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ISO dinner venue near Fairfax/Melrose

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Taking my hipster cousin out for dinner, and she loves everything but Chinese. Near Fairfax/Melrose or not so far south or west of that area. Somewhere lively and not bank breaking (limit is $40pp without drinks, tax, tip). Trying to avoid Red O. Was thinking Luna Park, which I used to frequent but stopped maybe 5 years ago - I went recently and the food was not good.

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  1. The Foundry on Melrose might be an option.
    just a few block south is Animal, Son of a Gun and AOC.

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

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

    1. If you have interest in Argentinian food then 2 blocks west of Fairfax on Melrose is Carlitos Gardel. Unless you go for their most expensive steaks you should be well able to keep to your budget.

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      Carlitos Gardel
      7963 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046

      1. I find Luna Park's food just passable. But there is a new wine bar close to that area. 3Twenty South.
        It's at 320 South La Brea. Not a full bar....but "pours" of wine in those machines....so lots of choices.
        Very nice selection of small plates. The owner, Edgar, is very knowledgeable. Has a fun crowd by mid evening. It's my new favorite place in the neighborhood.

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        Luna Park
        672 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036

        1. fwiw, i would substitute Angeli, 7274 Melrose Ave, for Luna Park.

          1. CaBrea or Campinille (both on LaBrea) are good choices.