Los Angeles Area Restaurants - 2017 Edition

Old Sep 9th, 2017, 10:51 AM
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First, to answer MoBro (agree with rjw's comment about creating a new thread), yes, Sur is a real restaurant, not that I'd ever go there. Haven't watched the show either.

Although the great majority of my foodie friends LOVE Melisse, and yes, it is everything you are requesting, I am not a fan. The atmosphere and the service is really special. The food is plated in the category of a work of art or food porn facebook posting. The food that I can actually eat is indeed delicious. But that's where the problem lies with me, the queen of picky eaters (and I know, there's one at every gathering!). I don't do organs. I don't do mushrooms or raw tomatoes. I despise truffles and truffle oil. Since Melisse contains a plethora of all of these and a dearth of everything else, when I go (and I've gone a few times since it first opened, and once after the remodel), I would be considered a very cheap date. They do try to please my pedestrian tastes.

For foodie interesting food, I'd recommend Maude . . . since it's Melon month, they'd have a fixed dinner I could actually eat. For just plain classy, expensive, really good, everyone can find something they can eat, I'd recommend Cut at the Beverly Wilshire. Even their bathrooms are classy!
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Old Sep 9th, 2017, 10:56 AM
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Back to the restaurants, 2017 edition, I don't remember if I mentioned this place last year, but we uncovered about 3 years ago a hole in the wall that's been here forever on Pico just into Santa Monica called Lara's. Little Mexican restaurant with a downstairs and upstairs, and 2 guys playing and singing Mexican music with guitars on weekends. It has everything one would expect at a quality date or party night Mexican restaurant. Close to McCabe's Guitar Shop too, if you plan on making a night of it with a concert at McCabes.
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Old Sep 9th, 2017, 08:05 PM
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Thank you. I appreciate your comments. I think we are going to roll the dice and try Mr Chow.

Lara's sounds like a fun idea for another night while I'm in town. Thank you.
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Old Sep 14th, 2017, 06:25 PM
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FYI: our dinner at Mr Chow was really special. Food was perfect, service was precise and attentive, everyone was gracious and welcoming. We had a table by itself, not right next to anyone else, because we reserved for 6pm. We let the waiter put together our dinner, with shrimp, beef and duck.

We were all happy we'd chosen to go there. It was a real celebration.
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Old Sep 14th, 2017, 06:31 PM
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PS. Keeping with the tone of this thread (which I'm sorry I threw off-track), we have eaten at Sunny Spot in Marina del Rey a couple of times. Fun, casual place. Good food & service.

SunnySpotVenice.com
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Old Sep 15th, 2017, 12:27 PM
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MoBro, after seeing Sunny Spot, I'm suddenly in the mood for pancakes!

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Old Sep 15th, 2017, 02:12 PM
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Or bottomless drinks. Or Caribbean tacos. . ..
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Old Sep 21st, 2017, 10:25 AM
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Yesterday was my wedding anniversary, and who wants to cook on a special day like that? Our choice was a relatively new place next door to the mechanic that services our delicate German roadster in Belmont Heights-- Panxa Cocina:

https://panxacocina.com/

Does the world need another Mexican restaurant? Absolutely, when it's as good as Panxa (or, for that matter, Playa Amor, about which I raved above). Nouvelle Mexican, in a fun, rustic room, with a bustling bar scene and super-friendly servers. The food is earthy and unafraid of bold spice and beautifully put together, and it is another great reminder of why Mexican is one of the unquestionably great world cuisines. FYI, the people who run Roe also run Panxa, and they share executive chefs, so a little mini-empire of great, fun eateries with full bars is emerging from the southeast corner of Long Beach. They have great small plates, and I heartily recommend their Charred Queso Oaxaca, their Happy Hour Fried Calamari Tacos and their chips with a salsa flight. Last night I had their Chili-Honey Lamb Shank and my husband had the Flat Iron (steak)-- both were incredible. LOVE this place!!
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Old Sep 22nd, 2017, 04:02 PM
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Have you tried the mole? I'll have to round up my Long Beach compadres for a visit.

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Old Sep 23rd, 2017, 09:24 AM
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I have not tried their mole yet. I was sorely tempted by Abuela's Chicken Mole and the chicken mole enchiladas, but we'd been cycling through chicken, turkey, pork and seafood at home (weight control, cost savings AND it turns out we are pretty good cooks when we work together) and decided to go with beef and lamb this time around. It was a sacrifice; I LOVE mole (we always have a jar of Doña María mole original in case I need a fix), but that lamb shank just sounded too great to pass up. And I was right.

There's always next time, after we drop some cash on maintaining our roadster at the place next door...!
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Old Sep 24th, 2017, 06:18 AM
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Happy Anniversary rjw. Panxa looks like a nice addition to the LB area although I would call that menu Southwestern as in the state of New Mexico, not "Modern Mexican. "

Tonight's Choice Renu Nakorn which specializes in Isaan Thai.
I realize Norwalk doesn't cut it for most visitors but it is sort of on the way to Disneyland!

http://www.kevineats.com/2012/10/ren...orwalk-ca.html

Recently introduced some nonadventurous eaters to Cesars and it is in their rotation when meeting family coming up from OC.

http://www.cesarsbistro.com

We love their ropa vieja on arepas.
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Old Oct 5th, 2017, 11:38 AM
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If anyone is planning a trip to San Clemente, we highly recommend this Mexican restaurant. South Of Nick’s Mexican Kitchen + Bar is the latest in the Nick’s restaurant mini-empire we have visited this year, and like the other two American menu influenced restaurants, this Nick’s delivered on all counts. From the ambiance to the service to the delectable food, once again these guys get it when it comes to owning a restaurant. We might have overeaten just a tad…probably didn’t need the Queso Fundido...but it was so good!

http://travelswithmaitaitom.com/south-nicks-mexican-kitchen-bar-san-clemente-ca/

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Old Oct 29th, 2017, 07:07 AM
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Jonathan Gold's Best Restaurants of L.A. (2017) is out. The top 10:

Vespertine (Culver City)
Providence (Hancock Park)
Spago (Beverly Hills)
Lukshon (Culver City)
Taco Maria (not in L.A. County but in Costa Mesa)
Spring (DTLA)
Trois Mec (Hancock Park)
Cassia (Santa Monica)
Mozzaplex (Hancock Park)
Rossoblu (DTLA)

http://ballots.latimes.com/lists/101...jonathan-gold/

I can't say I always agree with Gold (Vespertine doesn't sound like my kind of place), but I do agree with his comment about eating in L.A. "where your next great dinner is as likely to come from a truck as it is from a white tablecloth joint, where the guy making your taco may have worked in a three-star French restaurant."
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Old Oct 31st, 2017, 11:14 AM
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"Vespertine doesn't sound like my kind of place"

nor mine...Looks a tad pretentious to say the least.

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Old Oct 31st, 2017, 12:16 PM
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I, for one, have a real problem with the nouveau dining "experiences", like Vespertine or Dialogue in Santa Monica with it's 21 course one m&m size presentations of food art for a whopping $250 pp, excluding drink (another $250+ for wine "pairings"). Give me a break. For 500 bucks pp, I could fly to SF with my husband for the evening and dine like Kings. Now THAT would be an evening out!
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