foodiemahoodie's Profile

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Fine dining in West Los Angeles/Santa Monica

Melisse is your only true fine-dining option. Formal, great 10 course tasting menu, wine pairings, pretty great wine lines.

I'd add n/naka but it's not really West LA - I'd call it West LA adjacent.

According to this - pretty much everything west of downtown is West. L.A.


But I think that's bullshit.

This is more like it.


Now yah know!

about 18 hours ago
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area

Fine dining in West Los Angeles/Santa Monica

I've had nothing but good food at Craft. Not quite fine dining - it's just a bit informal in that regard, but you can put together a very enjoyable meal.

about 18 hours ago
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area

Los Angeles Restaurants in the 80's

On National? Or the one on Pico? (where Delmonicos is now).

One Dinner in LA - Providence v. Redbird v. Shunji v. n/naka v. Maude

Providence is great. Your theory doesn't hold in this respect. Biggest problem with Providence is that they don't have a celebrity chef. As a problem that's good for consumers - so the masses who conflate celebrity chef with excellent food - will flock to places.

And you should definitely consider Melisse.

I like Shunji, but not anywhere close to the same league as the others. Redbird - I've only been once and will hold my tongue and opinion until another try. But from first impression I wouldn't have it on the same list as those tippety-top-top restaurants.

Keep in mind how celebrity chefs are chosen - they have to have a big personality - and charisma - they have to "pop" on screen. But there are great chefs who are shy. Or cranky. Or downright surly. Or are on the spectrum (I'm not naming names, but I know very talented chefs who fit all of those descriptions) - none of them would pop on the screen.

Which brings us to Melisse - who should definitely be on your list. A mile ahead of Redbird. Or Shunji.


Kudos for Niki. I was a little worried there for the first year or so. (when I'd be one of say, a dozen people in the whole place).

Also glad L.A. has caught up with the place.


I just went to Open Table and plugged in tomorrow's date at 8:30 Nothing. I then hit the "find next available" button and got this...

No Availability for n/naka within 2.5 hours of requested time in next 8 weeks

Pacific Palisades

And their baguettes are great too. Those croissants are evil-good. I swear I could eat a hundred of them.

Belcampo now open in Santa Monica.

Thank you.

Belcampo now open in Santa Monica.

Yeah, that's it. And there is the no tip option. So it makes me feel cheap if I don't tip. Which pisses me off.

Belcampo now open in Santa Monica.

They're open now. Butcher shop up front, and restaurant (separate but adjacent street entrance) in the back.


Prices are fearlessly aggressive at the butcher shop.

I found one thing to be a little weird. When you buy something (I picked out a $18 heat-it-up meal out of their counter) and pay credit card - they give you a screen that asks you to make a choice to tip them - complete with the percentage amounts. A tip? Tip your butcher? On top of those prices?

What are some over-rated L.A. restaurants to you? Why, specifically? Only one each!

You're right, it is over-rated. But keep in mind the raters are usually the less discriminating sushi aficionados.

I had a friend (who works in Burbank) who insisted it's the best sushi in L.A. But ask him about Mori, or Zo, etc. and he draws a blank. My friends is an expert in his field but that field is not sushi.

restaurant on the Westside to have a business dinner?

Il Moro is perfect and actually complies with the OP's geographical demands.

I've had nothing but business lunches there so quite suitable for business dinner.

Hal's Bar & Grill on Abbot Kinney Will Shutter After 30 Years

If it was your hang then - I probably know you.

by any chance did you go to a West Beach reunion at someone's house (on Adelaide) around 5 years ago?

Hal's Bar & Grill on Abbot Kinney Will Shutter After 30 Years

He was there Friday night at midnight. Sitting with Orson Bean, Orson's wife and a guy - I can't remember his name - from back in the day. Actor who worked at Scratch.

What restaurant do you really really really miss that is now closed?

