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Aug 2, 2012 08:24 AM

Los Angeles Food Itinerary

We will be visitng L.A. for 6 days in mid-August and have comprised a list of places that we're going, could you Chowhounders confirm that the following places are worth it?

Day 1:


Dinner at Bouchon

Day 2:

Lunch at Pizzeria Mozzo

Dinner at La Serenata Gourmet

Day 3:

Lunch at Villa Blanca (for the scene and convenience)

Dinner at The Polo Lounge

Day 4:

Lunch at The Garden Terrace Cafe (At the Getty Center)

Dinner at Malibu Seafood

Day 5:

Brunch at The Griddle Cafe

Dinner at Il Pastaio

Day 6:

Lunch at Petrossian


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  1. I would go to Chichen Itza instead of La Sereneta, or if you don't mind the drive to San Gabriel Valley then hit up Babita.

    I would go to the Lobster instead of Malibu Seafood

    10 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      The Lobster would be a quite a jump from Malibu Seafood. I'd recommend Reel Inn as an alternative to Malibu Seafood to be in the same ballpark both price-wise and ambiance-wise, but just as an alternative; not saying Reel Inn is better.

      I guess it depends on why OP picked MS. If it's for the casual fish market atmosphere, then either MS or RI is a wash. If it's for more upscale seafood with an ocean view, I think there are better choices than the Lobster (IMO). If it's somewhere in the middle, I like Duke's.

      1. re: PeterCC

        I think the fish is much fresher at Malibu Seafood.

        1. re: whatsfordinner

          I agree. I don't know how much the OP knows about these restos, or their distances apart. Maybe they are aware of the fact that M'bu Seafood is closed on Mons. & BYOB. The Lobster is a great locay but not so great price to food ratio wise.

      2. re: ipsedixit

        I read the reviews on tripadvisor on chichen itza, and it sounds like its in a food court? That does not sound good at all. Would you reccomend LS de Garibaldi? If not what is the best mexican in the Westside?

        1. re: lhenry

          It's in a food court, but you go there for the excellent FOOD.

          1. re: ns1

            Also, the food court had some charm to it--the table tops have Mexican tiles. There's several types of food in the court. The food is excellent and you can't beat the price! Try the Jamaica juice!

          2. re: lhenry

            I like LS. I also like Frida in Beverly Hills for more upscale Mexican.

            1. re: lhenry

              LS is fantastic...DO NOT drop it....and the Boyle Heights location is a trip into LA history.
              Yes, CI is in a mall/food court, no atmo at all, but very good Yucatecan cooking. For me, it is a lunch or a snack, not a meal that I would consider replacing LS with.
              Have a drink at Polo, not a meal, and try Red Medicine or Shunji's or n/naka (if you are into sushi/keiseki).
              Il Pastaio is nothing special at all...try e baldi across the street or Madeo, if you want Italian (and money is not a prime concern).

              1. re: lhenry

                I like the soup and aqua frescas at LS de G. Everything else is not really my thing. I find that the best Mexican places are food court like, or hole in the walls.

                Also, Griddle is a huge wait for basically for dessert. A bit higher in price, but I like Bouchon and Scarpetta for brunch. I believe Scarpetta is only on Sundays though.

                1. re: lhenry

                  One of the things you need to learn quickly about Los Angeles is that some of the best food is found in the unlikeliest of places. In New York, that's less true (though not entirely untrue). I deal with this with my sister all the time, who insists on bringing her Brooklyn industrial chic sensibility with her when she visits me in LA, and it's a huge mistake.

                  Calling the restaurants in Mercado La Paloma (MLP) a food court is not entirely fair, not because it isn't a food court, but because of the baggage that the term "food court" brings along with it. "Food court" paints the image of terrible fast food in a shopping mall with screaming kids and obnoxious teenagers running around, and that's not at all what Chichen Itza delivers. MLP is a local cultural center for Latin American culture that just happens to have two excellent restaurants. Chichen Itza does provide table service, though you order at the counter.

                  But isn't the real point that you're here to try things you won't be able to get in New York, right? Tell me, where in New York are you going to find extremely well executed cooking from the Yucatecan peninsula?

                  Embrace the differences between LA and Manhattan, and you will be richer for it.

                  Mr Taster

              2. I would nix Villa Blanca. The food is not at all good. If you want a scene and close local, the patio at Ivy on Robertson is a MUCH better choice. Also, although I love the patio at Polo Lounge, there has been a chef change and the prices are very high, the menu is limited and the portions are small. Service remains very good. Il Picolino is a very good Italian also on Robertson that would be a good choice. If you want to stay in the heart of BH you might try Mastroes Steak House or venture a few minutes away to Red Medicine or Sotto.

                13 Replies
                1. re: Thor123

                  I would also miss the Polo Lounge (unless you are just looking to ogle the Pink Palace a bit) and switch off to either Dan Tana's for the vibe and great steak or to Animal or Son of a Gun for the overall food experience.

                  1. re: Servorg

                    Dan Tanas is the call. Ask to sit in the front (bar) room as that is where the scene is.

                    1. re: Thor123

                      Love the bar at Dan Tana's. Taking an old friend there when he visits in October. Spago is also on our list.

                        1. re: Thor123

                          Spago is not scheduled to reopen with it's new menu until September at the earliest. It is a major remodel.

                    2. re: Thor123

                      @Thor123 I would like to stay near rodeo dr. could you reccomend another near there?

                      1. re: lhenry

                        Mastroes is very good. Mr. Chow is a unique experience.

                          1. re: wienermobile

                            @weiner Scarpetta is not open for lunch

                            1. re: lhenry

                              Sorry thought you were looking for a dinner. The Sunday Scarpetta brunch is one of the best in LA.

                          2. re: Thor123

                            @Thor123 Mastroes is not open for lunch, and Mr. Chow is open Sunday-Thursday, Villa Blanca is on Saturday

                      2. The original comment has been removed
                        1. @Thor123 and @Servog, I'm going to stick with the polo lounge, I just feel that I can't miss it

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: lhenry

                            Thats your choice. The ambiance and service is great. Make sure to sit on the patio. I have had many anniversary dinners there, got married at the BH Hotel and I can assure you, there are currently better choices.

                          2. Remember to suggest a place for LUNCH near rodeo dr. Note: it will be on a Friday

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: lhenry

                              Kate Mantilini
                              E baldi
                              La bottega Marino

                              1. re: lhenry

                                Do lunch on the patio at Barney Greengrass. On Wilshire just west of Rodeo.

                                1. re: Thor123

                                  Lunch at the Grill on the Alley. Classic, less than a block from Rodeo and Wilshire. Or a few blocks west -- Craft.