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Family in town this week. Good dineLA suggestions?

p
P3R3 Jan 28, 2013 06:52 PM

My aunt and uncle is in town from the east coast and I cant decide on the best place to take advantage of dineLA. They are somewhat well traveled (just got back from italy). I am unsure of how much they like asian flavors so shying away from that

Craft - doesnt have great times avail
Bazaar - Heard you end up spending 2x just to get full
Lawrys - Old school Beverly hills feel
JiRaffe - Always heard good things
Sotto - is it LA good or real good

Also I am open to non dineLA options but im trying to keep the cost somewhat low. Anyplace that allows corkage is a plus.

  1. Baron Jan 31, 2013 02:29 PM

    I would suggest Cafe del Rey in the Marina. It's my go to place for out-of -owners. It's very "California" and my quests have always enjoyed it. I must admit that I haven't been there in over a year.

    1. blimpbinge Jan 31, 2013 01:55 PM

      Kind of late but I recommend The Bazaar and Lawrys

      I went to The Bazaar last year and had a pretty great experience overall. The location is quite hip and trendy, most of the diners were generally upscale yuppies. The food portion wise was not great for the price, but I feel that they delivered on taste, texture and novelty. You will definitely need to shell out extra money and order extra from their non dineLA menu. We paid approx $80-100 per person depending on what they added.

      Then went to lawrys just last night. They are one of the restaurants where their dineLA menu actually feels like a bargain (relative of course..) compared to their regular menu. This is how the pricing went:

      Non dineLA: Lawry's Cut (10oz) - $42
      dineLA: Silver Cart Cut (8oz), Lobster Tail, Dessert - $45

      Both come with salad, mashed potatoes, yorkshire pudding

      Despite the fact that they said it was an 8oz cut, i'm certain I was given (at least) a 10oz cut, I was so full by the end of the meal I literally could not consume anymore food. So for $3 you're getting more variety with essentially the same meat. It is also definitely "old school", the clientele were generally older, with the mix being about 33% families celebrating birthdays, 33% company dinners (or meeting clients), 34% couples on a date/anniversary/etc. I paid approx $55-70 per person after tax n tip, and accounting for drinks.

      Slighty off topic personal opinion, do not go to fogo de chao for dineLA, they reduce the number of avail meat & salad options, and it's a madhouse due to the dineLA crowds.

      1. p
        P3R3 Jan 30, 2013 11:23 PM

        Decided on Craft tomorrow night. Went to Angel City Cafe tonight, opened a '96 martinelli jackass hill. Was Lovely, thanks for the insight!

        1 Reply
        1. re: P3R3
          TonyC Jan 31, 2013 01:15 PM

          Good decision.

          Craft's roasted winter roots and pickled vegetable tables were highlights. And the roast chicken was spot on. For desserts, ask for double portion of the bombe, or order an extra dessert (I'd go with the tart, the ice creams that arrived were wondrous).

        2. c
          cdub Jan 29, 2013 03:14 PM

          bld

          they always use the lowest price point and have other items, like cocktail specials that they always add. they always seem to enbrace restaurant week which many places do not.

          1 Reply
          1. re: cdub
            p
            P3R3 Jan 29, 2013 03:24 PM

            Interesting suggestion... thanks

          2. m
            maudies5 Jan 29, 2013 10:42 AM

            Had a great DineLA meal at The Hungry Cat in Santa Monica Canyon last night. Three very generous and delicious courses. Nice variety of selections.
            www.thehungrycat.com

            1. n
              ns1 Jan 29, 2013 10:37 AM

              What is "LA good" vs "real good"

              4 Replies
              1. re: ns1
                p
                P3R3 Jan 29, 2013 10:50 AM

                They have traveled to italy multiple times. LA is not exactly known for it's Italian food.

                1. re: P3R3
                  n
                  ns1 Jan 29, 2013 10:58 AM

                  ah, this is in reference to italian food. got it.

                  1. re: P3R3
                    TonyC Jan 29, 2013 11:10 AM

                    Piccolo Venice? Despite the lack of "balsamic", the 5 course tasting is one of the better Italian values during DineLA and it's not as "city like Lazy Ox.

                    1. re: TonyC
                      westsidegal Jan 29, 2013 03:17 PM

                      respectfully disagree:
                      my dining partner and i did not enjoy the food that was served to us at Piccolo for their dinela promotion.
                      this is completely aside from the balsamic vinegar issue, the importance of which has been blown waaaay out of proportion.
                      no plans to return.

                      TonyC:
                      what dishes did you have there as part of the dinela promotion that you would strongly recommend to people who
                      <<just got back from italy>> and whom << have traveled to italy multiple times>> ?

                2. a
                  alliebear Jan 28, 2013 08:13 PM

                  If they just came back from Italy, I would avoid taking them to Sotto. I can't give an opinion of your ther choices but I did the DineLA lunch at Lazy Ox and was very happy with it. Most everything I was considering ordering was on their DineLA menu and I walked away completely satisfied. Amazing rice pudding dessert.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: alliebear
                    p
                    P3R3 Jan 29, 2013 10:35 AM

                    My only problem with the Lazy Ox is its location in Little Tokyo. I am worried it might be a little bit too city for my family.

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