Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dining Dilemma: Starving Artist in Los Angeles

Hi Amy! I'm from LA; my parents live in Encino. I'm going home for Labor Day and taking a friend’s brother out for dinner. He just moved to the LA area, is a starving artist, and is living in Korea Town. I love Korean Town and all of the amazing restaurants there, but I'm worried that Joe doesn't have the most adventurous palate. I'm looking for a restaurant that's in the downtown, West Hollywood or Santa Monica areas, that is delicious and doesn't have too aggressive a menu, so Joe doesn't feel uncomfortable. :) But I love good food, never get to go out in LA, and want to go somewhere memorable!

I don't have a specific price range, but probably don't want to go above $100 for the two of us.

If you have any recommendations, please pass them along! Thanks!!


Hi Rose!

Sounds like fun. Always nice to treat the starving artists. Some thoughts:

Lazy Ox Canteen: Eclectic, not too expensive with an interesting always changing menu. You could order weird stuff and Joe could certainly find more standard fare.

The Spice Table: Singaporean/vietnamese newcomer with a great interpretation of street food.

Mercantile: Part of an expanding group but each restaurant has its own identity. Great sandwiches and bistro fare. Cool but not expensive. Outside of the main craziness of Hollywood.

Pizzeria Mozza
: This is a favorite. Best pizza in LA. Sitting at the pizza bar is most fun and you don't need a reservation. Best if you go at an off time like late afternoon or for a late dinner. You can try getting a reservation for a table if the pizza bar is not your thing.

Santa Monica
Blue Plate Oysterette: If you both like fish, this is a great spot. Everything from fish tacos to catch of the day. On ocean blvd so good spot to be as the sun is going down.

The Yard: It is more of a bar with food but the food is very good. Chef is CJ of Top Chef fame. He’s doing delicious justice to bar foods ranging from sliders to mac n’cheese.

Rustic Canyon: Farm to table with a big influence from the nearby farmer’s market. Not much more to say than that I really like this place. Only downside is that the seasonal menu is not very big. Might be a problem for picky eaters.

Let me know where you end up!


Hi Amy! My stay in LA is coming to an end so I wanted to tell you about the restaurants I've enjoyed while here. I went to THREE of the restaurants you recommended. I caught up with one friend at Rustic Canyon; we shared fried cauliflower, sardines with an eggplant sauce, figs and burrata, and polenta with a sunny side up egg. I took my parents to Blue Plate Oysterette while we were wandering around the promenade. I had fish tacos, and tried a peruvian ceviche with yellowtail and the ahi sandwich. Yesterday, I had dinner with Joe at Pizzeria Mozza. It was so delicious! We split white bean bruschetta and goat cheese with lentils, and I had some kind of garlicky goat cheese pizza with leeks. I've never eaten so well in LA! My parents have been going to the same sushi restaurant in the valley for 20 years!

Thanks so much for the delicious recommendations! I'm definitely keeping your list, and look forward to trying the rest of the restaurants when I'm back later this year.


Awesome to hear Rose! Yes, glad to hear you discovered there are lots of delicious places to eat in LA beyond sushi in the valley... though sushi in the valley is never a bad option!


Do you have a Dining Dilemma in a city you are traveling to? Send me a mail and I'll send over some ideas for delicious dining.

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