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Hello all,
Husband and I will be in Los Angeles for one day. Staying in Little Tokyo. Looking for a restaurant rec in that area Downtown LA / Little Tokyo... Good food a must, nice ambiance a plus. Would like to stay in the $$ to $$$ price range. I'm not interested in Italian or French food. Thinking we'll have Mexican for lunch, so probably won't venture in that direction for dinner. Aside from this, I'm open to any suggestions. Thanks so much for your help in advance!!

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    1. re: Servorg

      Thanks,.. I had looked into Bestia, but we have reservations for an Italian resto in Carmel the very next day and wanted something a little different. Looks excellent though!!

      1. re: JFarah

        There was some really great follow-up on Italian in Carmel that we split over to the California board, so that anyone searching for info on Carmel dining would find it. That discussion is now here if anyone wants to follow up further: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/892394

    2. If you do reconsider your budget a bit, one of the very best restaurants in LA is Patina at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Not only is it very beautiful, the food and service are both excellent. It's expensive, but it need not be over-the-top.

      1 Reply
      1. re: josephnl

        Menu looks amazing, but it is a little out if our budget. Thanks for the rec though. Truly appreciate it.

      2. Water Grill has some of the best fresh seafood in LA. Great Raw Bar too.

            1. re: Dirtywextraolives

              Right on! I agree with Bestia, Alma, and Aburiya Toranoko.

              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                Very much intrigued by Aburiya Toranoko. Any stand-out / must have dishes?

                1. re: JFarah

                  I like their simple, tasty, expertly grilled skewer items (sumiyaki), like chicken thigh. The buta kakuni (slow simmered pork stew) is fantastic also. Try the uni goma tofu as well. Oh, and the takikomi gohan (steamed vegetable and chicken rice).

                  Their sushi, though not their main focus, is pretty good too.

                  1. re: J.L.

                    Concur with J. L. On all points. Chicken thigh skewers and the pork stew are standouts. They have an excellent sashimi platter also, but obviously, that changes daily. Their lunch deals are very good.

                    1. re: J.L.

                      Thanks... Sounds yummy! Getting really excited for this trip.

                      1. re: J.L.

                        I have to disagree on Toranoko, been twice and everything I've had there is mediocre. Sushi is good but I expected no less from a crew of former Nobu chefs.

                        As for Downtown recommendations Water Grill for their seafood tower may be worth it alone but then again Santa Barbara has a Hungry Cat so if you are inclined to go there might want to skip Water Grill.

                        1. re: Johnny L

                          Will check out hungry cat in SB.... Thanks!!

                    2. Baco Mercat is worth traveling a few blocks south for. If you don't want to leave Little Tokyo, check out Lazy Ox or Men Oh Tokushima.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: ronsilverado

                        Thanks!! Baco Mercat looks great.

                        1. re: JFarah

                          Only if you like food roiled in fat and (based on limited experience) poor service.

                          1. re: Thor123

                            I had a great lunch there. Wonderfully composed salad & delicious Baco made with pork belly, not greasy at all, very tasty. And the bartender was extremely attentive during a busy lunch hour, so, different experience all together.

                      2. What about sushi? Restaurant Komasa is a very small sushi bar that serves the best sushi I've tried in the area. They don't serve specialty rolls, just straight up sashimi. The earlier you go the better because the wait can get pretty long.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: MissXTN

                          Thanks... The husband and I love sushi, but we are meeting a friend that does not. Maybe we can pop in for a snack? Would love to check it out.

                        2. My choice, based on everything you've said in this thread, would be Lazy Ox. It's not the best restaurant in Downtown LA--that honor goes to Water Grill, Drago Centro, or Bestia IMO--but it's in Little Tokyo, it's affordable, it's good, and it's fun.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: AlkieGourmand

                            Well, downtown or not, we know it can't be one of "the" really good restaurants in LA, since there are only 4 of those in the whole city and it's not one of them! ;-D>

                          2. Alma, Baco Mercat and The Parish would be my top recommendations. You will need a reservation for any of these as they are very popular.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: bruinike

                              Minus 1 on Baco. Hear the Parish is great.