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Jan 16, 2012 12:57 AM

Help me decide please! Looking for a great meal before Wicked

Well, I researched and researched and had finally chosen a romantic spot (Little Door mainly for the ambience but also because it seemed to get pretty good reviews for food as well) for dinner with my hubby before going to see Wicked. But, I then realized that they (like most other places) don't even open for dinner until 6 and I would really rather not rush through dinner. SO, from my smaller amount of reseach I have found:

Mozza-I'd be open to either pizzeria or osteria. Seems as though the food is very good quality but it wouldn't be the romantic date spot I was hoping for
The Hungry Cat-ditto Mozza
La Boheme-looks sexy and romantic but the food seems to be lacking
Delphine-close to pantages
Beso-doesn't open until 6 either but is within walking distance. Decor looks nice but not sure about the food
Off-Vine-close to Pantages

Of these what would you choose? Or is there somewhere else I should consider. Food is very important but since we don't get out much without the kids, ambience is too. Since we will also be drinking, I'd like to keep it under $70 per person for the food.

I appreciate your input! Thanks!

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  1. Off Vine
    Stinking Rose

    1. Food at Hungry Cat is good, and it's walking distance to Pantages, but no, ambiance is not really romantic, more bright, bustling foodie, and essentially in a mall.

      But I think Osteria Mozza can make a fine romantic date spot, especially early when it won't be too busy and loud. The Pizzeria less so, as it's brighter and more casual. But food is excellent at both.

      Providence is one more place you might consider, though $70-per probably won't quite cut it. Not sure what night you're date is, but I believe they open a little earlier on Saturday and Sunday, 5:30 I think.

      Likewise, Hatfield's opens at 5:30 on Saturday and Sunday (6:00 other nights) and $70-per might be more realistic there.

      And Eva (in the original Hatfield's space) opens at 5:30 each night, and earlier on Sunday. Might also be worth looking into.

      5955 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

      6703 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

      Eva Restaurant
      7458 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

      12 Replies
      1. re: wutzizname

        OK and one more I just thought of. Haven't been yet, but the still newish il Covo on 3rd, not too much farther west from Little Door, is supposed to have a very charming patio, excellent food, and it looks like they're open straight through from lunch, with the dinner menu beginning at 5:00 each night. Might give them a look.

        il Covo
        8706 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

        1. re: wutzizname

          You might also look at Cleo. They don't serve until 6:00 but they are right next to the Pantages. And although the place gets "clubby" late night, I'm sure pre-theatre it would be quite nice. And it's a pretty charming room with surprisingly excellent Mediterranean food.

          1717 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028

          1. re: wutzizname

            I'd also add to this list Animal, Son of a Gun and Playa...

            435 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

            7360 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

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

            1. re: Servorg

              Except that Animal and Son of a Gun don't open until 6, which is the trick of this post, I think.

              Playa does start serving at 5:30, and is definitely worth consideration.

              1. re: wutzizname

                You've also got Katsuya right there at Hollywood & Vine, and they open at 5:30, though not sure if that meets your idea of romantic.

                1. re: wutzizname

                  I thought I heard that Playa closed.

                  1. re: Thor123

                    After this thread went up, along with and my recommendation of Playa it did, indeed, close. Another reason why the elimination of our own CH database of restaurants is so detrimental to this site as one could link it, and then go back and add closed to the restaurant in question...and that closed notation would then show up on old threads such as this one.

                    1. re: Servorg

                      You should have recommended it sooner! You might have saved the day!!!

                      1. re: Thor123

                        "You might have saved the day!!!"

                        In that case I would have been Mighty Chow Mouse!

              2. re: wutzizname

                I just wanted to update and THANK YOU for the Cleo recommendation! I loved it! And, although we were looking for (and got) ambience. The food was the real winner here!!! I only wished that we had more room in our stomachs. I'm still drooling over the lebaneh and mushroom flatbread!
                We also managed to dine at Hungry Cat the next day for brunch and had what will probably go down as the best fish taco I will ever eat.
                On our way into town, we hit up El Tepeyac for delicious burritos, a shot (or two!) of tequila, and some great company from Manny the owner. On our way out of town we also tried Philippe's for the french dip, I wasn't as in love as some but hubby loved it so I guess we'll be back. AND we managed to do all this in a little over 24 hours! I I will be on a starvation diet for the next two weeks but it was well worth it! THANKS CHOWHOUNDERS!!!!!!!!!

                1. re: wutzizname

                  I haven't been yet....but foodie friends of mine recently raved about Cleo. I'm really anxious to try it.

            2. I second CLEO. You can get in at 6, get an amazing meal (and great cocktails) and then walk to the Pantages. It is one of the best restaurants in the city right now.

              If you go, the Vinebury cocktail, invented by one of the bartenders, Tiffany, is wonderful. The dips are a must to start... be sure to ask for a lot of the fresh baked bread. And the lamb shank and the moussaka also are terrific. All of the food is wonderful.

              1717 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028

              1. Wow! Excellent suggestions. Thank you very much!

                I really think I'm leaning towards Cleo. Looks to be a nice mix of decent ambience and great food. The same could be said for Osteria Mozza and Katsuya.

                Providence and Hatfields of course look amazing but at the top of our budget since it is a whole night outing: dinner, theater, and post-show drinks (I'm even considering the $100 bowling at the library bar in the Roosevelt. Sounds fun and different. Anyone been?) So, I'd prefer not to completely break the bank on just dinner.

                Il Covo LOOKS perfect. Based on reviews, not sure if the food lives up.

                Lots to think about. I appreciate all your help! Keep the ideas coming!

                1 Reply
                1. re: MellyB

                  oops! On a different computer. Must have 2 accounts. How'd that happen?! I'm the same person MelB5 and MellyB. Gotta get that sorted out.

                2. The original comment has been removed