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Suggestions for a couple of dinners - see thread for details...

Hey everyone,

I live in San Francisco and spend a lot of time in and around West Hollywood, Downtown LA, etc. and usually when I'm in town with my wife and/or friends, we stick to the old mid century time warps and restaurants from the Hollywood Glamour era. From M&F and Taylor's to Original Micelli's, Pacific Dining Car, Clifton's, Pann's, Phillipe and on and on...

This time however, my family (from Montreal!) are flying down to spend time with us and we're staying in Beverly Hills!

I'm completely unfamiliar with anything current on LA's food scene and would appreciate some suggestions.

I need one very special restaurant for a Monday night dinner for 6 people. Perhaps somewhere with outdoor garden seating or in a beautiful inviting space with excellent food! I'm open to any and all suggestions. It's for a special birthday and marriage celebration, so it should be somewhere really nice and with great food!

Other than that, do you have any recommendations for at least 1-2 other days for excellent dinner and lunch options?

We'll all have cars and I plan on sneaking off to some of our "Old Hollywood" favorites for at least a handful of nights, but for my mom, stepdad, grandmother and two sisters, I'd greatly appreciate some really good restaurant options that are not Michelin-starred pricing (nothing too stuffy/formal) but really delicious and seasonal. My mom is a vegetarian and one of my sisters has a gluten intollerance/allergy. Everyone else are carnivores and will eat just about anything, but don't necessarily have the most refined palette so without scratching off any of the "foodie-friendly" options, I just want to take into consideration the fact that my younger sister is a bit of a picky eater and nobody is especially interested in very unique or unfamiliar sounding menus.

That said, I'm not asking for "family-friendly" suggestions either! We're all adults and everyone enjoys eating well.

Of the recommendations, I would greatly appreciate if one could be sushi - preferably a place where I could enjoy a really fantastic kaiseki experience while others order a la carte; if such a thing exists in LA!

The best sushi in the Bay Area is undoubtedly Wakuriya in San Mateo and I would like something that rivals or betters this - since I've long heard that LA has some of the best sushi restaurants on the West Coast!

Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Modern Seasonal California Cuisine is a safe bet... but I'd also like some "not-to-miss" places that you might recommend any visitor to try in the great Hollywood, Downtown and Beverly Hills areas.

Thanks so much for any help offered!

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  1. "Modern Seasonal California Cuisine". Gjelina in Venice Beach does it best.
    http://www.gjelina.com

    Also
    Rustic Canyon
    Fig
    Tar & Roses, all in Santa Monica
    and MB Post in Manhattan Beach

    3 Replies
    1. re: wienermobile

      Thanks wienermobile!

      What about a place for the special Monday night dinner... any cusine works and it's really important that it be in a beautiful setting. I was thinking somewhere with an outdoor patio or gardens would be nice, but it's not a requisite. Hopefully something where the food matches the ambiance.

      And one sushi recommendation too please! :)

      Thank you again!

      1. re: OliverB

        Nobu Malibu is one of the most beautiful restaurants in Los Angeles and located right on the ocean.

    2. Re. my mom being a vegetarian - she could find something to eat anywhere, so this should not be a factor in suggesting any restaurants.

      As for my sister's gluten intollerance... surely any capable and well regarded kitchen could accommodate her, so again not a deal breaker but still something to keep in mind.

      Thanks again!

      1 Reply
      1. re: OliverB

        <<surely any capable and well regarded kitchen could accommodate her>>

        actually, no.

        gjelina, one of my favorite restaurants, has a very strict NO MODIFICATIONS, NO SUBSTITUTIONS policy.
        so, if you plan on going there, be sure your sister would be happy with the existing menu items BEFORE you walk in the door.
        your mom will find TONS of terrific vegetarian food at gjelina--no worries there.

      2. Almost every day there is a discussion about LA's best sushi.

        1. Can't go wrong at Craft in century city. Wonderful food and great service and very close to your location.

          1. For the special dinner with the patio I would say Spago or Puck's Bel Air hotel venue.

            Other choices would be

            Sotto
            Dan Tanas

            1. At Providence they have an incredible chef's tasting menu and on request they will also do a vegertarian tasting menu. They also have a dessert tasting menu too. One of LA's best.

              1. >>>I need one very special restaurant for a Monday night dinner for 6 people. Perhaps somewhere with outdoor garden seating or in a beautiful inviting space with excellent food! I'm open to any and all suggestions. It's for a special birthday and marriage celebration, so it should be somewhere really nice and with great food!

                Saddle Peak Lodge.

                >>> I would greatly appreciate if one could be sushi - preferably a place where I could enjoy a really fantastic kaiseki experience while others order a la carte; if such a thing exists in LA!

                Shunji or Kiyokawa

                >>>Modern Seasonal California Cuisine is a safe bet... but I'd also like some "not-to-miss" places that you might recommend any visitor to try in the great Hollywood, Downtown and Beverly Hills areas.

                Providence, Patina, Melisse, Red Medicine, Hinoki and The Bird, and Mozza (Osteria, with a second option being the Pizzeria since you're from SF where there's artisan pies aplenty)

                3 Replies
                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Saddle Peak Lodge is worth the drive. A very special restaurant. A one of a kind rustic retreat. Great food.
                  http://www.saddlepeaklodge.com

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    don't recall Saddle Peak Lodge being open on Mondays.

                    fig, is not normally open on mondays

                    1. re: westsidegal

                      You're right about SPL. Didn't realize the OP's restrictions.

                  2. Echoing: Gjelina, Nobu Malibu, Spago as what I think should be your final three.

                    1. Sounds like a celebration that might do well at Michael's in SM.
                      Crustacean in BevHills is another place to keep in mind. The 'new' Spago as well. WD downtown sounds right for your group also.