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Good markets, restaurants, etc. around Cal State LA?

I'm starting a nursing program this summer at Cal State LA. I live Mid-City/Miracle Mile, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to explore a part of the city and surroundings that I know next to nothing about. Any suggestions particularly for great local markets, restaurants or hidden gems would be most welcome - I'm a blank slate for the area!

TIA

Apr 04, 2012
blackie135 in Los Angeles Area

$100 for Dinner for Two tonight - where to go?

My fiancee and I weren't planning on going out to tonight but we just got handed $100 to enjoy, so out we go! We are open to anything really between BH and Larchmont. Angelli Cafe and Girasole came up, though neither of us is really craving Italian. We'd love to try something new, so any suggestions are welcome.

Also, the $100 doesn't have to include drinks.

Thanks in advance.

Sep 10, 2010
blackie135 in Los Angeles Area

Downtown Birthday Dinner: Hugo's, Grotto, Firefly, Red Sushi, Second Street Grill?

I'm headed to LV next weekend for a friend's birthday. His choice is to go downtown for dinner. Yes, I know the dining options are far superior on the Strip, but he is the birthday boy, so he wins. We don't have tons of restrictions re: food preferences and price. From some topline searches it looks like Hugo's, Grotto, Firefly, Red Sushi and Second Street Grill are some of the best food downtown. I would appreciate any and all thoughts on those options and recent experiences. We are a bunch of couples in our late 20's-mid 30's from LA, NY and the Midwest and appreciate all great food.

Thanks in advance!

Jul 17, 2010
blackie135 in Las Vegas

Good early morning eats between MKE and Madison?

Hi All,

I'm flying in to Milwaukee early tomorrow morning and promptly driving to Madison. After a reasonably long flight I'm going to be in search for some good food. Any suggestions along the way? We land at about 6am but figure we'll be out of the airport by 6:30-7am. Open to all different kinds, not much we don't eat. Any and all suggestions anywhere in the general vicinity of that route would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

Apr 08, 2010
blackie135 in Great Lakes

What to get these days at Campanile?

My parents are in town and are taking me out to dinner tonight at Campanile. I have been once before during DineLA restaurant week and was underwhelmed. Good food, nice atmosphere, slow service, but am interested to know if people have specific dishes they have enjoyed. I eat everything, but was wondering if maybe I got the wrong thing?

Thanks for your suggestions!

Jan 13, 2010
blackie135 in Los Angeles Area

Good comfort food delivery options for a sick Saturday?

I am officially sick and not enjoying it all. However, it means that I'm looking for delivery places with good comfort food and/or soups around La Brea and Third St. I was thinking of Thai or Chinese for some reason (neither are foods I eat regularly, which is why it is slightly odd), but am open to all suggestions.

Thanks in advance.

Dec 12, 2009
blackie135 in Los Angeles Area

Campanile - restaurant week issues?

So, we went ahead to Campanile last night and they were only serving the Dine LA Restaurant menu along with the Monday night family dinner, but not the a la carte menu. Initially I was a bit disappointed, but they did let me sub one thing off one menu onto the other. Overall, good, but not phenomenal. Service was okay, but not what I would have expected from a restaurant of that caliber.

I started with Pasta Carbonara, which surprised me in that it had no meat/ham or peas, so it ended up being pasta with a cream sauce and asparagus. Not what I normally identify as Carbonara, but yummy nonetheless. The past was obviously freshly made and quite good. Second course I had a fish stew/cioppino with mussels, clams, fish, lobster and shrimp. I was a bit disappointed by this as it was quite salty and the lobster and shrimp were both overcooked. I swapped out the dessert for a Bourbon Bread Pudding which was good but nothing special.

I'm not an overly critical diner in general, but, again, with a restaurant of this caliber and price I would have expected a bit more. Saw Mark Peel too, which was nice for an out-of-towner with us, though he was mostly shaking hands and never saw him in the kitchen...

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Campanile
624 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Oct 06, 2009
blackie135 in Los Angeles Area

Campanile - restaurant week issues?

Not realizing it was restaurant week, I made a reservation for a special dinner tonight at Campanile. I have heard some tales of lacking service and limited menus at Campanile during previous restaurant weeks. Has anyone had experience with these issues? Can we still order off the regular menu or are we limited to the prix-fix menu? I just want to make sure the dinner is still special with good food and service and we aren't going at a time when we won't get the optimal experience.

Thanks!

Oct 05, 2009
blackie135 in Los Angeles Area

LA to Oakland - good eats along the I-5?

I'm driving north from LA to Oakland tomorrow morning and would love to hear if there are yummy eats along the way. I usually bring my own snacks assuming that the places along the way are mediocre highway food, but would love to be proven wrong! Any suggestions are much appreciated!

