Christmas Eve dinner in LA

Aug 27th, 2008, 02:16 AM
  #1  
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Christmas Eve dinner in LA

Hi, we are flying into to LA on the 24th of Dec, staying at the Sheraton Gateway near LAX. We fly out to JFK at 1.30 on the 25th. Where should we go for a special dinner on teh 24th? We are family group of 4 adults and 2 children. The children can behave for a few hours in a smart resturant if required. We would probably prefer somewhere with a bit of a buzz. Should we rent a car? What is a good rental car company. Thanks for your help. Regards Kate
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Aug 27th, 2008, 06:54 PM
  #2  
 
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What kind of food would you like? Do you want an upscale place or a more family-oriented restaurant?
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Aug 28th, 2008, 01:02 AM
  #3  
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Dear Jean, we want very good food, something not too quiet and stuffy though. What is Mario Batalli's Pizza resturant like? Thanks kate
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Aug 28th, 2008, 07:23 AM
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Hi Kate - While I am anxiously looking forward to trying Pizzeria Mozza myself or even the Osteria Mozza, I call tell you for sure that you won't be disappointed with the authentic food selections and presentations. My husband and I recently returned from Las Vegas where we ate at B&B, which is also owned by Mario and Joseph Bastianich, in the Venetian Hotal and the food was stellar. Since the Pizzeria Mozza is a bit more informal, you might want to consider that since you have small children.
check it out - www.mozza-LA.com

As for the car rental, it truly is a hassle for the one day and time constraints, as well as not knowing exactly where you will be driving, and then there are parking issues. Why not just grab a cab and leave the driving to someone else, especially on Christmas Eve. Enjoy your evening -
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Aug 28th, 2008, 08:09 AM
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The Mozza restaurants are 30-40 minutes from the airport area and perhaps longer on Christmas Eve. You'll need a minivan or two cars to get there. (FYI, if your children are under 6 years or 60 pounds, you'll need car safety seats.) I assume you're coming off a long flight from New Zealand. Do you think you're up for a longish drive?

I can recommend three very good restaurants in Manhattan Beach which is about 15 minutes from your hotel. No restaurant in a beach town will be "stuffy" or quiet.

Petros [Greek]
www.petrosrestaurant.com

Cafe Pierre [Mediterranean]
www.cafepierre.com

Darren's [Cal/Pacific fusion]
www.darrensrestaurant.com

Cafe Pierre has been a Manhattan Beach fixture for decades. Petros and Darren's are relatively new but have received multiple rave reviews from many critics. Petros is the largest (and noisiest) of the three. Darren's is the smallest. Your family would be almost half the diners. The owner/chef (Darren) is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of American and has worked in some of the top restaurants in Hawaii and Southern California.
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Aug 28th, 2008, 11:01 AM
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We just ate at Osteria Mozza in June and I really don't know if I see it as a place to take kids, altho I do not know the ages of said children. Reservations need to be made 30 days ahead and can be hard to get.

The food was quite good but also relatively expensive. Dinner for 4 (adults) with wine and dessert approached $500 w/tax and tip.

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Aug 28th, 2008, 11:15 AM
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Haven't been there for ages, but I always loved Cafe Rey (or is it Cafe Del Rey?) on Marina Del Rey which is near LAX. A lot of buzz, great food, looking out over the marina.

I'd agree about letting someone else do the driving as I assume you'll have a hotel shuttle to and from the airport -- and who needs to worry about picking up and returning a car for just one night?
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Aug 28th, 2008, 12:46 PM
  #8  
lvk
 
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Are you looking for buzz as in the new trendiest restaurants with great reviews? Or buzz, as in busy, kind of noisy places that are suitable for kids?
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Aug 28th, 2008, 02:10 PM
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Funny, I wondered the same thing until she asked about Mario Batalli....
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Aug 28th, 2008, 05:10 PM
  #10  
lvk
 
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socialworker,
I figured she meant that kind of buzz too, until I saw Neo's posting re: the "buzz" at Cafe del Rey.

BTW, we were at Osteria Mozza in June, too. Loved the food, especially the burrata, but could have done without the attitude.
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Aug 28th, 2008, 07:53 PM
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Hmmm. Now you've got me curious too. I always think of "buzz" in a cool trendy way. A kid friendly place I just call "noise".

And the Pizza comment didn't throw me, as I thought of Otto in New York -- another Mario Battali pizza place that I think has a trendy "buzz" as well.
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Sep 1st, 2008, 02:12 AM
  #12  
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thanks for the info, with reference to my adjective "buzz" I meant both trendy and I guess a bit noisy, certainly not a very quiet one with waiters standing beside us. We all love Japanese and Italian. Thanks Kate
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Sep 1st, 2008, 05:42 PM
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There's a brand new, hip Japanese restaurant in Manhattan Beach called "Sashi" (as in sake + sushi). The chef has appeared on Iron Chef. Reviews are a bit mixed, but Sashi has only been open for two weeks. We haven't been there yet, so I can't give a personal view.

http://losangeles.citysearch.com/review/47165540

BTW, Sashi is on the same small plaza as Petros which I mentioned in an earlier post. Cafe Pierre is a block away and Darren's about three blocks away. After dinner you could walk a few blocks to our beautiful pier. Here she is wearing her Christmas lights:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/casualclicks/315517282/
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Sep 2nd, 2008, 01:13 AM
  #14  
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Thanks for the Japanese reviews, it sounds like it might be worth a look. The children age 10 and 12 love Iron chef America and are quite keen to go to Mario's Pizza place. any other ideas? cheers Kate
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