Monday, March 05, 2007

Downtown is disappointing!

I feel like it's my duty to check out all the activity going on in Downtown L.A., but for now, color me underwhelmed. A few weeks ago we stopped by Royal Clayton's for a drink -- nice beer list, but the "urban gothic" interior is a little cold and cavernous -- not at all the cozy pub I had been hoping for. Friday night we tried J Restaurant, near the Staples Center. Even a good-quality burger and some tasty fries weren't enough to make me like this place. There are few seats in the bar upstairs, and you can't get draft beer upstairs -- only downstairs where the restaurant is. But wouldn't the bar patrons want draft beer more than the restaurant diners? The basketball game plays on endlessly as the Downtown functionaries drain their first weekend beers...I don't know, for some reason it all seemed grim and soulless, not to mention even more cavernous than Royal Clayton's. Someone mentioned they recently had a party for clearly, not really the intimate kind of place I'll return to. And don't even get me started on the fratboy traffic jam at the Broadway Bar. Next on my list: The Redwood Room.


KT said...

If you want to avoid a frat boy traffic jam, careful going to the Redwood Room on a weekend (go early if you have to). We went on Sat. night and there was a line, the crowd was young and annoying and the music earbustingly loud. The place was packed and we had nowhere really to go once we got inside. We kept getting ushered out of wherever we were by bouncers. We stayed long enough to use the disgusting bathroom (only one stall and the toilet was completely clogged) and then left.

The only upside is that we had a fun chat while waiting in line with a cool guy who was going to see his friend DJ.

The Edison looked much worse, however.

PeterJ said...

For a tasty, casual bite in downtown, check out Wood Spoon on 9th near Main and Spring. It's brazillian food with a husband and wife team running the kitchen and front of the house. It's not exquisite or complicated cooking, but it does have soul. While the interior is simple and spare, it has warmth to it. It's the kind of Mom and Pop downtown establishment that I'd like to see succeed.

I have high hopes for downtown. I'm moving there in less than week, but, right now, I feel like there is too much flash and sizzle going on dining-wise and not enough substance and steak. Downtown needs places like Wood Spoon and not so much places like J's lounge.

Love the blog, by the way.

Pat said...

Thanks, I will check out the Wooden Spoon. I agree that the problem is that most of the new places are big investments that are expected to make a ton of money, not small places that would be comfortable for the people who live there to hang out in. I checked out the reviews for Edison and while the interior sounds cool, I'm going to have to pass on the whole velvet rope thing.

KT said...

I actually have been loving downtown lately. Granted, I am usually there during the day and there seem to be a lot more options for a casual lunch than low-key nightlife options (although I rather like the bar at the Figueroa Hotel).

Lately, no matter what part of downtown I am in, I have had some great little lunches.

When I am going downtown I always check out the Downtown News online to get a feel for what's going on there.