Sep 24, 2009
blackie135 in California

Nice dinner - Girasole, Hungry Cat, Chameau, Animal, Campanile or Grace?

Price isn't a huge issue, just don't want it to get to be Providence level pricing. Cafe Angeli is a favorite, but have been there recently so I'm going to try to continue to explore.

Sep 22, 2009
blackie135 in Los Angeles Area

Nice dinner - Girasole, Hungry Cat, Chameau, Animal, Campanile or Grace?

My father is coming into town next weekend and taking me out to a nice dinner. He enjoys good food and I want to try a place I"ve never been. I don't want the prices to get too crazy but have heard good things about all of the places above (Girasole, Hungry Cat, Chameau, Animal, Campanile and Grace), but would love further guidance!

In the past we have gone to Lucques (loved it), the Lobster (eh) and Josie (yum). I always want to go back to Lucques but would like to branch out. As you may guess by the locations of the above we will be coming from the Grove area and don't really want to venture to Santa Monica, so looking mostly in the West Hollywood/Beverly/La Brea area but that isn't hard and fast.

Sep 22, 2009
blackie135 in Los Angeles Area

What to order at Osteria Mozza?

I know there has been a lot of debate on the board re: whether Osteria Mozza is any good, but for those who find it tolerable - what are the winners on the menu? I have a business dinner there tonight and would like to go with something yummy, though probably on the lighter side. Any thoughts would very much appreciated.

Thanks!

Sep 21, 2009
blackie135 in Los Angeles Area

I tried MIKA SUSHI on Olympic and Sepulveda

When I used to live over on that side of town, I used to really like Niko Niko Sushi across from Trader Joe's at National and Westwood. Nothing fancy but good sushi and good prices.

Jul 02, 2009
blackie135 in Los Angeles Area

What to get at Dolce for closing special?

They are officially closing tonight and have had 50% off the menu for the last couple of weeks, although I didn't discover this until last night. The food was okay..really heavy sauces. I started with their pesto gnocchi which could have easily been an entree given its size and my BF had their fried rice balls (don't remember the Italian name) also okay, but nothing fantastic. For my main I had their scallops scampi with lobster mashed potatoes and he had the Veal Saltimbocca - my scallops were cooked very well but were doused in a hugely buttery creamy sauce that took away from their flavor. The veal was good, again, nothing blew me away. For dessert we had the banana caramel tortino and the cannoli and the cannoli were good and like everything else the banana caramel was fine. Overall, fine for $80 with two drinks but I would have been majorly annoyed if I had paid twice as much for that food. As is, I still felt a little robbed. For that price I definitely would have gone somewhere else and gotten a phenomenal meal...lesson learned.

Jun 29, 2009
blackie135 in Los Angeles Area

State of Fancy Tea Service in LA

I've always loved Tudor House in Santa Monica. I can't speak to the tea selection as I'm pretty set in my ways and forget what else they have, but their food is great IMO. And the clotted cream is real and fabulous...brings me back to an Easter vacation eating cream tea all the way through Cornwall. Mmmmm.

Great, unintrusive service as well.

Jun 28, 2009
blackie135 in Los Angeles Area

What to get at Dolce for closing special?

So, my BF and I are going to Dolce tonight to take advantage of their 50% closing special. Any suggestions on what is good there? Or what to avoid? I've been once a very long time ago and didn't remember much about it.

Thanks!

Jun 28, 2009
blackie135 in Los Angeles Area

Best things at Baja Cantina?

Meeting family at Baja Cantina in Venice tonight. Changing location isn't an option. Suggestions on the best things to get there? I like just about everything. Also, recommendations on lighter fare is always welcome though mostly I just want to know what tastes good...and what to avoid.

Thanks!

Jun 11, 2009
blackie135 in Los Angeles Area

$30-40pp Sunday dinner West of BH

Living in another part of town so I'm not as up on dinner reccs on the Westside. It will be 4 people including one who doesn't do Sushi or Mexican for a fairly reasonable $30-40pp, not too formal. I tend to like fresh, locally grown places but am interested in any and all options. The other 3 people are staying near Casa del Mar so anything close in Santa Monica is great, but we do have wheels so there is some flexibility but probably not past Beverly Hills.

Apr 18, 2009
blackie135 in Los Angeles Area

Reasonably priced Santa Monica options

My sister is in town for three weeks. She is staying near the pier in Santa Monica with her family (including toddler). I live in Miracle Mile and rarely get over to that side of town, sadly, so really don't know the area as well as I should. Any suggestions for non-tourist trap/reasonably priced places that they can go for lunches and/or dinners would be much appreciated.

They are in town from Paris and everyone (including the toddler) love all sorts of food. I think reasonable prices can generally be considered under $30/person. Mostly looking for good everyday type places as opposed to special/fine dining options.

Thanks for all the help in advance!

Apr 09, 2009
blackie135 in Los Angeles Area