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Apr 11, 2013 06:34 PM

very confused foodie need recommendations.

Coming to So Cal area for a week next month. Will be in LA for 2 nights with a 3rd night in manhattan beach area.

I have have a lot to cram in food wise and deff need some help. Im thinking doing brunch on sunday at saddle peak as opposed to tying up a dinner there. So far this is the list im trying to figure out. Open to others though.

-tar & roses
-red medicine
-son of a gun
-osteria mozza

possibly providence or nnaka but im a bit reluctant on those prices as my GF is not a big eater so I hate to do prix fix.

Any places not on here that are a MUST DO? would any of these be better to get some food at then hit another for drinks / snacks afterwards? Im not opposed to jumping to a few places through out each night. I would like to book soon as im coming up on the 1 month mark. Also if it helps we will be going to ritz in laguna right after and will probably do the "romantic" dinner there if that effects opinions at all. Thanks!

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  1. Since you are staying Manhattan Beach one night may I recomend MB Post, one of LA's best. The chef was voted best in LA for 2012. Great small plates including wonderful seafood, meats & veggies....and those amazing bacon cheddar biscuits.

    1. Remove Son of a Gun, Bazaar, and maybe Tar & Roses.

      Add Animal, Sotto, n/naka and maybe Providence.

      12 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        since the OP said that the GF is not a big eater, i would skip Animal and keep Son of a Gun. In fact i just prefer SoG over Animal, period, because while tasty, I find the food ultimately too heavy for me, and I don't consider myself a light eater by any means. I just can't do the super rich fatty fried porky bacony food for an entire meal. Although I tried to order light(er) at Animal (like the octopus, hamachi & some kind of salad interspersed w/ fatty items like pig tails & maple bacon whatever), i still could not sleep that night due to heaviness of the meal.

        OM & ink on OP's list are probably the top 2 in my book. That said, I would go to Alma over any of the above. and I actually dont think n/naka is a crazy amount of food so it would be a decent option even for a light eater.

        1. re: soniabegonia

          Thank you so much for all the help so far! I should have specified that i know i cant go to all these so im trying to limit it down to the best "la experience" in 2 days. Im a foodie the GF is not. She loves good food but is more easy to please than myself. I am a big eater she is not. Shes a little more on the health concious side than i am. The list i made was based on what people seemed to rave about. most on the list are in the price range im comfortable with. nnaka or providence are a stretch but if they are truely something very special i would consider them. we are both in our late 20's but are world traveled and fairly educated culinary wise. Deff think saving red medicine for drinks desert after is smart so i can use a different place for dinner. would bazaar be worth the experience for a drink and a few food items or skip it all together? We live in orlando so we anything is a step up from the big chains "roys, flemings, ocean prime, etc" our 3 favs here are Cask & Larder, the ravenous pig (the only 2 true foodie places) and bull & bear steakhouse. Looking for all around memorable experiences.

          1. re: walker106

            I would do Red Medicine for dinner and dessert. It's much better than Bazaar in all aspects. Pick a la carte and not the tasting menu. There's a great chance it will be the highlight meal of your trip.

            1. re: walker106

              of course you can do ALL of them in 2 days! Heck, where are you going to eat for lunch? That's at least 4 other places over 2 days.

              night 1: cocktails + apps @ Bazaar (portions are dinky small anyway)
              dinner @ ink
              dessert + cocktails @ Red Med

              night 2: cocktails + 1 lobster roll @ SoaG (portions are also ridiculously small)
              dinner at hatfields (get the gf "veg prix fixe")
              dessert + wine @ o mozza. maybe split a burrata dish.

              night 3 in MB:
              dinner @ MB Post, so you can drop Tar & Roses, because they're exactly the same except 17 miles apart

              day 4: gf leaves you for a guy who's got better shit to do than drive around LA doing progressive dinners.

              1. re: TonyC

                "1 sandwich @ SoaG (portions are also ridiculously small)"

                Unless they've "downsized" their chicken sandwich at some point (?) you and I have completely different definitions of the word "small" - especially when affixed with "ridiculously" in front of it...

                1. re: Servorg

                  Lobster roll is ridiculously small.

                  Chicken sandwich is a pretty decent size.

                  1. re: Servorg

                    I agree Servorg, the chix sandy is certainly the exception to the other tiny dishes at SOAG.

                    1. re: Ciao Bob

                      Just pulling back the corner of the "blanket" statement a bit to let the OP know you can't take everything you read at face value...

                      1. re: Servorg


                        now the statement stands? thanks for responding within the 2 hour edit window. the "sandwich" clearly referenced the lobster roll, the "ridiculously small" referenced the uni, the shrimp toast, the salads, and whatever else _I_'ve had there. the blanket statement wasn't intended to be deceptive; as others pointed out, you chose the exception.

                        Again, letting OP know SoaG serves small portions: At least I tried to solve his conundrum. Perhaps someone else can provide a better solution to his culinary itinerary quandary?

                        Alternative, we can go about arguing how loud MB Post is on a Saturday night.

                        1. re: TonyC

                          From my standpoint I never have thought/would think of their lobster roll as a sandwich. It's too tiny to be considered anything other than a damn canape as far as I'm concerned. Some of their other items can be substantial and, as I noted, the chicken sando (which is really good) is definitely sized appropriately/fairly.

                          dB issues for me aren't restricted to the higher end places like Red Med or what have you. We were in the San Francisco Saloon last week and by the time we exited I had my normal, noise induced splitting headache. Really gonna start taking 3 Advil "before" I go in for dinner, just in case...

                          1. re: Servorg

                            dB as in decibels, not delta bravos...

                  2. re: TonyC

                    Thanks for the help!! I was in tears when i got to #4.... hilarious!

            2. So you're looking to squeeze all of this in in two nights?!

              Good news is you can do Son of a Gun at lunchtime.

              For the two evenings, I would do Osteria Mozza & Ink.

              Red Medecine you can do for drinks at the bar and/or dessert.

              1. I like ink. I actually prefer Il Grano to Osteria Mozza for Italian, but OM is definitely very good. Bazaar is as much an experience as good food. If food is your only consideration, I would probably skip in favor of another place.

                1. If n/naka and Providence are priced too high. then Urasawa and Melisse are out. (I rank Melisse as the best of it's kind in L.A., but prolly too pricey.

                  Be curious where you're from, what you like there and what you're looking for.

                  For Italian - Angelini Osteria should be considered. I prefer it to OM (which I do like a lot).

                  MB post in Manhattan Beach is pretty fun.