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Lunch spot near Beverly Center area

KUCLA Sep 10, 2013 01:55 PM

My mom is coming up from San Diego to help me move into my new apartment this Thursday. We are both are huge foodies, but unfortunately I don't know this area very well. I was thinking of taking her to Son of a Gun, but I've already been there and would like to try something new with her! If any of you have any suggestions of a cool place to take her, it would be much appreciated!!

Thank you!!

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  1. t
    Thor123 RE: KUCLA Sep 10, 2013 01:58 PM

    Sotto is not too far, about a 10 minute drive.

    1. o
      Ogawak RE: KUCLA Sep 10, 2013 02:22 PM

      Golden State could be fun, though crowded
      Olio for Neapolitan pizza

      of course if you come dressed like that picture, I would opt for AOC or Sotto.

      1. Wayno RE: KUCLA Sep 10, 2013 02:31 PM

        According to their website, Scratch Bar is open for lunch. Very new and creative. I haven't been, but a few others on the board have. http://www.scratchbarla.com/about.html

        1. wienermobile RE: KUCLA Sep 10, 2013 02:45 PM

          Not open yet but take your Mom on her next visit to Plan Check opening at 351 N FAIRFAX AVE ...they open later this year with a larger menu then the their Sawtelle location.

          3 Replies
          1. re: wienermobile
            kevin RE: wienermobile Sep 10, 2013 03:26 PM

            That sounds like some competition for Golden State.

            Would that make them less than a block and a half from each other ?

            1. re: kevin
              Wayno RE: kevin Sep 10, 2013 03:41 PM

              Just checked by phone to confirm that the website is correct. Scratch Bar is definitely open for lunch, 11:30 to 2:30.

            2. re: wienermobile
              Wayno RE: wienermobile Sep 10, 2013 03:42 PM

              Ahhh, I just realize that your comment "not open yet" pertained to the new Plan Check, not to my statement about Scratch Bar now being open for lunch. Never mind.

            3. TonyC RE: KUCLA Sep 10, 2013 02:51 PM

              "New" AOC -- tons of lunching ladies on the patio. Perfect for whatever occasion this is.

              1. k
                kevin RE: KUCLA Sep 10, 2013 03:28 PM

                It's not quite right by Beverly Center.

                But Madeo is great, and I'll usually take up any reason to go there.

                2 Replies
                1. re: kevin
                  Wayno RE: kevin Sep 10, 2013 03:39 PM

                  Kevin, I thought you might reply with a gallant offer to help them move.

                  1. re: Wayno
                    kevin RE: Wayno Sep 11, 2013 07:26 AM

                    I guess I could do that. But they'll have to spot me a great lunch.

                2. Mr Taster RE: KUCLA Sep 10, 2013 03:37 PM

                  I'm always shocked that I like Lemonade so much. There's one on Beverly Blvd.

                  It's surprisingly affordable if you order right and share some dishes. Lots of fresh salads to choose from, as well as soups and stews. it's the sort of brunchy salady stuff that you'd pay 2-3x as much for if you ordered similar dishes at Joan's on 3rd.

                  Mr Taster

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: Mr Taster
                    kevin RE: Mr Taster Sep 10, 2013 03:41 PM

                    Taster, you just broke my heart.

                    Lemonade ???

                    That goes against the grain of all that we stand for. :)

                    1. re: kevin
                      Mr Taster RE: kevin Sep 10, 2013 03:44 PM

                      It's really not that bad. 6 salads + a braised dish is enough for 2 to share, and it only comes to about $10/pp.

                      FUB™ pricing (which Lemonade admittedly has all the trappings of) would demand it costs at least 1.5-2x as much.

                      Is there a specific complaint you have about the quality of the food, or just the general vibe of the place? The only thing I've had there that was really bad was a butterscotch pudding, which was grainy as hell. I complained about it, and someone plain-clothed in a supervisory capacity (I got an owner vibe, but can't be sure) was there. He actually dipped into the pudding I had eaten out of, and told me (to my face) that it tasted fine, but that he would let me swap it for something else. (This was at the Venice location.) Total narcissistic douchebaggery at its finest-- but, that's my only complaint about the place.

