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Nice restaurant in LA for thursday date night

Price range around $30 a person or less, I'd really like to go to a place that is actually good and not just hyped. I have plenty of places like misfit, plan check, the golden state, a-frame, bookmarked but I can't tell which ones are hyped and which are actually good based on yelp reviews, help! (cuisine preferably american, modern, or sushi)

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  1. The new Superba Food and Bread in Venice is a wonderful date spot with really good food.
    http://superbafoodandbread.com

      1. re: budlit

        bucato? at $30/pp or less? maybe i'm just a pig, but i don't see it.

        1. re: westsidegal

          I thought the same thing about Tar & Roses….

      2. Some of the places you've mentioned are gastropubs. I still have a special place in my heart for Father's Office. Superba is Chow-worthy, and Freddy Smalls as well.

        Good sushi for $30 a person in L.A.? Ain't gonna happen.

        1 Reply
        1. re: J.L.

          Re: sushi - not for dinner at least.

        2. It will really depend on your taste. For example, I haven't liked what I've had at Plan Check across three visits, but many many people here do. I don't think it's just hyped, just not for me. On the flip side, I really liked A-Frame but I know many who think it, and all of Roy Choi's places, are just hype.

          7 Replies
            1. re: jennayly

              At Plan Check I've had the pastrami burger, the butter lettuce salad, and the fried chicken, both in sandwich form and entree. None of the food was bad, but none were anything I'd go out of my way to get again.

              At A-Frame (I edited my original reply to add the counterpoint), I had the fried chicken, which was better than Plan Check's, and I had this shell-on shrimp with kaffir lime salt on it that was just delicious. I'd go back for that.

              1. re: TheOffalo

                only thing I like at plan check and I like them a lot are the burgers. esp the bleu print burger. always cooked to order and a good size for me. but in the end, it's just a burger too, so I hear ya.

                For fried chicken, all this gourmet fried chicken is complete bullshit. popeyes, cjs, roscos, 99cent soulfood shops, hell even KFC xtra crispy and ralphs are better than the expensive stuff. not just cheaper and as good, better....

                a lot of this trend for gourmet food is to take simple shit like burgers and chicken and charge a fortune for them, but lose the simplicity of the dish. if I go to a place like bouchon I'm not looking for fried chicken or a burger.

                Aframe sounds worth a visit tho.

                1. re: TheOffalo

                  I'm a big fan of Plan Check, specifically the chicken sandwich (spicy or no) and the kale caesar.

                  1. re: Tyus4pt8

                    Wendy's fried chicken sandwich is better if you ask me.

                    1. re: Tyus4pt8

                      I think the Plan Check Chicken Sandwich is one of the best in LA and maybe even better than Son of A Gun's.

                       
                      1. re: wienermobile

                        But it's just a chicken sandwich. I'll still take Wendy's. Make it 3.

              2. folks love the little door and little door next door

                16 Replies
                1. re: jessejames

                  Nice for a date, but not in the OPs budget.

                  ps: rumor has it that Little Door is taking the Villetta space.

                  A-Frame can be loud, but it has a full bar and great food. Plan Check - I am one of those here who doesn't get it at all, but the drinks are great. Misfit is loud, and I don't think in your budget.

                  Consider Bar Pintxo, Sunny Spot, Chaya Venice Bar (in the bar it's happy hour all night).

                  $30/person is almost impossible anywhere.

                  1. re: yogachik

                    >> $30/person is almost impossible anywhere. <<

                    ... except in the SGV.

                    1. re: J.L.

                      Here is a creative story from Zagat, which ran in January of this year, about this very problem - and how to solve it: http://www.zagat.com/b/los-angeles/ho...

                      1. re: Servorg

                        that article seems to recommend these strategies:

                        1) extremely careful ordering
                        (which may or may not make for a good "date". may be necessary to plan the whole meal before you even leave the house. might take some of the festivity out of it, though.)

                        and/or
                        2) sticking to bar/lounge menu items WITHOUT ordering any booze while at the bar/lounge--just ordering water. (dunno, maybe it's just me, but using a bar/lounge as a stand in for an early bird special provider==cheap food, no drinks, totally gaming the restaurant--would be an unappealing date night)
                        a favorite restaurant of mine shortened their happy hour times because too many people were gaming them in a similar fashion. it turned out to be better for their bottom line to have the happy hour customers OUT of the restaurant by the time the regular customers, the ones who expected to pay regular price, walked in the door.
                        another favorite shortened the time they offered validated parking in order to prevent these happy hour people from lingering/camping out over the food and drink they ordered at a discount.

                        if enough customers game restaurants in this fashion, it will end up ruining it for the rest of us.

                        and/or
                        3) SHARING miniscule-portioned small plates as though anyone would feel satisfied with such a small amount of food. (maybe my piggishness is showing here, but even WITHOUT sharing, i spend over $30 for LUNCH at Gjelina without booze. can't imagine how anyone would be satisfied ordering $30 worth of food at gjelina for a "date night."

                        1. re: westsidegal

                          Just looked at the current Gjelina online menu -- prices seem to have gone up a buck a dish since I was recently there:

                          Lamb sausage pizza -- $15
                          One of three salads -- $11
                          Two vegetable dishes -- $9 x 2 = $18.
                          Gnocchi or another small plate -- $15.
                          Butterscotch budino for dessert -- $8.

                          $67 before tax, tip, beverages for two. Certainly a satisfying meal, though not huge. We did a light meal for three with one fewer vegetables six weeks ago and were satisfied.

                          1. re: nosh

                            nosh: if that is your idea of a light meal for two , now i know that i'm really a pig.
                            the idea that you would order even less for a meal for THREE has me speechless.

                            1. re: westsidegal

                              If we ever "break bread" together, I think I'll treat you to Souplantation.

                                  1. re: wienermobile

                                    Two "date killers" in one. Souplantation and coupons! Love will never bloom from that combo...(g)

                                    1. re: wienermobile

                                      Did you know ... they accept expired coupons.

                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                        What?! That's like OpenTable points all over again!

                            2. re: westsidegal

                              Different strokes for different folks. And ordering water, or a soda or sparkling water or a cup of coffee, if you are eating at the bar and don't happen to drink alcohol for whatever reason, seems fine to me.

                        2. re: yogachik

                          the Chaya venice happy hour deal:
                          1) the terms and restrictions keep changing so absolutely confirm before you start driving.
                          and
                          2) the popularity of the place make it somewhat risky to go there with the anticipation of actually getting a seat in the bar/lounge area.

                          concur about the unlikelihood of getting out of there anywhere near $30/pp

                          1. re: yogachik

                            Little Door did indeed buy the Villetta lease and liquor license and will be moving in to that space. Should be great in the Former Chez Mimi/Villetta space. Little Door got a very very good deal

                            1. re: yogachik

                              I think LDND is in budget, or close.

                              http://www.thelittledoor.com/lndmenu.php

                              but 30pp all in is tough