One of my favorite time to go out to eat in Los Angeles is when the bi-annual dineLA event is happening. If you’ve never heard of dineLA before, it’s basically an event that goes on for about two weeks. During that time, countless restaurants from the LA county area participate by preparing set lunch and dinner menues for the event.
The reason why I love dineLA is that you can get an awesome 3-course meal for a flat price of $15-45. Also a lot of the restaurants that participate are famous or fairly pricey to eat at in general. DineLA gives restaurant goers a chance to explore different and new kinds of food that they may not have known about or have been able to afford.
During dineLA, I got the opportunity to try out 5 different restaurants, but I will only be showing you 4 of them.
The first place that I tried is Lukshon in Culver City, CA. We went there for lunch and paid $15/person. This is what the place looks like from the outside. I pulled this image off of their yelp page.
This place was quite elegant and nice. I was kind of embarrassed by how I was dressed since I had just finished exercising and I was wearing tennis shoes and sweats.
They offered us sparkling or flat water (for free), I of course picked flat. I hate sparkling water because I feel cheated every time I drink it. It’s not soda!! Guhh~ Something that made me feel uncomfortable at this restaurant is that they would refill your water after every sip that you take. Omg, it made me feel nervous.
I ordered a glass of white wine (I should have asked before ordering, because I prefer red) with my meal as one of the dineLA options. I think i should have tried the beer or one of the desserts instead, oh well.
Here is the Tea Leaf Salad that comes with each of the meal options. It was a very enjoyable salad and tasted quite lemony with a delectable crunch. I’ve never had a salad quite like this one — I would say that it’s similar to an asian salad, but much fancier.
From the dineLA meal options, I chose the Chiang Mai Curry Noodles. It was much spicier than I had expected and I didn’t quite like eating the bean sprouts with it. But overall, the noodles were very tasty and delicious with the curry sauce that it came in.
Since I had ordered the wine, I wasn’t able to order a dessert. But my boyfriend who I had dined with got dessert! He got the Ginger-Carrot Cake, and they also gave us a Palm Sugar Butterscotch Brownie. Ahhh, both of these desserts were a party in my mouth. I absolutely loved them both! Such an enjoyable and sophisticated taste, and even more, I love that it isn’t overly sweet.
The second place that I went to for dineLA was Yojié Japanese Fondue & Sake Bar in Los Angeles, CA. We went there for dinner and paid $25/person.
I went there with my friend Jen. It was a lovely and unplanned experience. We had originally drove out together to LA to get macaroons at Bottega Louie. Apparently the macaroons here are super famous (lol, I’ve never heard of them before). The atmosphere of Bottega Louie is super snobby, but I must admit, the macaroons are pretty delicious. It costs about $10 for a box of 5 macaroons.
After heading out from Bottega Louie, we were in search for somewhere to eat for dinner. While we were driving, we passed by Yojié. I had remembered that Yojié was on the dineLA list, so we decided to check it out.
At the restaurant, we ended up having to wait for a while because there were many reservations. The workers were nice enough to offer us something to drink while we waited. We ended up getting seated at the bar area.
I really liked the setup for the napkin and chopsticks that I just had to make a gif for it. What a brilliant design!
For my choice of appetizers, I wasn’t feeling miso soup since it’s so cheap and easy to make. So I decided to go with edamame, my favorite! Oh yea, thats my hot green tea that was drinking while waiting to be seated.
For the main course, I chose to go with Shabu Shabu Sumo, which consisted of 12oz. of thinly sliced angus beef, lots of veggies, noodles, rice, and two dipping sauces. This actually turned out to be a ton of food for me and I had to box some of it to go.
Here’s a blurry photo of me and Jen. We had such a blast eating here because there was a yelp check-in for a free large hot sake. The waitress/bartender serving us was super nice as well. She gave us a second bottle of large hot sake and told us, “If you don’t tell anyone, neither will I.” We didn’t know what to do with so much sake between the two of us so we invited our waitress and the hostess to take a shot with us. And that’s when everything got interesting.
Our waitress ended up giving us a 3rd bottle of sake. This time it was chilled raspberry sake ~ so good. Now we really didn’t know what to do with ourselves so we started talking more and more shots with all of the workers to try to lessen the amount that we had to drink, lol.
We ended up being at the restaurant for about 3 hours! I think that’s the reason why we were so full. We ate and drank too much for too long. By the time we got to dessert, we were stuffed. But of course we just had to try it! I got the Japanese Soda Float in melon flavor. It’s basically melon flavored ice cream and ラムネ (ramune). It was really tasty.
Some fun things that I found out about this restaurant is that it’s actually owned by an artist. So the owner tries to incorporate art wherever they can. Our bill came inside of this little sketchbook. How fun! All of the customers from the past did little drawings and wrote all sorts of messages inside.
Sidenote: Score! We didn’t get charged for a single drink! What a deal. We totally had the best server in the world and I will remember her forever. No joke.
Here’s our page that Jen wrote for us. Lol my only contribution was “Best Server Ever!” and I tagged my URL. Haha, yea I’m so lame. This was seriously the best time ever. I even wrote a yelp review for this place because I loved them so much. Btw, I almost never write yelp reviews.
