JAYLENE'S LA LIST
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JAYLENE'S LA LIST
I moved to LA in January 2016, and exploring the city seemed best done through food. I like making lists; If you don't like my system, make your own list. You are free to add comments and suggestions; think of this as a benevolent dictatorship.
Feel free to share.
NOTE:
Price is my subjective determination of what you get for the price you pay.
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KEY:
GFD
= Good for dates (aka the d)
BM
= good for Business Meetings (aka... bowel movements?)
SOLA
= 1-5 scale of SOOO LA-ness, 5 being an vegan underground repurposed industrial warehouse, 0 being Olive Garden
WWW.JAYLENECHUNG.COM
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WWW.DATEURSELF.COM
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NameNeighborhoodGenre
Went
The Hook / NotesPriceAgain?SOLAGFDBMDU
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LogmehVariesDining ExperienceXA pop-up dining experience that's fancy af. Expensive, though if you factor in how much food/booze you get, it makes sense. They do the farm-to-table, hand-crafted, locally sourced shit that makes me roll my eyes (first time was a goat roast that they butchered themselves that morning) but it's also delicious soooo I'm there for it. Locations vary, gotta be on the list to know when and where it happens. $$$Sure6X
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WolvesmouthVariesDining ExperienceAnother pop-up dining experience that's donation only, which makes me anxious. You show up to someone's house and eat whatever they serve you. BYOB. Get on the list to know when and where it happens - Strict rules RE reservations and attitude. V
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Borneo KalimatanAlhambraMalaysian/ChineseXIt's legit. Satay is good, indian mee goreng is appropriate texture, and laksa is pretty great though obv not as authentic as my mom's. Cendol all day every day$YUP
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1Up CoffeeArts DistrictCoffeeXIn a compound of repurposed warehouses and shipping containers (there's an indoor futsal arena, artist spaces, blah di blah)$Yup6XX
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The American Tea RoomArts DistrictTeaXHUGE variety of teas, cute and expensive tea accessories, tea cocktails, afternoon tea, teas in test tubes, an interactive tea display - Also a wall of plants that has been seen on many an Instagram. Like mine.$$Yup5XXX
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Angel City Brewing CoArts DistrictBeerHaven't been here because it's across the street from AD Brewing Co, which everyone says is way better.$$
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Arts District Brewing CoArts DistrictBeerXBig variety of beers, outdoor seating, ping pong and other bro games, attached to Fritzi$$Yup2XX
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Bar MateoArts DistrictBarI heard Taylor Swift goes here$$
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BlacktopArts DistrictCoffeeXGood coffee (PRETENTIOUS AF), miso cookies are good, lots of outdoor seating, next to Warby Parker and across from my office soooo$$Sure4X
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Boomtown BreweryArts DistrictBeerXOne of my favorite spots in LA. Cool inside (dark wood, gold accents) without being super pretentious, which is basically a miracle. Beer is excellent. They show movies on the wall. They let food trucks/stands post up outside their entrance, and you can bring the food inside. I'll probably buy a shirt from here, which shows you how serious I am about it. $Yup4X
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Bread LoungeArts DistrictBakeryBread$
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The Black FigArts DistrictBurgersXOMG. HUGE, AMAZING burgers, great mac & cheese, run by dude twins, smack dab in the middle of the Sci-Arc building. Seriously, probably in my top 5 burgers of all time.$YES3
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Cafe GratitudeArts DistrictPretentious HealthXIf you can get past having to order food with stupid fucking pretentious names ("I am effervescent" "I am grateful") it's actually pretty good. Did I mention it's pretentious? Also 80/20 it's an actual cult.$$$Sure6XX
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Cervateca - CLOSEDArts District / Culver / VeniceMexican - ishXClosed. Food wasn't that great anyway. $$Eh
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The ChairmanArts DistrictChinese / FusionXSteamed buns are good esp pork belly, fries are perfect, sorta grungy$Sure3
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Church and StateArts DistrictFrenchXDrinks are strong, haven't eaten anything here yet because I'm not a balla$$Sure4
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Daily Dose CafeArts DistrictCoffee / Brunch$
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Di AlbaArts DistrictCoffeeXCoffee is decent; no sparkling water with espresso, though. They make a lot of their pastries in house. Salads look good.$Sure3XX
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Eat Drink AmericanoArts DistrictCasualXDecent happy hour, big sandwiches. Food is nothing to write home about, but if you feel like being in a brick cave this place is for you. It's in my building so I come here out of convenience.$$Sure
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EightyTwoArts DistrictBarcadeXDrinks are kinda pricey, hear it gets crowded on weekends but if you go on a Tuesday like an alcoholic then it's perf. Weird crowd. Not really my thing mostly because I'm afraid of arcade germs.$$Eh4X
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The Everson RoyceArts DistrictBarXThe happy hour here is only a little bit cheaper than what I'd want to pay during normal hours elsewhere. They make a good burger but it's salty af. Patterned wall with neon light lettering, outside seating with twinkle lights, obsessively arranged and bottom lit bar shelves - It was basically designed for Instagram. $$$Eh4X
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The Factory KitchenArts DistrictItalianXBougie, work took me here on my first day, I had pesto pasta and it was all one crinkled sheet. Desserts are good$$Sure4X
