2 Nights and a day in LA
We're Philly chowhounds who will be spending a day and a half in LA in between flights in mid August. Have made a dinner reservation at Melisse but am wondering where to go for the following day -- breakfast or brunch, lunch and an early dinner (must turn in car and be at airport by 8:30 PM for 11:15 PM flight). Would go for a Californian restaurant or maybe a great Chinese -- no Italian please as we're from Philly and have lots of great Italian restaurants. Thanks.
Can't go wrong with Gjelina in Venice for farm to table California Cuisine. Reseervations are a must.
For dinner your could do MB Post. Great small plates for sharing. 3 miles from LAX in Manhattan Beach. Dinner service starts at 5pm. Wonderful Food from one of LA's best chefs one block from the beach and the Manhattan Beach Pier.
Gjelina is my favorite SoCal restaurant the last couple of years. It shouldn't be too difficult to get in for an early dinner 5 or 5:30 -- you should even be able to get a table on the patio. I love the thin-crust, charred bottom pizzas from the woodburning oven (lamb sausage) but are you just two? If so, split one of their creative salads, a roasted veggie dish again from the oven, the pork belly (small, great dish), another small dish (maybe two), and save room for the butterscotch pot de creme with salt and whipped cream for dessert, an awesome dish.
Another possibility is getting in early at Chinois on Main.
What days of the week do these fall on? If it's a Thursday/Friday, you could do a one-two Melisse-Providence punch there for lunch on Friday (only day Providence's open for lunch).
I like brunch/lunch at FARMSHOP in Santa Monica for "Californian", or if you want to devote a few hours, you could go to San Gabriel Valley for dim sum (Elite or Sea Harbour) for lunch.
If the days fall on the weekend, your early dinner before going back to the airport doesn't have to be super-close to LAX, so you could do FIG (+1 weinermobile) for their FIG at Five promotion (nearly everything 50% off between 5 PM and 6 PM), and still have plenty of time to get to the airport by 8:30 PM.
If you do want to eat closer to the airport for the early dinner, I've only heard great things about MB Post (haven't been but want to go) so I'm sure you'd be happy there too, per weinermobile's rec.
re: mb post
although on their website it says that dinner service starts at 5pm,
when i was there last, the staff was having a meeting and we didn't actually get seated until almost 5:30.
dunno where beulah will be returning the car and how long that process will take.
all i know is that we ate pretty quickly because my partner was driving to OC afterward (which also meant that there was no leisurely imbibing of a bottle of wine that night), and although we arrived at 5pm , we didn't get out of there until 7:30.
I found service at MB Post to be a little slow there too. I think it's doable but I'd recommend ordering all your plates at once, making sure they are fully aware of when you need to leave for the airport and letting them stage the plates as they see fit. I liked my meal there but I wasn't nearly as impressed as the average chowhound seems to be.
Sashi Sushi is another restaurant that might work for an early dinner pre-airport. They are also in Manhattan Beach, open at 5pm and have pretty good Sushi.