arrive Friday am -
lunch: Santa Monica - I think they want Umami Burger
afternoon: the Getty
dinner: currently open, thinking low-key as we'll have a long day (wanted Mozza here, but couldn't get a res)

Sat am - hiking Griffith Park
lunch: on the way back to our pad (casual, in hiking clothing), thinking Ricky's Fish Tacos or Yuca's
afternoon: sightseeing Hollywood
dinner: reservation at STK

Sun - sightseeing downtown / the Grove / Melrose Trading Post / Beverly Hills
brunch: thinking Campanile or AOC
dinner: cheap dinner or takeout (going out late-night)

Mon - WB studio tour + Conan
lunch: WB Studio Plaza Cafe (lame, less than 1hr btw end of tour & Conan check-in) or off-site if we have time?? - maybe In & Out.
dinner: reservation at Pizzeria Mozza

Tues - depart

I wanted to put Thai in - perhaps on Friday night or Sunday night, but one of my friends is dealing with new food sensitivity issues and has narrowed down nuts as one of the offenders (she's worried about peanuts in lots of Thai dishes), along with beer, chocolate, caffeine, oats and fried food.

What are we missing that should go in Friday/Sunday night? We're also planning to hit a couple of nightclubs for late-night dancing & drinks - any recs for what's "hot" these days?

Thanks!

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AOC
8022 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Pizzeria Mozza
6602 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038

Yuca's
2056 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Umami Burger
850 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Ricky's Fish Tacos
1400 N Virgil Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

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  1. I suggest filling in one of your empty slots for korean bbq. korean food in LA is probably the best you can get outside of Korea. Suggest Parks BBQ (for high quality) or Soot Bull Gip (smokey bbq atmosphere). probably best for your sat lunch after griffith park as korea town is between the park and your hotel.
    Im not a big fan of STK..think you can do better on that one...
    dinner after the getty: you probalby want to stay in the west LA area so let me throw out the Sawtelle /Olympic blvd area: a little street with numerous small japanese restuarants.

    have fun!

    10 Replies
    1. re: samtron608

      Thanks for the Korean BBQ tip!
      Any other recs for steak in a great atmosphere?
      We're actually staying at a house via Airbnb, so we're scheduled to meet the owner to check-in at 6pm Friday in West Hollywood.
      Thanks!

      1. re: rehabitat

        CUT is the de-facto standard for LA steak + scene

        1. re: ns1

          Much appreciated, but my friends thought CUT interiors looked like an office building cafeteria. Need more glam. :p

          1. re: rehabitat

            Go to Dan Tana's and order the "Dabney Coleman" steak...Old Hollywood "kitch" and dine place in your immediate locale (WeHo)...

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

            1. re: Servorg

              Dan Tana's is fun and old school, good food and if you go a little later there are celebrities. Love Soot Bull Jeep for Korean, would be great coming from the park.

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

              Soot Bull Jeep
              3136 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90005

            2. re: rehabitat

              just take your friend to geisha house.

              1. re: ns1

                If you are looking for scene plus steak, I would argue that BOA has to be right near the top.

                1. re: ellaystingray

                  Cut is very nice inside. Not sure what you mean by glam, but I think you want more high style than cool contemporary. (just thank God Barbara Lazaroff isn't still at the design helm of Puck's restaurant efforst!). Too bad Ortolan is closed - VERY sexy room.

                  BOA - I'd pass on. It's not bad, just like the kind of place you'd see Paris HIlton (which is who I saw when I last ate there). Dan Tana's has a great weird cool to it. But it isn't architectually interesting. There are a lot of interesting places architectually - like Katsuya in Brentwood (Philipe Starck), or

                  Campanile or AOC are a little past their prime. Campanille is still a nice room, but the food has been disappointing for a few years now. I never got AOC. There are SO many places you can go that are more interesting.

                  Picca has a very fun vibe - the place buzzes with excitement. And the food won't disappoint (I'd say read some reviews beause the menu can be daunting).

