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Two Recs Needed: Solid Sushi Choice in OC and an Anniversary Dinner in L.A.

Dear L.A and OC Chowhounds,

I need some assistance with two choices.

First, I need a competent, solid sushi experience in OC. It doesn't have to be fancy or high end, but a place where we can go in casual clothes for a nice dinner. We are not really looking for omakase, but a good, fresh selection. Yeah, I know that leaves a lot open, but we are looking for that nice place you could stop at on the way from the airport for a sushi meal before getting home and unpacking.

Second, on November 1, my hubby and I will be celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary and I will be in L.A. for the celebration with him. I am looking for a great anniversary meal and two choices I have in mind are Spago (I am hoping they will be open by then from their summer retrofit) and Melisse. However, I am open to other options. It doesn't have to necessarily be romantic, but a great way to celebrate the evening. We are not big drinkers, so we usually have one or two cocktails or beer with dinner so an extensive wine list isn't needed. Our budget is about $150-$200 per person.

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated and, I will report back.

Thanks!

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  1. I think you would really be happy with Il Piccolino on Robertson just east of B H. Great Italin food, wonderful service and a really cool ambience. Can't go wrong.

    1. For sushi in OC, try either Shibucho or Kasen.

      For your special dinner, I think Spago and/or Melisse are fine choices. Might also consider Providence as well.

      1. For sushi in OC, I recommend Kasen which is a bit more expensive than Shibucho but the quality of the fish is higher and the ambiance is much more relaxing.

        Here is my Kasen vs Shibucho thread:

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/837748

        1. For the anniversary dinner, if Spago is unavailable, try to get into Gjelina and ask for the patio. Be sure to order the butterscotch pot de creme for dessert -- awesome dish.

          1 Reply
          1. re: nosh

            Very loud & trendy at Gjelina. Doubt they will even take a reservation for you. Better bet is definitely Melisse.

          2. For your LA anniversary dinner, I'd recommend Melisse. I was just there a little over a week ago and had another fantastic meal.

            http://degustingdiary.blogspot.com/