                      Edit: I'm fairly certain it was the guy on the right:

                      Mr Taster

                      1. re: kevin
                        PeterCC RE: kevin Sep 10, 2013 03:51 PM

                        I too love Lemonade (and Tender Greens) and I'm not afraid to say it!

                        1. re: PeterCC
                          wienermobile RE: PeterCC Sep 10, 2013 03:54 PM

                          I proudly love them both too and I will yell it out my window just like Peter Finch did in Network.

                          1. re: wienermobile
                            kevin RE: wienermobile Sep 10, 2013 03:56 PM

                            Is that what finchey yelled out the window ? :)

                            I do like Tender Greens though. It's my supposedly healthy (is it healthy?) joint in my rotation.

                            1. re: kevin
                              VealParmGuy RE: kevin Sep 10, 2013 08:36 PM

                              For my 2 cents, Tender Greens is far superior to Lemonade. Not sure why, but Tender Greens is always as good/better than what I expect and Lemonade always feels like something of a letdown.

                              Sidenote, Mr. Taster I've seen your FUB™ notation on a few posts now...at the risk of sounding like an idiot, what does it stand for? (I have a general sense)

                              1. re: VealParmGuy
                                Mr Taster RE: VealParmGuy Sep 10, 2013 10:05 PM

                                Here you go


                                Mr Taster

                        2. re: kevin
                          schrutefarms RE: kevin Sep 11, 2013 10:32 AM

                          Really? I've always liked Lemonade- I've found their ingredients to be fresh, the combinations inventive, the prices on point and the service good. The only thing I've never really liked there is the lemonade itself.

                          1. re: schrutefarms
                            Thor123 RE: schrutefarms Sep 11, 2013 11:15 AM

                            I like Lemonade too. I think the old fashion is pretty good.

                            1. re: Thor123
                              schrutefarms RE: Thor123 Sep 11, 2013 10:27 PM

                              The lemonade is a little strong for me- I like mine a bit more watered down than that. Although the peach one is pretty damn tasty!!! :)

                      2. Bob Brooks RE: KUCLA Sep 10, 2013 06:15 PM

                        Lucky you. You're pretty much at ground zero for great L.A. restaurants. Duplex on Third has a lovely patio and a very good lunch menu. For great Korean, there's Genwa, on La Cienega with 22 different banshan to go along with a great bibimbap.
                        AOC, Goldies, Olio, Son of a Gun. So many to choose from.

                        1. l
                          latindancer RE: KUCLA Sep 10, 2013 07:44 PM

                          Definitely AOC....

                          My daughter and I love the place....great food and a perfect place for visiting and conversation.
                          It's located in a nice place on 3rd and the ambiance is lovely.
                          Lemonade's fine, the foods okay, but there's often a wait out the door to get in. It's just not the place for a leisurely, comfortable place to enjoy lunch.

                          1. perk RE: KUCLA Sep 10, 2013 07:54 PM

                            I haven't been to the one at the Beverly Center, but i really like the food at Obika in Century City. It's run by the same people. They have wonderful burrata that they fly in from Italy. Lots of very nice Italian choices. And fun Italian wines.

                            1. b
                              b. delish RE: KUCLA Sep 10, 2013 07:58 PM

                              Moms LOVE Lucques.

                              1. v
                                VealParmGuy RE: KUCLA Sep 10, 2013 08:40 PM

                                Haven't been, but from reviews Goldie's could fit the bill. Already mentioned but AOC and Lucques are good ideas. BLD or Terroni as well.

                                1. J.L. RE: KUCLA Sep 11, 2013 12:50 AM

                                  Board regulars will tell you the usual suspects like Chaya Brasserie & AOC.

                                  I'll go with the dark horse: Cafe Angelino. Damn good Italian. (And that's saying a lot in that neighborhood, with neighbors like Angelini Osteria & Madeo).

