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Dinner For Four in Downtown LA?

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LindsayB Jan 18, 2014 01:36 PM

Hello,

I'm looking for a good restaurant in downtown LA, ideally within walking distance of the 300 block of S. Figueroa St.

We're a group of four adventurous eaters with no dietary restrictions. We're keen on any kind of Asian food, or Mexican food, but we're open to anything.

It's a special occasion, so I'm looking for something nice, but not over-the-top expensive. A place with entrees in the $20.00 range would be my ideal price point.

Thoughts? Thanks in advance for sharing your expertise with some visiting New Yorkers and Canadians.

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  1. Servorg RE: LindsayB Jan 18, 2014 02:11 PM

    Some suggestions here http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9299...

    1. d
      d_doubleyew RE: LindsayB Jan 18, 2014 02:35 PM

      Walking distance from 3rd and Fig, if you want Mexican, there is Border Grill on 4th and Figueroa: http://www.bordergrill.com/bg_dtla/bg...

      A few blocks away on 5th and Flower, but a bit more pricey, there is also Chaya Downtown for Asian: http://www.thechaya.com/downtown-la/

      If you are willing to jump on the train, walk to 7th and Fig, take the red line to Civic Center and you can walk to Little Tokyo to try ramen at Men Oh Tokushima or Shin Sen Gumi or the udon at Morugame Monzo. Or try Indian/Canadian treats at Badmaash.

      1. wienermobile RE: LindsayB Jan 18, 2014 02:50 PM

        Wood Spoon might be just what you are looking for. Try their wonderful Brazilian Chicken Pot Pie.
        http://woodspoonla.com

        1 Reply
        1. re: wienermobile
          s
          set0312 RE: wienermobile Jan 18, 2014 08:29 PM

          wienermobile- ever had the Costelinha corn Canjiquinha? Amazing

        2. wienermobile RE: LindsayB Jan 18, 2014 02:52 PM

          Daikokuya for Japanese ramen in Little Tokyo.
          http://www.daikoku-ten.com/locations/...

          10 Replies
          1. re: wienermobile
            j
            Jack Flash RE: wienermobile Jan 18, 2014 03:00 PM

            I would not pick Daikokuya for a special occasion. Neither the food nor the atmosphere qualifies.

            On the other hand, I do endorse the recommendation for Chaya Downtown, which is both geographically desirable and fit for a special occasion. And it won't break the bank if you don't let it.

            You didn't say when. If by any chance this will be a Sunday dinner, Chaya has a special menu (regular still available, I think) for $27. Four courses based on a market ingredient (this week, it's citrus) and 1/2 price bottles of wine.

            1. re: Jack Flash
              wienermobile RE: Jack Flash Jan 18, 2014 04:39 PM

              Their budget is $20

              1. re: wienermobile
                j
                Jack Flash RE: wienermobile Jan 18, 2014 05:48 PM

                For a main course. Hence, I would think a 4-course Sunday dinner at $27 including dessert is well within the budget. If the meal isn't on Sunday, then this obviously doesn't apply.

            2. re: wienermobile
              J.L. RE: wienermobile Jan 18, 2014 05:11 PM

              The ramen at Daikokuya is pretty bad.

              My picks for entrees in the $20 range in that area would be Cafe Pinot (near 5th & Flower) or Colori Kitchen (near 8th & Olive).

              1. re: J.L.
                n
                ns1 RE: J.L. Jan 18, 2014 05:18 PM

                2nd colori kitchen, byob is a major plus. It's crazy busy in there esp on weekends so try to get a res.

                Very easy to blow the 20pp budget @colori though. Their cioppino is like $33 alone. Never had a bad meal there.

                1. re: ns1
                  J.L. RE: ns1 Jan 18, 2014 06:42 PM

                  OP states $20 per ENTREE, not $20pp. There is a difference.

                  1. re: J.L.
                    n
                    ns1 RE: J.L. Jan 19, 2014 11:06 AM

                    fair enough, but I've never left colori kitchen w/o spending ~40pp after tax/tip. Just FYI to the OP.

                    As background info to the OP...

                    colori kitchen is structured around a typical italian menu - so apps then pastas then mains then desserts.

                    The pastas are not big enough to be shared, but the mains are. So typically between my fiancee and I we'll buy like carpaccio (~10), pasta (~15), main (~20-30), then dessert (~10). And that's eating fairly light...

                    all that said, colori has dropped some of the best mains (1.5pound beef rib, cioppino) and desserts (we once did a dessert "tasting menu") I've had at that price range.

                  2. re: ns1
                    d
                    Dirtywextraolives RE: ns1 Jan 19, 2014 10:09 AM

                    Sounds like they're visiting, not sure if there's a liquor store or wine shop in the area to help them out with that byob....

                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                      Mattapoisett in LA RE: Dirtywextraolives Jan 19, 2014 12:24 PM

                      I can think of 2 excellent ones off the top of my head

                      Buzz Wine Beer shop on Spring @ 5th
                      http://buzzwinebeershop.com/

                      Artisan House Market at Main and 6th
                      http://artisanhouse.net/market.html

                      Though most of the time when I go into Colori, I see the BYOB in bags from Target which is one of the reasons I would suggest the OP look beyond Colori

                      1. re: Mattapoisett in LA
                        d
                        Dirtywextraolives RE: Mattapoisett in LA Jan 19, 2014 03:46 PM

                        Well, there ya go!

              2. wienermobile RE: LindsayB Jan 18, 2014 02:58 PM

                One of a kind sausages (rattlesnake and rabbit + more) and craft beers at Wurstkuche.
                http://www.wurstkuche.com

                1 Reply
                1. re: wienermobile
                  f
                  foodiemahoodie RE: wienermobile Jan 18, 2014 09:07 PM

                  "a special occasion...looking for something nice"

                  Wurstkuche?!

                2. y
                  yogachik RE: LindsayB Jan 18, 2014 05:01 PM

                  Maccheroni Republic on 3rd and Broadway. Unfortunately, Jonathan Gold just wrote about it so it will be jammed, but it's incredibly great.

                  For asian, head to Little Tokyo, as noted above

                  1. ipsedixit RE: LindsayB Jan 18, 2014 06:35 PM

                    Le Ka or Badmaash.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: ipsedixit
                      l
                      linus RE: ipsedixit Jan 18, 2014 10:58 PM

                      is badmaash keen? the menu looks really tasty but the website is really obnoxious.

                      1. re: linus
                        ipsedixit RE: linus Jan 19, 2014 03:07 PM

                        Do you plan on eating the food or the website?

                        Unless you're Her, most do the former.

                        1. re: ipsedixit
                          l
                          linus RE: ipsedixit Jan 19, 2014 10:22 PM

                          seemed like a pretty simple question.
                          i guess my point is the food has to be really good for me to want to spend time around the people responsible for the prose on the website.
                          i will kop to this being possibly silly, but such is the glory of moi.

                    2. d
                      Dirtywextraolives RE: LindsayB Jan 19, 2014 10:20 AM

                      The nicest place within walking distance is Patina. Will most likely be above your $20 per entree budget.

                      A short distance away at the LA Central library is a lovely spot called Cafe Pinot. About two blocks south on Fig, then about three blocks east on W. 5th. That may be more in line with your budget. And the patio is lovely on a nice day.

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