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Jan 11, 2013 02:53 PM

American (traditional)

LA Chowhounds,

Can you direct me to an upscale American traditional restaurant in the downtown area or nearby. I'm looking for places similar to Houston's or Hillstone. I would also appreciate a good Mexican restaurant. Thank you!


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  1. For upscale Mexican downtown, try Rivera. For American, Nick & Stef's is very good (very good steaks).

    1 Reply
    1. Water Grill downtown is wonderful. Mostly seafood with a great raw bar but they do have Prime Rib, Steaks, mac & cheese and a pretty good burger too.

      1 Reply
      1. re: wienermobile

        Totally agree. As Nick & Stef's leans to steak, Water Grill leans to sea food. Outstanding sea food. Would kind of be a shame IMO to go to Water Grill and not have sea food.

      2. The closest Hillstone resturants near downtown are South Beverly Grill in Beverly Hills or Houston's in Pasadena. Both are around ten miles away from downtown LA.

        4 Replies
        1. re: wienermobile

          If you are in the Hollywood area LA's classic old school Musso and Frank's might be what you are looking for. On Hollywood Blvd. since 1919. I love their Thursday night's Chicken Pot Pie special.

          1. re: wienermobile

            if the OP is going to travel to beverly hills, i'd suggest the Grill on the Alley.

              1. re: Thor123

                wienermobile mentioned a Hillstone restaurant in BH.
                in my mind, if BH is a possible location, i'd go with Grill on the Ally.

          2. had a fantastic meal at mess hall, los feliz.

            3 Replies
              1. re: Thor123

                somewhere in between dressy casual/upscale/hip

                it's socal (los feliz no less) so i saw a blend of it all when I was there.

              2. re: ns1

                I'd agree, insofar as the first time I stepped into Messhall, I thought to myself "I feel like I'm at Houston's". Despite the camp motif, it really has that vibe, maybe it's the flat screens. Regardless, it is pretty solid, upscale American, though the drinks I've had there have been more memorable than the food.

                As far as Mexican, I'd say you're not going to do much better than Guelaguetza for a proper, sit down restaurant. It always amazes me how a city with so much great Mexican food can have so few good Mexican restaurants.

              3. Daily Grill
                Pacific Dining Car
                Engine Co. No. 28

                3 Replies
                1. re: ipsedixit

                  IMO Pacific Dining and Engine Co are several years past their prime.

                  1. re: Thor123

                    Don't disagree, but both fit the OP's criteria of "upscale American traditional" ...

                  2. re: ipsedixit

                    i recently went to engine co and it was dreadful. i wouldnt recommend it to anyone.