                                  Cafe Angelino
                                  8735 W. 3rd St. (just east of the corner of Robertson & 3rd)
                                  Los Angeles 90048

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: J.L.
                                    latindancer RE: J.L. Sep 11, 2013 08:45 AM

                                    <Damn good Italian>

                                    That, it is.

                                    1. re: J.L.
                                      kevin RE: J.L. Sep 11, 2013 11:16 AM

                                      jl, thanks for letting out my little secret.

                                    2. k
                                      KUCLA RE: KUCLA Sep 11, 2013 01:30 AM

                                      Thank you all for your responses! Couldn't be more excited to try all of these places! Right now it's in between AOC, Little Next Door, and Lacques. Between those three which do you feel would be the most rememberable? Scratch bar I really want to go to for dinner, hear it's the bomb. Honestly all of your suggestions are beyond awesome, thank you again!!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: KUCLA
                                        aching RE: KUCLA Sep 12, 2013 06:27 AM

                                        AOC. Lucques and AOC are very similar (same chef), but I prefer the menu at AOC and the ambiance is fresher to me, since it's a new location. Little Next Door is much more casual.

                                      2. j
                                        jessejames RE: KUCLA Sep 11, 2013 09:14 AM

                                        Joans on Third
                                        Farmers Market
                                        Olio pizza
                                        carmela ice cream
                                        izaykaya (katsuya)

                                        20 Replies
                                        1. re: jessejames
                                          KUCLA RE: jessejames Sep 11, 2013 12:11 PM

                                          I've been wanting to go to Jar but its only open for dinner and Sunday brunch. The Bazaar is only open for dinner too...I know because I work there haha. Thank you for your suggestions, definitely adding them to my list!

                                          1. re: KUCLA
                                            jessejames RE: KUCLA Sep 11, 2013 12:51 PM

                                            my bad...for quick lunch also la plancha tacos, fat burger (nice rings), toast, churchill pub, doughboys, soda pops...basically tons of stuff

                                            1. re: jessejames
                                              KUCLA RE: jessejames Sep 11, 2013 02:09 PM

                                              I want to take her somewhere thats quaint or somewhat nice (but not nice enough that we have to actually be dressed to a T) and has very interesting and solid food. Right now I have reservations at AOC, but I'm kinda leaning toward The Little Next Door. Thoughts?

                                              1. re: KUCLA
                                                jessejames RE: KUCLA Sep 11, 2013 02:21 PM

                                                For me i think the atmosphere at Little door next door is a lot like some of the other spots in those blocks, outdoor patio etc. (tho seeing Halle Berry there was a plus!) AOC might be more quaint. I like La Paella a lot for various tapas and wine and it has a sort of European/quaint atmosphere....Locanda Veneta might also work.

                                                1. re: jessejames
                                                  KUCLA RE: jessejames Sep 11, 2013 02:38 PM

                                                  O my I just looked at La Paella's menu....I died. Looks UHHmazing! Your not making my decision any easier...and I thank you for it.

                                                  1. re: KUCLA
                                                    Mr Taster RE: KUCLA Sep 11, 2013 03:09 PM

                                                    I'd like to qualify this by saying that I've never been to La Paella, so I do not have first hand knowledge of the place.

                                                    But, I have been around Chowhound for a very long time, and I don't remember ever reading a positive review of the place (aside from this one).

                                                    Again, not saying it is or isn't good- just that my cumulative experience in remembering various Chowhound reviews, for this restaurant over the years, was not favorable.

                                                    EDIT: After reading J.L.'s post, I believe the negative reviews I recalled were specifically for the paella.

                                                    Mr Taster

                                                    1. re: Mr Taster
                                                      KUCLA RE: Mr Taster Sep 11, 2013 03:11 PM

                                                      Thanks for the heads up Mr. Taster!

