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Solo dining options in downtown LA

NapaTJ Jan 18, 2012 06:55 PM

I have one night in LA and staying downtown because that's where my meeting is at and I'm flying out early the next day. Looking for good food somewhere, preferably with a good bar to dine at since that's my preference when solo. I've been to Bottega Louis and would consider going back. Church & State looks interesting, but looks like a schlep. I like Cafe Pinot, but have been there alot. Any thoughts on an option I've missed with really good food (more about the food than the scene, this is Chowhound after all). Thanks

  1. perk Jan 18, 2012 08:14 PM

    I love the food at Drago Centro....and the service and room are lovely. They have a bar menu....but I'm pretty sure you could order anything off the menu at the bar. Also, if you haven't been to Bazaar,
    it's terrific food. It might be more of a scene....but not at the expense of the food, which is excellent and creative. I'd definitely put it at the top of the list.

    1 Reply
    1. re: perk
      ellaystingray Jan 20, 2012 04:20 PM

      I second or third or whatever it is for Drago Centro, Rivera, Lazy Ox and Cole's. Since we've covered Italian, Nuevo Latino, GastroPub and just some dang good French Dip sandwhiches...I'll throw in Aburya Toranoko for Japanese. It's right next door to Lazy Ox and the two times I've be there I loved it. There is a long communal table that I think is great for solo dining. And they are so nice!

    2. ipsedixit Jan 18, 2012 08:21 PM

      Dining solo? Good bar? Go to Nick and Stef's.

      1. r
        running pig Jan 18, 2012 09:14 PM

        Bazaar is fun but its not in DTLA. How about Rivera?

        2 Replies
        1. re: running pig
          perk Jan 19, 2012 12:48 PM

          Sorry. I meant Rivera. Which has nothing to do with Bazaar. Don't know what the heck I was thinking. Or not thinking....

          1. re: perk
            running pig Jan 19, 2012 02:08 PM

            Well, at least you have good taste :-)

        2. a
          andytseng Jan 19, 2012 02:10 AM

          any specific preference in food style? Church & State was very good in its Walter Manzke heyday, but I haven't heard much about it since he left.

          These don't really fit with your dining history, but I would choose between Lazy Ox, Spice Table, or Baco Mercat. If you're traveling for work and on an expense account, I would also consider Kagaya.

          1 Reply
          1. re: andytseng
            TracyS Jan 19, 2012 02:59 PM

            Would skip Church & State nowadays, but highly second all the rest of these recs, especially Lazy Ox Canteen.

          2. a
            AlkieGourmand Jan 19, 2012 10:48 AM

            I dine solo at the bar at Drago Centro quite often. The food is generally good and sometimes excellent. Another suggestion is Lazy Ox, which has an interesting menu and excellent bar dining. The Gorbals is hit and miss, but very reasonably priced with spacious counter dining. The Spice Table is decent if you're looking for spicy Asian flavors.

            Water Grill used to be the best restaurant downtown (clearly Michelin-star worthy), but it's not open now. They're in the process of revamping the restaurant. Maybe it will be open when you arrive, but I fear they'll dumb down the food.

            3 Replies
            1. re: AlkieGourmand
              SilverlakeGirl Jan 20, 2012 06:06 PM

              Interesting. I didn't know it had closed. I have had many great dining experiences there.

              Was it closed for remodel or to re-tool the menu? Or both?

              1. re: SilverlakeGirl
                perk Jan 20, 2012 07:06 PM

                I believe the official word is that they closed for remodel. But it could well be a menu tweak. Don't they have a new chef?

                1. re: perk
                  perk Jan 20, 2012 07:50 PM

                  Just read that there will be an updated menu. Some of the old favorite, but new items as well. There was a mention on Eater L.A.

            2. j
              Jason_King Jan 19, 2012 11:01 AM

              Another vote for the Lazy Ox. That's one of the places I miss eating at downtown since I moved to the westside. I've never eaten at the bar at Drago, but the food was great when I was in the dining room.

              If you're looking for something casual, there is always Cole's for sandwiches and good cocktails.

              1. a
                adk Jan 19, 2012 02:53 PM

                Though I've never dined solo there, I also like Drago Centro. I've eaten at Water Grill once and really enjoyed it; they're currently closed but are scheduled to reopen for dinner on Tuesday, Jan. 24, so if you'll be in L.A. after then and want seafood, that's an easy pick.

                1. TonyC Jan 20, 2012 05:18 PM

                  Basically you can dine anywhere.

                  Escondite is great if you want just some beers at the bar and a burger. Nearby, Fugaya

                  Church & State's is still eons above Bottega, and their bar is Euro intimate/cozy.

                  Far Bar has a super friendly bar with a great beer list these days, and a fantastic burger special.

                  Izakaya Fu-ga has a full bar, and I find the food much more agreeable than Lazy OX. After 6 times at Lazy Ox it seems the only things worth ordering are veggies. Their burger is annoying to eat, their fish often misses, and I've never bothered with the superbly expensive daily specials served for 2.

                  1. n
                    NapaTJ Jan 23, 2012 01:41 PM

                    Thanks for the great replies. I now have a friend joining but still like the idea of dining at the bar. Looks like Drago, Lazy Ox and Rivera will be our choices and I'll let my friend decide.

                    On a slightly different topic - how is Sugarfish downtown? I realize it's a little sterile (have been to the Marina del Rey location) but I really do like their sushi. Likely will do one of the above recs (hate wine with sushi and feel like a glass of wine) but just curious as I really enjoy their sushi much better than my San Francisco options.

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