I will be returning to LA from Chicago for a vacation this June. I am looking for a place to simply celebrate seeing 10-15 members of my family and friends together again. In terms of food taste, the last time I was in LA I went out to big dinners at Luques and Campanile and really enjoyed both. Did Sunday Suppers at Luques and Grilled Cheese night at Campanile, both of those menus were great and made the restaurants a little more casual and relaxed, and the food a little more creative as well.
I have heard good things about Luques sister restaurant/winebar A.O.C. and am interested in Osteria Mozza (is it open, or will it be by June?). What other places, possibly a little louder, hipper, and more informal than Luques of Campaile would you recommend?
Oh, thought a list of my current favorite spots might be helpful, with example dishes in braces:
Avec (Chicago) - Mediterranean small plates [prosciutto with pickled feta and grapefruit] and wine bar in a skinny restaurant with great architecture, looks like a well designed modernist Scandinavian sauna, sounds crazy, but it works.
Blackbird (Chicago) - very minimal (both in terms of food and the space) progressive new American spot [braised pork belly with crunchy sauerkraut]
Schwa (Chicago) - Molecular Gastronomy with locally grown ingredients [olive oil ice cream, Quail egg Ravioli, great sweetbreads], tiny hole in the wall spot. Has foam with feeling.
Thanks again for any recs.