It comes with the territory. As the magazine’s dine editor, I regularly get hit up for restaurant recommendations during my off hours. I receive text messages from friends in the evenings, phone calls from family members on weekends, and—my personal favorite—the casual backyard barbecue sneak attack. (I’ve had three beers, but sure I can tell you where to eat for your anniversary!) Despite the title of this post, I’m always truly happy to help. Here, I share my off-duty advice.
Who: One of our crack editorial interns, who is here for a short time from Jolly Old England.
Method of Inquiry: Office drop-in
Scenario: He has a couple of friends in town from across the pond who are ready for a night out—that very night.
Where: He’s downtown, but his friends are staying Westside, which means I can look almost anywhere.
Vibe: Fancy. I explain that gets tricky in this town, and he clarifies: “My friends want somewhere they can wear heels and not feel out of place.” Done.
Price point: First off it’s worth noting that our internships are unpaid. And our intern’s pals are similarly strapped. Still, they want this to feel a bit special so they’re willing to splurge within reason.
Type of Cuisine: God bless the Brits—they’ll eat almost anything. (As evidenced by half their cuisine…) Our intern states they’re particularly fond of Italian. Who isn’t?
X-Factor: A view. Oof.
OPTION 1: Start with a drink at Perch downtown. It has a gorgeous rooftop view and mediocre appetizers. Then, go to Bottega Louie for dinner. It doesn’t take reservations but if you’re eating after 8 on a Monday you should be OK. The food is very decent Italian, moderately priced, and the space is lovely and grand feeling. Bonus: you’re close to a lot of fun nightlife should you choose to go out after.
OPTION 2: Cecconi West Hollywood. Your only view here will be of famous people. The room is oh-so-chic and the Italian food is no joke—but it can get expensive if you don’t order right. Stick to pastas and you’ll be in good shape. The bar is great here, too, if you want to make a night of it. Service can be a tad snooty, but your accents will get you far.
They went to: OPTION 1: Perch followed by Bottega Louie.
The Verdict: “We decided to go to Perch and Bottega Louie, sticking to downtown because it’s more accessible by public transport. Both places were really nice and we all had a great time! Perch was super chill and really pretty—it did feel glamorous but we still felt a little overdressed, especially my friends who went in for floor length dresses with clutches. We just had wine and took in the atmosphere while taking photos of the skyline. I think most people there were either on dates or tourists. It felt quite fun going into the lobby then taking the lifts up, especially when the doors open at the top to an impressive view. Bottega Louie was sooo good. I felt as though I was in Paris. We were still a little overdressed and the first thing the host asked us was if we had been to the theatre, but that’s good feedback to me! The food was amazing, I went for the Fried Trenne with Kale and my friends went for pizza. The atmosphere was fun and it was at a good level to talk to each other—we all loved it.”
Perch, 448 S. Hill St., downtown, 213-802-1770
Bottega Louie, 700 S. Grand Ave., downtown, 213-802-1470