                  -----
                  AOC
                  8022 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

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

                  Picca
                  9575 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

        2. re: samtron608

          +1 for Park's BBQ. Great food. Great meats, better than most steak houses. Great service. Love their Seasoned Boneless Beef Short Rib • 주물럭 and the Pancake w/ rock shrimp & green onion • 파전. Some of the best food in LA and open late.
          http://www.parksbbq.com/

          -----
          Park's BBQ
          955 S. Vermont Ave, Suite G, Los Angeles, CA 90006

          1. re: samtron608

            YES! PARKS BBQ OR SOOT BULL JEEP! You cannot miss korean food in LA. It's awesome. For Sunday, i DO really like AOC. It's very close to the Melrose Swap meet so it's a good choice. The one time i went to Campanile, i wasn't blown away. Have you investigated Drago Centro downtown? I don't know much about architecture, but look at some photos online. The food is great, though $. I haven't yet tried Ricky's Fish Tacos but i highly recommend doing that-- it's on my list! I hear mixed reviews regarding Unami. I've never been. But def check out IN-N-Out. you cannot beat the price or the quality! if your looking for a good burger, my burger lover friends RAVE about Stout in hollywood. Also, we have excellent Sushi here. Are you interested in any suggestions there?

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            AOC
            8022 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

            Drago Centro
            525 S. Flower St., Suite 120, Los Angeles, CA 90071

            Ricky's Fish Tacos
            1400 N Virgil Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

          2. "lunch: WB Studio Plaza Cafe (lame, less than 1hr btw end of tour & Conan check-in) or off-site if we have time?? - maybe In & Out."

            InO might be a mad house depending on what time you're there; might not be doable <1 hour.

            plenty of porn star sightings @ the Cahuenga InO though :laughs:

            1 Reply
            1. re: ns1

              I'd walk up to Olive & Thyme, overpriced as it is, myself... despite having a lot of restaurants, there aren't very many GOOD restaurants within walking distance of the WB lot.

            2. Unless you're going to STK for the "scene", i would substitute that out for a proper steak house, cause the food is not good there.

              Or maybe even do a good sushi dinner.

              1. You'll get plenty of good recs for food, so I'll suggest that you cross-reference with the list of past AIA Restaurant Design Award winners and maybe kill two birds with one stone.

                http://aialosangeles.org/content/rest...

                1 Reply
                1. re: TracyS

                  i was going to suggest the same thing.

                  some more places:

                  a-frame: formerly a wienerschnitzel.
                  manhattan beach post (office)
                  pann's: 50s googie, near the airport.

                  old school...philippe or cole's, among others already mentioned. sorry to say, clifton's is currently under renovation.

                2. i would replace STK with any of the following:

                  Lawry's: very LA..huge nice asthetic dinning room. this place is split amongst the LA hounds, but its classic LA and would fit the bill for you.

                  Cut: yes, office space, but very good food.

                  Bazaar: tapas..expensive but scene is what you are looking for, you will find it here.

                  oh and for dancing: well, its been a while since ive been in that scene, but a new one is Drais (or spelled Drias..not sure). its on vine/sunset blvd.

                  or you can try Edison in downtown..im not sure if there is a large dancefloor, but its underground in an old electrical place. pretty neat interior..im sure you can find pics on the web.

                  1. If you love Pastrami like I do, world famous Langer's Deli near downtown LA has the some of best on earth. Open until 4pm daily except closed on Sunday. A real treat.
                    http://www.langersdeli.com/

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                    Langer's Delicatessen
                    704 S Alvarado St, Los Angeles, CA 90057

                    1. For scene + food: Fig and Olive and Mercado di Vetro may be your best bets. I have not been to either but a quick Yelp/Google search should confirm that's what you're looking for.

                      As for what's "hot". Supperclub and Roxbury (Fridays) and Beverly (Saturdays). Very pricey as you'll have to get table service to get in but it does not get "hotter" than this in LA.

                      1. +1 for Ricky's fish tacos. Oh so good. Check his twitter first to make sure he's open his schedule can very and he closes when it rains.
                        http://twitter.com/#!/rickysfishtacos

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                        Ricky's Fish Tacos
                        1400 N Virgil Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: wienermobile

                          ...but skip the lobster tacos and stick with fish tacos.

                          1. re: ns1

                            I agree. The fish is better than the shimp too.

                        2. My $.02:

                          Friday - Ditch Umami Burger and go to Father's Office (Helms location) instead for the FO burger. The former Helms Bakery is an architecturally interesting building, now refitted as the largest purveyor of furniture in L.A.
                          Afternoon: Agree with the Getty
                          Dinner: Low-key sushi at Sushi Dokoro KiRaLa in Beverly Hills; either that, or Dan Tana's, in West Hollywood (celebs galore)
                          Drinks/Lounge: Historic Bar Marmont (Kills 2 birds with 1 stone: Historic edifice, with celebs galore), also close to your hotel in WeHo.

