Coming from Boston for my first trip to LA in 10 years (and after 5 days in SF), when I didn't think about food as much as I do now. We did have a nice experience at Spago that time, can't remember much else besides Formosa, Pink's and Randy's Donuts. Looking for a few different recs:
1) A place downtown that's got good new American/northern Italian/mediterranean/Calif. cuisine. The review of Blue Velvet sounds good. Looking for entrees <$30 for most of my meals.
2) A fun "happening" restaurant with the chance of a celebrity sighting maybe (we have so little of that in Boston). Lemmy from Motorhead was the last person I saw. This might also be the place to take out my friend to thank him for letting me crash at his place.
3) A non-divey but good priced Asian or Latin/Mexican place to eat at with a vegetarian friend.
4) Random little joints for burgers, donuts, dogs, teriyaki and tacos. Maybe that have a unique look like Pink's. I'll probably try Phillippe's this time. Also need a great breakfast, either greasy spoon or nicer/healthy. And a casual pub with decent food where the music types hang out.
5) Is there still a pie place on Santa Monica? Any nice place with a view for lunch or dinner down that way?
6) Do you guys have happy hours? They're not allowed in stuffy old Massachusetts so nice to take advantage when they're around.
I like to combine a drink at one place with dinner at another if it's easy (much easier in tiny Boston than LA). I think I read that the Wilshire Hotel is a cool place to check out, is there a nice bar there? If there are cool bars next to your recommended restaurants, that'd be great.
Lots of questions I know, thanks in advance.