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Restaurant and Bar suggestions for LA? Santa Monica, Downtown and Hollywood!

JacLondon Aug 18, 2013 07:11 AM

Hi all!

My boyfriend and I are visting LA from London for the first time next month.
We are here for 4 nights and have most of our days planned out, however we're looking for some food inspiration!! Both of us complete foodies and this will be a big part of our trip!

We are a young couple (mid 20's) and like pretty much all kinds of food and do not have any budget in mind. Any nice bars/cocktail bars would be welcome too!

Staying at the Andaz on Sunset Boulevard, have a car to get around.

Any suggestions for places around the Hollywood, Santa Monica or Downtown areas would be much appreciated, however we are open to any suggestions!


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  1. m
    mc michael RE: JacLondon Aug 18, 2013 07:25 AM

    There's a start.

    15 Replies
    1. re: mc michael
      Servorg RE: mc michael Aug 18, 2013 08:03 AM

      Did you throw in that Yamashiro link just to see if anyone on the board was paying attention? For self professed foodies let's not give them the idea that we are "punking" them for some mean spirited reason (g). Okay, if they want to have a drink and get a little view...they won't be mad at us if the stick to that. But for God's sake, no ordering food up there!

      If you want a fun and unique breakfast that wiill send one into a diabetic coma then go to The Griddle http://www.thegriddlecafe.com/ in West Hollywood and order one of the more extravagant pancake (Scotch on the Rocks) or French toast (Devil's Daydream) dishes.

      If they happen to be downtown then breakfast, lunch or dinner at the Nickel Diner http://nickeldiner.com/ is a good plan. Don't forget to get a few Maple Glazed Bacon donuts to go when you leave, (have the home made Ding Dongs for dessert while you are there).

      1. re: Servorg
        latindancer RE: Servorg Aug 18, 2013 08:47 AM

        <For self professed foodies>

        Yamashiro is definitely not one of the greatest food finds in the city but let's be fair...
        The view is renowned and anyone coming to Los Angeles from out of town will be introduced to something quite memorable...they're staying on Sunset and Yamashiro is customarily part of that scene.
        Go for drinks and a stunning view of LA, if nothing else.

        1. re: latindancer
          Servorg RE: latindancer Aug 18, 2013 08:54 AM

          For drinks and a stunning view I suggest a container of Margaritas (disguised as "lemon aid") and a stop at the Griffith Observatory...


          1. re: Servorg
            mc michael RE: Servorg Aug 18, 2013 08:57 AM

            Obviously, a James Dean fan.

            1. re: mc michael
              Servorg RE: mc michael Aug 18, 2013 09:01 AM

              Love his sausage...it drives me wild.

              1. re: Servorg
                mc michael RE: Servorg Aug 18, 2013 11:29 AM

                The Jimmy sausage is ok; the Paula, not so much.

            2. re: Servorg
              latindancer RE: Servorg Aug 18, 2013 09:49 AM

              Well, yeah :).

          2. re: Servorg
            mc michael RE: Servorg Aug 18, 2013 08:56 AM

            Might be worth revisiting.

            1. re: mc michael
              Servorg RE: mc michael Aug 18, 2013 09:00 AM

              I counter with: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9130...

              1. re: Servorg
                mc michael RE: Servorg Aug 18, 2013 09:55 AM

                That does sound negative to be sure. Not in depth, but negative.

                1. re: Servorg
                  latindancer RE: Servorg Aug 18, 2013 09:58 AM

                  There's so much crap, in the way of food, on Sunset....
                  this restaurant being only one of many.

                  Perhaps with the added several 10 story buildings proposed and passed by the city of WeHo, right on Sunset, there'll be a new advent of good restaurants.
                  Who knows...
                  One can only hope.

              2. re: Servorg
                JacLondon RE: Servorg Aug 20, 2013 01:37 PM

                Servorg, I've heard so much about this Griddle Cafe its a definite must now! Diabetic coma? My OH is a sugar nut so this sounds right up his street. Liked the 'cheap eats' link on your other post, thanks.

                1. re: JacLondon
                  mc michael RE: JacLondon Aug 20, 2013 01:43 PM

                  The line is probably shorter at Roscoe's Chicken N Waffles, but the pancakes/waffles at The Griddle are monsters (go hungry).

                  1. re: JacLondon
                    Servorg RE: JacLondon Aug 20, 2013 01:49 PM

                    Just further whet your OH's appetite http://www.foodspotting.com/places/69...

                    1. re: Servorg
                      JacLondon RE: Servorg Aug 20, 2013 01:55 PM

                      Oh dear. I think I'll have to starve myself and do some damage control before I arrive...
                      Looks incredible! Scotch on the Rocks..yum.