                          Saturday - Ditch STK and go with Park's BBQ in Koreatown

                          Sunday - Brunch at Scarpetta in Beverly Hills for brunch (all-you-can-eat portions of Scott Conant's famous spaghetti!)

                          Downtown is the new place to party for many. The architecture there is also more interesting, I think.
                          A great Downtown interior is at The Edison, a Downtown speakeasy located inside a steam plant. Have some absinthe, and stumble out into L.A.'s version of Gotham as you leave.

                          -----
                          Park's BBQ
                          955 S. Vermont Ave, Suite G, Los Angeles, CA 90006

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

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

                          Father's Office
                          3229 Helms Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90034

                          Umami Burger
                          850 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                          Scarpetta
                          225 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: J.L.

                            Agree with the brunch at Scapetta. Bring your appetite. Best brunch in LA.

                            1. re: J.L.

                              An alternative to brunch at a restaurant on Sunday is to go downtown early and walk around. Eat at the stalls at Grand Central Market before looking at architectural landmarks like the Bradbury Building, the Biltmore and Disney Hall. Alternatively, tour downtown in the afternoon and get a reservation for early Sunday dinner at Lazy Ox Canteen,

                              Or go for dim sum just east of downtown in San Gabriel Valley. But I doubt any of those options will be particularly exciting architecturally.

                              -----
                              Grand Central Market
                              317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013

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

                            2. Thanks so much for all the tips! If money were no object, we'd definitely be hitting Bazaar, and Scarpetta brunch sounds amazing but too steep at $68pp.

                              -----
                              Scarpetta
                              225 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: rehabitat

                                As architects I think for sure, you will find Bazaar interesting (you don't have to eat there, you can just have some drinks and go somewhere else). Other places that might interest you: Patina (how can you resist having dinner (or just lunch) at Disney Concert Hall, Rivera is very good and nicely designed, WP 24 at LA Live (the food is expensive and not great but the building is worth checking out), Ray's at LACMA (you can check out the Renzo Piano museum and the Architecture and Design Museum is across the street), and Hollywood Katsu (another Philip Stark design). I am sure I am forgetting some others...

                                -----
                                Katsu
                                306 Rosecrans Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

                              2. What kind of design are you looking for? (Patina is in the Disney Hall - a Frank Gehry design).

                                Or there is a steak punk Heaven in the Edison downtown.

                                Chaya has been around for 20 years - I think the designer is Elyse Grinstein. (sp?) Or maybe that's the Venice Chaya - both have been around for a while, both hold up quite well.

                                You might check out Chinois as an example of interior design so-god-awful that it's knd of interesting.

                                Mozza - you can go early and sit at the bar. Or try later on a school night. And they do get cancellations, so you might try a wait list.

                                For celebs - Giorgio's on West Channel in Santa Monica Canyon. Will be hard to get a reservation. (Giorgio passed away and I was told by a restaurateur buddy that the food is actually better!).

                                Michael Mina on Sunset Blvd - is that the kind of glam you're looking for?

                                But a little help as to what you might like - there's a LOT of interesting architecture inside and out in L.A.

                                -----
                                Chinois
                                2709 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405

                                Chaya
                                525 S Flower St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

                                1. for dinner on the 1st day, fig in santa monica or ray's at LACMA would be my choices, or as mentioned you could take your chances on a walk-in at mozza or sit at the mozzarella bar on the osteria side.

                                  after your griffith park hike i would do best fish tacos in ensenada over ricky's.

                                  for a real club experience, saturday nights at avalon for house music.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: tastycakes

                                    Love the mid-Century modern interior at Ray's; plus the amazing view through the big picture windown of the Renzo Piano building at LACMA. Try to go for lunch if you don't have time for dinner. Then after meal, wander through the sculptures in front of the Piano building. It's not quite The Modern in NYC with the view of the MOMA sculpture garden, but for the left coast, it will have to do.

                                  2. Sunday--save your money and start your day at Farmers Market at 3rd and Fairfax. Vintage LA down to the shopping carts. And since it is the original food court, you can split up so that your friend with the food allergies won't weigh you down. Farmers Market is contiguous to The Grove. And definitely round out your breakfast with a doughnut and a hottle of coffee from Bob's at the eastern end of the market.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: coffeebrownies

                                      And also English Toffee at Littlejohn's Candies while you're there.