Had a very nice LONG weekend trip to the LA area. Here is what I thought of some dining establishments. Everything is in LA unless noted
Border Grill (Santa Monica)- We really liked it. Great chips with 3 salsas to start. Great tacos (not a Taco Bell type taco, though...). I had the black bean and feta, which were great. Chile Relleno was great too. Dessert sampler was the highlight, though- best key lime flavor I've had in their cheesecake.
Campanile- We went for "grilled cheese night." The wait was ridiculous, but the food was great. I had the "sandwich" of slow-cooked broccoli, soft-cooked egg and feta- very good. Dessert (Blum's cake) was fine.
Millie's- Went here for breakfast, and I really recommend it. Good eggs, good potatoes, good pancakes (a couple varities, but I recommend the berry) good biscuits, mediocre fruit. Good atmosphere too in the "Silver Lake" area...
Newsroom Cafe- It was very fun. Though I had clearly very healthy granola for dinner (breakfast available all day), other items looked good too. Cheap for what you get! Highly recommended, especially if you order the warm chocolate brownie with coffee cie cream.
The Ivy- We kind of stumbled upon this place, not realizing what it was. Though ridiculously expensive, the food was great and the service top-notch. If you're willing to splurge, the Ivy is worth it. After all, I did have a pillow during the meal. Their pastas are great, especially the Wild Mushroom (our server said it was their specialty). Way too full for dessert (shocking for my appetite), but they sounded good.
Mi Piace (Pasadena)- This was clearly not a "foodie" or Chowhound destination, but the Italian food tasted fine, and it was fun to eat in Old Town (is that what they call it?) Pasadena. I recommend getting half-orders of salad and saving room for some old-style Italian desserts (just not the Canoli, which I thought was inedible).
Astro Burger- Fine food, and it was nice for us vegetarians to have a fast food burger. The zucchini fries are good.
La Brea Bakery- we went here twice throughout the five days, so the four of us tried parts of more than 10 things. I was kind of disappointed, to be honest. The Brioche was sub-par, the bear claw bad, the lemon tarts only average and the muffins and scones not great. However, the almond croissant, the rosemary scone and the breads we brought home are quite good. Too hit-or-miss for me, but I probably would go back for croissants and bread only.
Those are my thoughts. Sorry so long.
What do others think?