The third place that I went to go eat at was Little Next Door, located in Mid-West City, Los Angeles, CA. I ate here with my boyfriend for dinner for $25/person.
Out of all the places that we went to eat for dineLA, I would say that this was the biggest bang for your buck kinda place.
Overall, they had the best menu selection for $25. For appetizers, you had a choice of truffle roasted cauliflower soup, roasted butternut squash ravioli, or escargot de bourgogne. As your main dish, you can have moroccan lamb shank, top sirloin cap steak, or muscles. And for dessert you can pick between the lemon tarte and the flourless chocolate cake.
We started off our meal with some bread that came with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to dip. This has always been one of my favorite ways to eat bread. I am a vinegar addict. My boyfriend ordered some beer and I got a glass of sparkling champagne. These two drinks alone equalled to about $25, which kinda defeated the whole point of dineLA for us, lol.
The atmosphere of the restaurant was quite lovely. I kinda felt like I was at a fancy little cafe in France. Haha, our waiter even had a french accent which I thought was fun. I actually questioned if it was real too!
For my appetizer, I went with the escargot. I love escargot! I didn’t really like seeing them in these huge shells however. These snail shells remind me of normal snails that I see crawling along the ground around my home. The taste was a tad bit too salty and buttery for me, but nonetheless, it was still delicious.
Here’s me and my escargot in dining paradise. I love food.
For the main course, I wanted to order the steak or the lamb shank! But my boyfriend insisted that I try something different and get the muscles. I actually hate muscles!! 本当に大嫌い！Oh well. We thought that the muscle entree would be more than just a bowl full of muscles.. I guess we were wrong. At least the pomme frites were good~
The great thing about having a boyfriend to go out and eat with is that you get to split all of your foods and try more things. Because of this we were able to try both desserts! My bf got the flourless chocolate cake. It basically tasted like straight chocolate truffles. It had that kinda dry chalky taste. It’s pretty good, but not really something that I would want too much of.
I got the lemon tarte. I preferred this over the chocolate cake. However, it was really lemony! Not bad though, I definitely enjoyed my fair share of it.
Lol, we ended up having some left overs from our meal here (the muscles). And we were planning on cooking the leftovers into a pasta of some sort, but we forgot the box. Haha, we’re so forgetful. ♪ I blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol ♪
For our last dineLA restaurant, we went to Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills, CA. We went out with a bang and paid $45/person for dinner.
I couldn’t find a good photo online to show you what the place looked like online. But imagine a giant building with a grand entrance and valet only parking.
We had reservations for Lawry’s, so we didn’t have to wait too long. The funny thing that I noticed while we were there is that 9 out of 10 groups dining there were asian. Wow, this proves that asians love a good deal. I was actually embarrassed that we were also asian, lol.
Before dinner, we grabbed two Jack and Cokes at the bar inside of Lawry’s. We got called in before we could finish our drinks. Our hostess walked us and carried our drinks for us over to the table. It’s fun because instead of having to squeeze into your seats to sit down, they pull the table out for you.
God how I love when places give you bread. My left and right handles are always screaming, more, more!!
For the dineLA menu, you only get one choice for the appetizer, their famous spinning salad. I’m sure you can tell by the name, but they come out with a cart and park infront of your table. On the cart are two metal bowls, the bottom one is filled with ice and the top one is filled with the salad. While they are preparing the salad, they start spinning the top bowl and tossing the salad and add dressing while it spins.
Here’s the results of our salad. I think our waiter may have put a tiny bit too much dressing, but I can’t really complain because I liked it.
Next they came out with another cart with all of their meats. The guy that cut our slice of 8oz. Prime Rib had a medal on. We asked him what the medal meant and he said in order to get the medal, you have to undergo a vigorous 1-year training and pass a test based on your cutting skills, speed, etc.
Along with your prime rib, you can choose what sides you want. I got the mashed potatoes and creamed corn. Both of them were exceptionally good, but I would highly, highly recommend trying the creamed corn!! Wow, I wish I could have more of that one.
My boyfriend got the baked potato. We actually had to pay a little extra to upgrade to the baked potato, but it was well worth trying. They also bring out a cart to prepare the baked potato infront of you. Haha, yea this place likes carts.
Ahh, and the lobster tail. It was literally one of the best lobster tails that I’ve ever had!! I’m so sorry I ate the lobster tail before remembering to take a photo of it! LOL~ so here’s the shell and butter >w<.
Our food also came with a complimentary Yorkshire Pudding. This was really light and fluffy. Definitely a favorite.
For dessert, I picked the chocolate pudding. For some reason, I was really craving chocolate pudding at that time! I’m a little sad because the pudding was a bit too rich for my taste and I like the really soft cheap kinda puddings. But it was still good, haha. Just not what I was craving.
All in all, this place was totally worth the $45. We were super stuffed and took home 3 boxes of food! Also, all of the food tasted exceptionally good. In the waiting room btw, they had complimentary meatballs, too bad there were none left. Friggin’ asians probably took that sh*t to go in their purses.
I really enjoyed dineLA this time of year. We did a ton of research in picking out all of our restaurants to eat at and I’m pretty satisfied with what we got. I will be looking forward to the next time dineLA comes around. Yummy for my tummy!
Bet you’re feeling hungry now from looking at all of my food pictures. Have a good day!
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