Once upon a time, I brought you Belcampo’s burger from the Grand Central Market in Downtown LA. It was a solid burger and one that I would absolutely eat again. Yet, when I found myself armed with a gift card sent to me by the good folks at Belcampo themselves*, I just had to make my way to the Santa Monica location for a full-on DineLA Restaurant Week experience.
Near Century City there is a building that only houses restaurants with five letter names that have two of the same letters in a row. It is there that my friends and I dined at Sotto, which finds itself below Picca. ‘Twas a night of the first ever Summer Restaurant Week by DineLA, but these plans had been made without Restaurant Week in mind, so that kind of just turned out to be a bonus…for some people, because I decided to stick to the real menu.
A while back, Sang Yoon opened up a place called Lukshon in Culver City. For some, this was a time to rejoice, as this was the man behind the Father’s Office burger. But for me, it was a time to…well…consider trying out Lukshon. You see, if you know me, you know my disdain for the Father’s Office burger. So it took until dineLA’s Restaurant Week to get me out to Lukshon. I went with a sizable crowd, collectively known as the Suppah Club, and we had ourselves a seat at a massive table on Lukshon’s patio in Culver City.
Well, it’s that wonderful time of the year again – dineLA’s Restaurant Week. Yes, it’s the time of the year where I spend too much, eat too much, and still feel happy about it. Unless, of course, I’m eating at Katana. This time around, we went with a couple friends to Palihouse in West Hollywood. I’d been to Palihouse once before, late at night when it was trying to be a bar/club. It’s also a hotel. But on this night, it was simply a restaurant to us.
Katana (warning: turn down your speakers because their retarded site automatically plays loud bass) in West Hollywood is about as trendy as you can get for Japanese food. Yet, to my surprise, when I was sent their DineLA Restaurant Week menu for a possible dinner, I saw only one sushi option. With this in mind, I thought that perhaps the $34 fixed price would actually be worth it, so off we went to Katana. Showing up last, I was greeted with a rousing “irasshai” (although I was a bit disappointed they didn’t go for the more formal “irasshaimase”) and found that some chicken gyoza (potstickers) had already been ordered. This struck me as strange since we were about to order a fixed price meal, but I decided to roll with it.
Although it seems like the last Dine LA Restaurant Week ended a couple months ago, it seems that it has returned, which means a lot of food and some difficult choices for the unvegan. These difficult choices usually stem from the fact that it is tough to find a veggie-free prix fixe menu. Fortunately, Culver City has a relatively new restaurant called Waterloo & City with an unvegan-friendly restaurant week menu.
Waterloo & City is named after a Tube line in London that consists of two stops – one called Waterloo and the other called…Village. Wait, no, it’s called City. As you may be able to guess by the name, the restaurant serves English food. That’s right, English food, also known as the worst international food ever. The kind of food where when people go to England, the favorite thing they ate was Indian. Well somehow the English food at Waterloo & City had garnered the place accolades for being one of the best new restaurants in LA, so despite the ancestry of their food, they had to be doing something right.
Ever since beginning my meat blog, Fogo de Chao in Beverly Hills has been in my sights. I’ve eaten Brazilian food before, but I have been told over and over again that Fogo is the king of meatiness. But it’s expensive. Like a fixed price of $56.50 expensive. But when Restaurant Week comes to town, that ridicu-price drops down to a more reasonable $44 bucks, including dessert. So for my first Fogo experience, I made sure to go during Restaurant Week and was amazed with what that price bought me.
Although Restaurant Week has just concluded, I once again took the opportunity to try out a couple new places that I wouldn’t ordinarily visit. The first was Malo in Silverlake, which is a Mexican Cantina. Their menu wasn’t exactly exciting for me, but I still thought the place could surprise me. The reason the menu wasn’t exciting was because there was really only one good unvegan option for both the appetizers and entrees.
So in the middle of dineLA’s Restaurant Week, we decided to pay a visit to Upstairs 2 for some dinner. This little restaurant hangs out above the Wine House in West LA and if you didn’t know what you were looking for, you would probably never find it. Luckily, we knew what we were looking for and found it just fine. After parking on the roof, I found the restaurant to have a pretty swanky atmosphere that was just light enough to read the menus.
DineLA extended the LA Food week to make it almost a full month, so I made sure to experience another of the participating restaurants. This time it was One Pico at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica. It’s kind of tough to find, since very little of the building actually mentions the restaurant name, but once you realize that the restaurant is actually within a hotel, things become a lot more clear.