Yeah, there will be a couple places. But one is smaller on Abbot Kinney - won't have the same feel. And part of what makes the place work is the room - the size, the art, the booths.

And the great mix of patrons. We'll see.

The other place is going in at "Playa Del Rey", which I call Culver City - on Jefferson. A truly bizarre location that shows zero sensitivity and understanding about what they had, what works and why.

Hal's Bar & Grill on Abbot Kinney Will Shutter After 30 Years

I'm not sure who the owner is - or if his name is Hal.

But Hal of Hal's is Hal Frederick, formerly of the West Beach (which is where his Caesar salad, fries and "Mexican Breakfast" came from). Before that he was at Robert's on Ocean Front Walk. Not sure before that - I think he worked with Bruce Marder at his first restaurant on Main St. Name escapes me at the moment.

He also used to be an actor. His credits.


He is not the actual owner of Hal's - but one of the owners. Novack is the majority holder. I'm not sure if his title there is GM or what. Never asked! Too late, huh?

What restaurant do you really really really miss that is now closed?

Jumping the gun - Hal's Bar and Grill.

What restaurant do you really really really miss that is now closed?

Without question, the West Beach Cafe. It its heyday it was the only serious restaurant west of Beverly Hills (or perhaps West Hollywood for that matter).

Cool, upscale crowd. All the Venice artists would go there, as would local writers/directors/actors, etc. Fun! Before cocaine was addictive and sex couldn't kill you. Which meant a lot of great food, wine, staying up late and getting frisky 'til dawn. It was not uncommon, (after they closed) to turn up the music, push the tables back and continue the party on the impromptu dance floor.

Hal's Bar & Grill on Abbot Kinney Will Shutter After 30 Years

$40k. New owner is looking at $11,000/mo in property taxes alone.


Sounds like you went whole hog for evening- and you did it the right way (I expect nothing less from you) - where it appears you asked the proprietors what you should get - and you got it.

Not sure how many were in your group, but perhaps too full to really give the desserts a fair assessment - I know when I've hit the limit and gone a little too far past - that the best I can do with dessert is a distant, clinical critique.

Il Grano?

I consider this a romantic place. It's quiet, and often nearly empty. It has to be the right person as some people like to go where the action is - this ain't that place.

But it's great for a last minute tasting menu. Put yourself in Sal's hands. His enthusiasm for cooking is half the fun.

Shunji Update: More Seats at the Sushi Bar!

Good idea. Thanks.

Shunji Update: More Seats at the Sushi Bar!

What are the chances you can walk in there on any given night without a reservation, sit at the sushi bar and get an omakase?

I've done that at Shunji and Mori for lunch.

Reason I asked is that I was tempted to drop in there solo around 9:00 and sit at this lovely new sushi bar.

Shunji Update: More Seats at the Sushi Bar!

Looks great!

Fine dining in West Los Angeles/Santa Monica

Melisse and n/naka.

Maude should count - but I find it depends on the ingredient. And I think the whole "Iron Chef" concept is kinda lame for a diner. More sense for a competition. I like variety.

Fine dining in West Los Angeles/Santa Monica

It's not. West side, yeah, but not West L.A. But you knew that.

Mori Sushi Premium Omakase + YOLO = YOLOmakase

Great review. Mori Sushi rocks.

Apr 15, 2015
foodiemahoodie in Los Angeles Area

What does New York have that LA doesn't?

Oh, I politely disagree. We definitely have fine dining here - and it's great. New York has twice as much, sure, but that's largely because they have more demand.

If you lived in Paris or Tokyo where they have twice as many fine dining restaurants as New York - wouldn't it be unfair to say York as no fine dining?


It's about your birthday and it's your choice. The worst that could happen is that they'll go in knowing your tastes are adventurous and they will have to brace themselves accordingly.

When the uni dish comes and some people refuse to try it? Great! More for you! (I love it when a date or a friend is afraid of uni - I can't get enough of the stuff).


No, take out the "by far" qualifier and you might get some bites.