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Where (and when) was your most recent 'great' dinner experience?

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I know places change all the time, new ones crop up, others decline... and, I suppose, there are the trusted few that never change.

In any case, I'm looking for a handful of spots to visit in the next few months (for b'day celebrations, relaxing dinners out, etc) and am wanting to refine my list.

I'm looking for:
1) Delicious Food
2) Good/welcoming Service

No specific geographical area desired (other than it to fall within LA County).

My last 'great' dinner experience was August 2012 at Mo Chica downtown. I was pleasantly surprised by the food and cocktails and enjoyed the experience very much.

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  1. Mezze (in September) and Son of A Gun (in June). Both wonderful food and service. Would go back to both in a minute.
    http://www.mezzela.com
    http://sonofagunrestaurant.com

    1. My last 'great' dinner was at Il Grano a couple of months ago. My last phenomenal dinner was at Melisse in July. But I also have high standards. I've had very good dinners at plenty of other places more recently.

      1. Rivera, last month for my birthday. Excellent food, great service.

        1. In the past 4 months (since June):

          Racion
          Sotto
          n/naka
          Shunji
          Sushi Ici

          5 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit

            ipse, can i ask what you order at racion? i went there once, and while it was a fun place, thought the food was only so-so. perhaps i ordered wrong.

            1. re: linus

              Previous report here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8552...

              But their menu changes quite often, if not weekly.

            2. re: ipsedixit

              +1

              Sotto
              n/naka
              Shunji (twice since July)

              1. re: ipsedixit

                Sushi Ici is new? (French for "Sushi Here"!)

                1. re: J.L.

                  Fuck. That should be "Ichi" (not Ici)

              2. Tar & Roses in May

                Melisse in June

                Craft in June

                Son of a Gun in September

                The Tasting Kitchen last Friday night

                1. sushi zo.

                  1. 2 weeks ago, at L&E Oyster Bar. Most amazing clam chowder I've ever had.

                    1. Yamakase - Sept. & Oct.
                      Shunji - July & Aug.
                      Red Medicine - Sept.
                      The Penthouse at Mastro's - Last week
                      n/naka - June

                      1. Tar & Roses
                        Wood & Wine
                        (any restaurant with an ampersand in the middle?)
                        Osteria Drago
                        Craft

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: TonyC

                          y'know, i had dinner at craft a couple weeks ago and it was really, really good.

                        2. Sotto
                          Tar & Roses
                          Mercato di Vetro
                          and this is probably too far north to count, but Suzanne's in Ojai

                          1. Had the "caviar 301" dinner/tasting at Petrossian last week. Pretty spectacular. Food was very good. Not just food with caviar, but a tasting of about a dozen varieties of caviar. Washed down with champagne and vodka. And there was lots of information from the delightful general manager of the restaurant. I think they do it once a month. Pretty impressive.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: perk

                              Had good meals at Sotto and The Grill. Unintentionally, had the brick chicken at both. Sotto was out of the pork chop. Both do brick chicken very well. Fries at the Grill are also very good.

                            2. Over the last 2-3 months.

                              Sotto
                              Superba Snack Bar
                              Animal
                              Night+Market
                              Tar & Roses
                              Osteria Mozza

                              1. Cicada Club Restaurant last month. Service was great and the seafood special was quite tasty. It's a great atmosphere with a fun show.