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Dec 31, 2013 09:48 AM

4 days in LA - help with our list

We're staying downtown and will rely mostly on cabs and walking (native NYers, very rusty/don't drive). We've narrowed down to 3 places: dinners at Rivera and Baco Mercat, 1 lunch at Sushi Gen. We'd really appreciate recommendations for another place for dinner. Good food takes priority, but if the restaurant isn't ear-splitting loud that's a big plus.
Thank you in advance.

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  1. Alma (I have not been but it appears destined for legendary status)
    Orsa & Winston - I have been and it is great. Much better than Baco or Ama (same chef's other places).

    2 Replies
    1. re: Ciao Bob

      Thank you for the tip, I was wondering among the 3 restaurants and just picked one that got mentioned more :).

      1. re: Ciao Bob

        "legendary status"? How so? Polarizing, for sure. They just moved to all tasting menu.

        Orsa & Winston is one of my short-list of must goes.

        I really like Bestia, but it is loud. I like Factory Kitchen even more as it's not as hectic, has a better winelist, and is a little less typical. Don't walk to either. Ditto for Church & State.

        Drago Centro is less cutting edge, but always really solid Italian and walkable.

        The strength IMO of WaterGrill are the raw and apps. Drinks and apps at WP24 are fun for a view, even if not dinner.

        Actually, if they are already hanging downtown, a trip on the Red Line to Hollywood or on the Expo to Culver City might make for some nice variety.

        Langer's is a great lunch idea. Get pastrami to join the Langer's vs Katz's debate.

        I still think Patina is good. It's a little old-school, but it is relaxing and still good, albeit expensive.

      2. I'm a pretty big champion of Drago Centro. Order me a couple of apps, some pasta, and dessert and I'm quite satisfied. The dining room is gorgeous and quite easy to have a conversation. If you can tolerate some raucous noise in deference to some tasty food, Wurstküche for sausages and Bestia for truly tasty Italian. Slightly far afield, a lunch at Langer’s for the best pastrami anywhere is a fun option. Depending on your stay, you might want to get on the Wolvesmouth email list – if they happen to be having dinners during the time of your visit, it might be worth a shot. I think it totally lives up to the hype.

        1. Agree with the recommendation for Alma.

          Water Grill is also a good option in that area if you want seafood. Noise level isn't too bad.

          Bestia is a little farther away but would be worth the cab ride. Very loud dining room at peak hours.

          1. -Downtown: Kagaya, Factory Kitchen (if you go to FK, I suggest you cab it as the area is not desirable for walking at night. Avoid skid row at night at all costs, especially on foot)
            -Red line to Hollywood/Thai town
            -Purple line to Langers & K-town
            -Gold line to Pasadena (Pas eats are not that great IMO but old town is fun for walking/people watching & Norton Simon Museum is within walking distance)
            -Expo line to Culver City (Father's office, Lukshon, Bucato, all at the Helms Bakery complex)

            1. If you have lunch at our recently-renovated upscaled Grand Central Market, you can sample. New-school Thai, old-school huge carnitas tacos, a bunch of other choices.

              Note: The DASH vans (look up LADOT) have a bunch of routes around and a bit beyond downtown.