DineLA restaurant week happens two times a year, the first is in summer and the second is in winter. It is one of the many events throughout the year where restaurants get to showcase their menus to new clients tasting their offerings for the first time or regular clients that are familiar with the restaurant. We just concluded the summer DineLA which was running from July 12 – 26. Have no fear if you missed it this summer, the winter DineLA restaurant week will begin on January 17 and run until January 31.
Summer 2019 saw 100 restaurants from around Los Angeles participate. There were restaurants for every budget and every type of occasion. During past DineLA events, we have visited Firefly, Granville, The Front Yard, and Michael’s on Naples. This summer, we visited:
- Lotus & Light
Located in the Lakeside Shopping Center
Address: 345 N Pass Ave, Burbank, CA 91505
Hours: Daily 11 am – 9 pm
Phone: (818) 562 – 7777
Yelp: 4 Stars (272 reviews)
This was our second visit to Lotus & Light. The first time we visited was for dinner during DineLA Winter 2019 so on our return trip we decided experience the lunch menu. We are happy to report that the lunch menu is just as delicious as the dinner menu. The most significant differences between the two is the lunch menu consists of a 2-course (appetizer/entree) meal with a non-alcoholic beverage included while the dinner menu consists of a 3-course meal (appetizer/entree/dessert) with a glass of wine included. The upside of this is while most restaurants contain carry over between the two menus each has options specific to the time of day. Lotus is home to Matthew’s favorite desert Ca Phe Sua Affogato. It features beignets, vanilla ice cream, and a side of Vietnamese espresso topped with condensed milk (see picture below). A great way to end ours and any meal!
- Green Street Tavern
Address: 69 W Green St, Pasadena, CA 91105
Hours: Sunday 11 am – 9 pm; Monday – Thursday 11:30 am – 9 pm; Friday 11:30 am – 10 pm; Saturday 11 am – 10 pm
Phone: (626) 229 – 9961
Yelp: 4 Stars (1,273 reviews)
This was our first dining experience at Green Street Tavern and we knew very little about the restaurant prior to our dinner. Green Street Tavern is a cozy, hole-in-the-wall restaurant compared to other restaurants and bars in the area, but that is part of its charm. One downside is that the cocktails available can only feature wine as a base (i.e., if you’re looking for liquor, this is not the place to go). What they may lack in cocktails is made up for by the food, especially the short ribs which were port wine braised with orzo goat mac and cheese and garlic green beans. Green Street has a well curated beer and wine lists, and the knowledgeable staff will readily assist you in finding the perfect pairing.
- Charcoal Venice
Address: 425 Washington Blvd, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
Hours: Sunday 10:30 am – 2:30 pm, 5 pm – 10 pm; Monday – Thursday 5:30 pm – 11 pm; Friday 5:30 pm – 12 am; Saturday 10:30 am – 2:30 pm, 5 pm – 10 pm
Phone: (310) 751 – 6794
Yelp: 4 Stars (475 reviews)
We first discovered Charcoal because Andrew attended a Billy Harris hosted charity dinner with the meal prepared by two-star Michelin award-winning Executive Chef Josiah Citrin. Chef de Cuisine Joseph Johnson helms the day to day operations of the kitchen and will be making his own mark on the LA dining scene for many years to come. Charcoal is an upscale family style restaurant where all fare is prepared over open fire. The food is supplemented by an excellent wine and cocktail program. The DineLA menu afforded us the opportunity get a taste of most of the current menu. We do not have a standout this time, because the whole menu harmonizes together so well. We were very pleased with both the options and service during our visit and we highly recommend this location going forward.
- Wood & Water
Address: 13359 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Hours: Sunday 11 am – 9 pm; Monday 4 pm – 9 pm; Tuesday/Wednesday 4 pm – 10 pm; Thursday – Saturday 4 pm – 11 pm
Phone: (818) 855 – 1661
Yelp: 4 Stars (237 reviews)
This was our first dining experience at Wood and Water. The restaurant is the home to an inventive cocktail program and flavorful menu. The dining space takes advantage of the ambiance of the natural light from a centrally located fireplace. This makes a fun dining experience, but not photo friendly for our purposes. Matthew ordered the duck ragu (pappardelle, fried rosemary, parmesan) and Andrew ordered the pork chop (asian marinade, whole grain dijon mashed potatoes, quick pickled purple cabbage). For cocktails Matthew ordered the Smoke on the Water (house vanilla Woodford Reserve, smoked ice cubes, flamed rosemary, brandied cherry, rosemary simple) and Andrew ordered the New Fashion (Elijah Craig, cinnamon & brandy-marinated cherries, orange bitters, orange twist). The servers we polite, however service in general was slow. Also as a reminder the restaurant is located on Ventura Blvd. so parking can be difficult to find, so plan in advance.
Even though DineLA is over until January, we wanted to pass on our experiences at these restaurants because we had such a great experience at each place we visited. Each restaurant has different price ranges and different options from both the bars and kitchen. This just goes to show that just because it is not the most expensive dinner does not mean you will not have delicious food. When DineLA comes around in January, we recommend looking at the website and seeing if you can find your new favorite Los Angeles culinary delight.