                                                    2. re: KUCLA
                                                      J.L. RE: KUCLA Sep 11, 2013 03:20 PM

                                                      If you do go: Only have the tapas at La Paella. Strangely, their paellas aren't very good.

                                                      1. re: J.L.
                                                        Mr Taster RE: J.L. Sep 11, 2013 03:24 PM

                                                        You know, I think that's what I remember reading about negatively about La Paella over the years. I edited my post above to reflect that.

                                                        I'll add La Paella to my list of restaurants whose names are counter-intuitive or deceptively named:

                                                        - The paella at La Paella is bad

                                                        - Little to no chipotle in the dishes at Chipotle

                                                        Any further additions? :)

                                                        Mr Taster

                                                        1. re: Mr Taster
                                                          J.L. RE: Mr Taster Sep 11, 2013 04:00 PM

                                                          I couldn't find any good KFC's in Kentucky.

                                                          1. re: Mr Taster
                                                            kevin RE: Mr Taster Sep 11, 2013 04:06 PM

                                                            The Cheesecake Factory ????

                                                            The Olive Garden ?????

                                                            Killer Shrimp ??????

                                                            Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada ?????

                                                            I could go on.

                                                    3. re: KUCLA
                                                      kevin RE: KUCLA Sep 11, 2013 02:33 PM

                                                      AOC has better food. That's for sure.

                                                      You don't need to dress up for either.

                                                      After all, this is LA (with one proviso: if you are going to the Magic Castle in which case dressing up is mandatory).

                                                      1. re: kevin
                                                        KUCLA RE: kevin Sep 11, 2013 02:43 PM

                                                        Isn't that the truth HA. Ya I think I'm just gonna settle it and take her to AOC but I'm super excited to try all these places. Coming from the Westside, I'm not used to having to check the dress code, more or less everyone knows the nice and casual places the region has to offer. Here, whole different ballgame...pretty excited.

                                                        1. re: KUCLA
                                                          jessejames RE: KUCLA Sep 11, 2013 02:44 PM

                                                          it's a real hot spot for foodies ... lots of great spots at various prices....have fun at AOC!

                                                          1. re: KUCLA
                                                            b. delish RE: KUCLA Sep 11, 2013 05:02 PM

                                                            I love both AOC and Lucques. Both have excellent food and charming ambience. I'd give a slight edge to the latter, but, you won't go wrong with either option. Enjoy!

                                                            1. re: b. delish
                                                              KUCLA RE: b. delish Sep 11, 2013 09:29 PM

                                                              Does anyone suggest a certain dish or dishes for us to order at AOC?!

                                                              1. re: KUCLA
                                                                Mr Taster RE: KUCLA Sep 11, 2013 09:32 PM

                                                                Bacon-wrapped dates!

                                                                Just kidding.

                                                                Mr Taster

                                                                1. re: Mr Taster
                                                                  schrutefarms RE: Mr Taster Sep 11, 2013 10:28 PM

                                                                  Why are you kidding?? Those bacon wrapped dates are amazing!!!!

                                                                  1. re: schrutefarms
                                                                    Mr Taster RE: schrutefarms Sep 11, 2013 10:57 PM

                                                                    They are delicious-- no argument here. But my understanding was that they really popularized the bacon-wrapped date trend (which germinated the later sweet/salty dessert trend) back in the early-mid 2000s and since then they've became somewhat of a culinary cliche. I remember looking for them a few years ago, and not finding it on the menu. But it looks like they're back.

                                                                    I personally don't care if they're a "cliche" or not (I find it hard to swallow that term when describing food), but these kinds of restaurants live & die by ensuring their menus stay trendy and don't become staid and tired.


                                                                    Mr Taster

                                                                    1. re: Mr Taster
                                                                      schrutefarms RE: Mr Taster Sep 11, 2013 11:09 PM

                                                                      Agreed, a restaurant in this city must do all they can to stay relevant, after all, there's a lot of competition! But I personally could care less if a food is cliche- if it tastes good, ill eat it! Gimme all the salted caramel bacon wrapped whatever!!

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