West la Saturday night dinner
Thank you all for your recommendations. Unfortunately, I could not get a table for the most highly recommended spots. The 5:30/10:00 times were available, but I passed on those. We ended up at Jar. I had high expectations, but we all were disappointed. A lobster-tomato soup was so peppery that we couldn't eat it. The deviled eggs (I couldn't find the crab) were vinegary. Scallops were rubbery and were served with a sauce (?) of just sliced capers. The pot roast was OK - it was pot roast. French fries and mashed potatoes were fine too. I would not return nor would I recommend the restaurant to others.
On the bright side, I now have a list of restaurants from you all that I can try another time.
Unless you are up for spending major money at, for example, Mélisse (which is my favorite restaurant in town but noticeably better weekDAY nights as opposed to weekends), I would strongly urge Il Grano as it is quiet and relaxed yet elegant with perhaps my second-favorite food in the city (after Mélisse).
More info please -- When is it? (Time to make reservations or walk in?) How many people? Price range? Kids? etc.
One of my favorites (a mile or so west, on Santa Monica Blvd. hidden in the back corner of a minimall on Barry, a block east of Barrington) is Nook Bistro. Very good food, generous servings, good service, at surprisingly moderate prices. Six can fit in their corner booth, and maybe a dozen or so if you took over the center communal table.
That is simply too vague. What kind of food do you like? Contemporary? More traditional? Steak joint? Japanese? What is your budget?
There are simply too many options to choose from. But here are a few...
Sam's at the Beach
Stefan's at LA Farm
Tar & Roses
Wolfgang Puck at the Bel Air
The Hungry Cat
Sam's by the Beach (open Sunday)
Mori Sushi (closed Sunday)