Depending on who you are, hearing that your parents are coming to town either gets you incredibly excited or completely nerve-wracked. I’d consider myself one of those people that enjoys having my parents in town, but the biggest struggle is figuring out where to take them to dinner. With so many amazing restaurants in L.A., it’s hard to narrow it down to a few choices, so I’ve come up with a small list of my personal favorites that’ll hopefully inspire your next outing with the family.
6. The Tasting Kitchen
This Abbot Kinney treasure is something you could easily overlook. Right down the block from Lemonade, the rustic-designed restaurant features large windows, live trees and an incredible bar setup — it’s the epitome of a trendy L.A. restaurant. The menu mainly features Italian dishes, but not in the traditional sense. The chef’s style is classic with a modern twist and the desserts are to die for. If you’re looking to go out in Venice, I’d say this is my first choice.
Herringbone is situated right on Ocean Avenue and is part of a small franchise — featuring another California location in La Jolla, San Diego. Every option on the menu is farm fresh and it shows in the flavor. With a fusion of cooking styles and diverse backgrounds, the food is sure to surprise you — ranging from poké bowls to an amazing seared white branzino. Plus, you’re not too far from a walk to the beach or the Santa Monica Pier.
4. Rose Café
My second favorite Venice location, Rose Café on Rose Avenue is a great place to go if you can’t decide what kind of food you want. The menu varies in tastes and flavors, and each dish is recommend for sharing — kind of like tapas. Some of the best dishes are their grilled Spanish octopus and the smoked radiatore carbonara. If you’d like to explore it on your own, the restaurant runs a coffee shop in their bar area during the day.
If you’re thinking of the classic film “Casablanca” when seeing this restaurant option, then you should probably check this place out. Also located in Venice on Lincoln Boulevard, this restaurant is styled in a Bogart theme — incredibly similar to the film — and has an extensive menu of classic Mexican dishes. The restaurant also has a tequila cart for the margarita lover in your family.
If you’ve lived in L.A. for longer than a year and you haven’t been to Tao, you need to drop everything right now and take yourself or your family out for dinner. This Pan-Asian restaurant has an incredible menu and definitely hosts more of a sultry, clubby vibe. Although, this location is a little bit of a drive from LMU being located in the heart of Hollywood. I have to say, though, it is absolutely worth the trek — or the $30 uber.
1. Bin 73
For those of you that prefer a more intimate dining experience, Bin 73 in Marina Del Rey is a little wine bar and restaurant that serves some of the best hidden gems of wine and small plates in L.A. If you go for an earlier dinner, they have a daily happy hour where all wine — bottle or glass — is half-off and the appetizers aren’t too pricey either. Afterwards, you can take a walk on the beach boardwalk or find a nice little coffee shop in the marina.
This is the opinion of Cory Hutchinson, a junior sociology major from Palm Desert, California. Tweet comments to @lajollahutch or email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.