              3. b
                brandygirl RE: JacLondon Aug 18, 2013 08:25 AM

                Downtown I recommend RIVERA, a Latin restaurant with very good food and drinks.

                Santa Monica has MELISSE,one of the best restaurants in all of L.A.. However, it is also verynexpensive, easily $200 per person.

                Also in Santa Monica but far cheaper is LARES, a casual Mexican restaurant.

                1. i
                  ilysla RE: JacLondon Aug 18, 2013 09:54 AM

                  Are you looking exclusively for upscale, night-life, things that are prototypically "LA" or "US"? Things you might not be able to find in London?

                  I think LA tends to excel in the hole-in-the-wall or moderately-priced ethnic restaurants. And I imagine you can probably find a lot of high-end restaurants in London. Maybe Mexican, Korean, or Ethiopian? Or perhaps a day trip out to the San Gabriel Valley for Chinese (not super-familiar w/ Chinese food in London, but I'm under the impression it's mainly Cantonese/HK and meant for tourists?). Even walking along Sawtelle in West LA might be interesting (and there's certainly good food to be found).

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ilysla
                    JacLondon RE: ilysla Aug 20, 2013 01:30 PM

                    Hi ilysla, we'd love to try some stuff that you might not be able to try in London if you have any suggestions?! Other than that we just like good food and nice bars!
                    I've hear a bit about hole-in-the-wall places in LA..we absolutely love Mexican and Thai so if you have any ideas in that direction that would be amazing :)

                  2. wienermobile RE: JacLondon Aug 18, 2013 10:29 AM

                    Son of A Gun
                    Park's BBQ
                    Langer's Deli
                    MB Post
                    Zankou Chicken
                    Tsujita LA
                    Plan Check
                    Connie & Ted's
                    Superba Snack Bar
                    & In N' Out Burger

                    Just a few of my favorites.
                    Welcome to LA.

                    1. rmarisco RE: JacLondon Aug 18, 2013 10:54 AM

                      i tend to go for fun eats - not the fancy stuff - especially for lunch. we just can't go to Hollywood without stopping at the Farmer's Market (3rd and Fairfax) for at least one or two meals/snacks. Also great, fun coffee houses like Javista, Food Lab, Urth Cafe, and Tiago. I tried to get into STREET last time we were there, but couldn't get a reservation - still, I've heard great things.

                      I've had a lot of luck with yelp - just filter it to 4 stars and above, whatever neighborhood you happen to be in. SO MANY great ethnic places in LA it's hard to pin down just a few.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: rmarisco
                        JacLondon RE: rmarisco Aug 20, 2013 01:32 PM

                        Yelp has been downloaded and I love a good coffee so will be sure to check out some of the places you have mentioned! Thanks.

                      2. d
                        Dirtywextraolives RE: JacLondon Aug 18, 2013 10:56 AM

                        Bars - Seven Grand, Cole's and the Varnish, Rivera, Drago
                        Centro, WP24
                        Food - The Parish, Lazy Ox Canteen, Alma, Bestia, the Gorbals, the Spice Table

                        Bars - Bar Marmont, Katsura Hollywood, Rainbow Room, Whiskey A go-go
                        Food - chi spacca, Hatfield's, Trois Mec (if you can get tickets ahead of time, hard to get in) Eveleigh, Talesai, Night + Market

                        Santa Monica:
                        Bars - Copa D'Oro, the Penthouse at the Huntley, the Lobster, Whist at the Viceroy, Freddy Smalls ( west l.a.)

                        Food - Melisse, Tar & Roses, Paiche( marina ), Tasting Kitchen (Venice), FIG

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                          JacLondon RE: Dirtywextraolives Aug 20, 2013 01:49 PM

                          Love these suggestions. Thanks. The Parish looks awesome, as does Lazy Ox and Spice Table. Everything downtown seems quite unique, reminds me of London.

                        2. y
                          yogachik RE: JacLondon Aug 18, 2013 11:08 AM

                          Downtown bars: Golden Gopher, Seven Grand, Varnish, Rivera, Elevate, Perch, Terroni.

                          Hollywood/West Hollywood Bars: Bar Marmont, The London rooftop, Sunset Tower, Mondrian Sky Bar, W Hotel

                          Santa Monica bars: The Bungalow at the Fairmont (the place to be).

                          For restaurants, don't miss Gjelina in Venice.

                          1. l
                            latindancer RE: JacLondon Aug 18, 2013 01:26 PM

                            "not have any budget in mind"

                            You'll find a like-minded crowd, from all over the world, at Joan's on 3rd.
                            No bar scene but great food.

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