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Best Fine Dining in LA

My husband and I are in a dining rut and looking to branch from our usual favorites. We are regulars at Mozza, Hatfields, The Foundry and places like that. Looking for something different. Maybe new? Maybe an old favorite. Thinking about Cooks County or WP24

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    1. re: Thor123

      Sotto's probably too casual for them lol.

      1. re: wienermobile

        We had an excellent family dinner at Craft recently. Great food and excellent service.

        I love Chinois on Main. With just two you could order just one large dish (the grilled szechwan beef filet or the catfish deepfried with ponzu) or just stick with the smaller dishes (don't miss the lamb stirfried in radicchio cups). Bold flavors, everything served to share with an abundance of herb and baby lettuce accompaniments with wonderful sauces.

        Gjelina, on the patio. Two may be too few. May have to skip sharing a thin blistered-crust pizza -- I love the lamb sausage. The pork belly with polenta and greens is a fantastic dish. Veggies from the woodburning oven. Maybe a salad -- calling it that is underestimating it. Got to finish with the butterscotch pot de creme with salt -- better than the budino at Mozza in my experience.

        1. re: nosh

          I love Gjelina but I don't consider it fine dining.

          1. re: nosh

            Chinois, another place with good food, but can't get past the dated interior anymore...

              1. re: ipsedixit

                Disagree. They were doing small and large shared plates long before everyone else was. Their baby lettuce/herb accompaniments are huge now -- they were among the first. Their open kitchen is entertaining, and their service is excellent.

                I come away from a meal at Chinois elated and satisfied, as opposed to a lot of the hottest places feeling a bit "used" -- higher check for lesser quality/quantity/satisfaction.

                1. re: nosh

                  You might as well go to Yang Chow and get a lower check for better quality/quantity/satisfaction.

                2. re: ipsedixit

                  "The food is also dated"

                  That's what some people used to say about Trader Vic's in BH.
                  We lost one of the *greats* with nothing new to replace it.
                  'Dated' is a subjective term for this icon, obviously.
                  If Chinois is 'dated' then I like dated.
                  I like the dated fried rice and the dated catfish and the dated bar with the dated drinks.

              2. re: nosh

                i love the catfish at chinois, but it's size has decreased over the years.
                would not call it a "large dish" anymore.

            1. Have you been to Providence? Melisse?

              1. We have been to Providence and Melisse, looking for something new

                3 Replies
                1. re: PrincessaMel1976

                  Saddle Peak Lodge? Urasawa? Yamakase? n/naka? Patina?

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    The game meats at Saddle Peak Lodge are wonderful. Love that elk tenderloin.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      n/naka is my all time favorite restaurant in the LA area, and Patina is wonderful as well. Service at both of these places put Melisse and possibly Providence to shame...

                  2. Given your list of, "already-beens", I strongly suggest Il Grano. Frankly, my second favorite restaurant in the city after Melisse.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: whiner

                      Totally agree about Il Grano, one of the most underrated fine dining restaurants in town. Especially if you like seafood; Sal heads downtown to buy fish with the sushi chefs every morning.

                    2. Have you been to Vincenti? I consider the food and service to be an example of fine dining. http://www.vincentiristorante.com

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: maudies5

                        The food is good, not mind-blowing, but I can't get past the dated interior.... I feel the same about Valentino's....

                        1. Madeo's has become our very favorite LA Italian. Food, service and ambiance are all terrific. A bit old world in a wonderful way.

                          1. Craft, Chinois and I'll add Catch at Casa del Mar.

                            1. You've been to Melisse and Providence. If you liked them, then you will like n/naka.

                              1. Cooks County is fine enough, yet hardly comparable to the likes of Hatfield, nor is it trying to be. Very crowded and noisy but good. And casual all the way.
                                Had a very good meal at Tapenade @ the Olympic Collection, Sawtelle & Olympic, a couple of weeks ago.
                                Sal's Il Grano is superb if seafood is of interest. To me, it is the best seafood restaurant in the LA area with a very pleasant decor.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: carter

                                  Does Il Grano have a full bar? Having a nice martini before dinner has become a necessary ritual for us.

                                    1. re: josephnl

                                      ...and also a brilliant wine list once you've finished those martinis.

                                      1. re: josephnl

                                        Rituals should be overlooked for one evening in the case of Il Grano.
                                        With a wine list that good, combined with that seafood, it is a shame to have a martini, as good as it might be and taste.
                                        PS - have one at home before you go!

                                        1. re: carter

                                          Oh...I'll also likely have one or two glasses of wine with dinner, depending on who's driving.

                                    2. Mastros in BH. It is kind of old school steak house. But that's what make it unique, though. They give champagne at the door while u r waiting (even with reservation they ran 40 minutes late). Upstairs is way way better than downstairs. Completely different experience. Make sure u get a table upstairs for sure. Live music, better decor and even service. Plus all the old people eat downstairs cause they don't like the noise, I've noticed. Is the $70 steak worth it? Not so sure, but again, it's more about the experience...:) yes, the lobsters mashed potatoes are quite yummy...:)

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: adrianala28

                                        Mastros is not fine dining. It's a steak joint.

                                        1. re: foodiemahoodie

                                          I'm quite aware of it... As I stated myself that is a steak house (old style). However, they have been at Mozza, which to me, is at the same level, (but Italian) just with a "celebrity chef" behind it.
                                          Here's no NYC, where you pay $300 for a meal in a REAL fine dining restaurant, so... I still stand by my recommendation...
                                          By the way, can u recommend me a decent place to have lunch in the San Fernando area. You seem to be such a foodie, so I'd trust your opinion...;)

                                          1. re: adrianala28

                                            I agree. Of course Mastro's is a steak house, but at least the one in Costa Mesa is, a very classy one. They serve terrific martini's, have very good starters and sides, and the meat is quite excellent. Additionally, the ambiance is quite nice...white tablecloths, nice crystal and very professional service. Mastro's is certainly as "fine dining" as many other spots mentioned here.

                                      2. Ink is my favorite :-) Maison Giraud or Michael's are lovely for a change, 4 star food, 4.5 star ambience out of 5.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: poggibonzzi

                                          I've not been to Ink because I've heard that although the food is very good, they are not at all accommodating to persons with special dietary requirements (my partner), and also because it can be a very noisy and not especially comfortable space...which to me is an essential part of fine dining. Is this inaccurate?

                                          1. re: josephnl

                                            I don't know about the accommodating part, but I don't think ink. belongs on the same tier as gjelina, pizzeria mozza, red medicine, etc... on the noise front. And I don't know why it would be classified as uncomfortable. Maybe if you have a large party and have to sit in the middle, it's a little tight; but with a small party, you can usually sit along the sides.

                                            1. re: andytseng

                                              I don't think ink. belongs on the same tier as gjelina, pizzeria mozza, red medicine, etc... on the noise front.
                                              I don't think ink belongs on the same tier as those on the food front either.

                                        2. I'd suggest n/naka for a 9 or 13 course Japanese keiseki dinner ($110 or $165). The food is delicious, intricately plated and presented, and is an amazing culinary experience. It's the only $100 plus restaurant I dined at more than 3 times last year, and I'm going back again soon.

                                          It's located in Culver City. Chef is Niki Nakayama, sommelier is Jeffrey Stivers. Very pleasant people.