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Fritzi CoopArts DistrictChickenXCame here with my 18-year-old intern YG, and an old man behind us in line kept trying to make conversation. "I'm 75," he said. "Don't worry." If you tell me not to worry, I'm going to worry. In the words of YG, "don't trust anyone out there fam." The fried chicken sandwich was good.$$Sure3X
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GroundworkArts District / elsewhereCoffeeXDecent, unpretentious coffee.$Yup
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Iron Triangle Brewing CoArts DistrictBeerXBeautiful space, lots of parking, cornhole, beer is ok but tastes better if you're already kinda crunk before you get there. Really echo-y in there so if you're loud like I am you better be ok with everyone hearing you. $$Sure3X
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Little BearArts DistrictGastropubXExcellent burgers, Belgian beers, cool rope designs on ceiling. Food is on the salty/greasy side - Their brussels sprouts are basically crunchy bits of oil. $$Yup3XX
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ManuelaArts DistrictPretentiousXAll the food is that "seasonal, farm to table" shit and all the waiters are super earnest, wear denim, and have hand crafted aprons, and make a point to call you by your first name which is annoying af, but equally annoying is how good the food is.$$Yeah5XXX
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Officine BreraArts DistrictItalian$$$
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The Pie HoleArts District / PasadenaDessert / PIE DUHXMexican Chocolate is rich, Apple is good when hot, Earl Grey is a little too herb-y, everything else is kinda overrated$$Sure3
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Pour HausArts DistrictWineXStrange lighting situation; neon colored backlighting that feels European, but not in a great way. Wine selection is good, though, and the wait staff is friendly and attentive, but not overly so. Been here on a date, and with friends - Definitely preferable with friends, though if you want to play their card/board games you might want to bring hand sanitizer.$$YeahXX
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ResidentArts DistrictBarXHuge outdoor patio area, outside bar out of an airstream (bartender was great and meticulous), food truck with great grilled cheese, more of that vaguely industrial decor we all love so much inside$Yup3X
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Salt and StrawArts DistrictIce CreamXOpened up right next to my office so every day is a literal struggle. Every person that works here is a treasure and will patiently give you huge helpings of however many samples you want. All the flavors are creative and slightly savory, texture is creamy and not icy, cones are made out of almonds. I dream of their Thanksgiving flavors. The first (and probably last) place that has given me a discount for my laugh.$YUP4XX
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Shreebs CoffeeArts DistrictCoffeeXOut of a painted shipping container on the corner of an industrial yard with astroturf, so, yeah, it's pretty hip. Coffee is good, and they have a lot of specialty drinks that are herby/spicy. They give you a cookie with your drink which I can't complain about. $Sure5XX
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The SpringsArts DistrictHealth/Bar/Yoga Studio/PretentiousXThis place is one big eye roll. Juice bar, coffee, kombucha on tap, select beers, vegetarian food, yoga studio, artisanal art/clothing studio, geometric shapes, jazz brunch - Yeah. It's ridiculous. $$Eh6X
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Urban RadishArts DistrictDeli / PretentiousXWhole Foods on crack, bougie ass everything, not sure why their bulk granola is so expensive, towers of kale and chard outside that I want to steal, ample seating$$Sure4X
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Urth CafeArts District / Santa MonicaHealth / RestaurantXBougie, desserts are good, moroccan mint latte is good, not sure if it's worth the pretention or the crowd it attracts$$Sure
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Van LeeuwenArts DistrictIce CreamXVEGAN PISTACHIO ICE CREAM IS GREAT but it's kind of ridiculous to pay almost $7 for ice cream, so I think my wallet wins over my stomach.$$$Sure3
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Villain's TavernArts DistrictBar$$
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WestboundArts DistrictBarXLA Slytherin den (everything is green and it's train themed), good drinks, gratuity is already included in drink prices bc they're "forward thinking"$$Yup5XX
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The WheelhouseArts DistrictCoffeeXIt's a coffee shop + bike repair shop, HOW LA CAN YOU GET. Pastries are great; banana + nutella "pop tart" was not too banana-y and the guava croissant was almost too pretty to eat. Don't worry, I ate it.$Sure6XX
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WurstkucheArts DistrictHot DogsXExotic sausages (LOL), big beer selection, fries are crunchy. For some reason this is the top suggestion I've encountered for a first date - hopefully because it's hip and not because they want to watch me eat hot dogs. Every time, they are disappointed when I say I've been there.$$Sure3XX
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Yeastie BoysArts DistrictBagels / TruckBagels and schmear and lox; was suggested by a Jewish friend so maybe it's the real deal?$$
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Zinc CafeArts DistrictCasual / VeggieXPretentious and overpriced IMO but decent. Vegan$$Sure4X
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Club TeegeeAtwater VillageBarDivey
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DuneAtwater VillageMediterraneanXFalafel is great, CHEAP$YupX
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Kaldi CoffeeAtwater VillageCoffeeXStandard coffee, free wifi, everyone that comes here during the day is writing a screenplay$Sure5X
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The MorrisonAtwater VillageBurgers / IrishXBurgers are great. Desserts are great. It was great. I came here on St. Patrick's Day, though, so maybe I was just drunk. $$Yup
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Proof BakeryAtwater VillageBakery / CoffeeXNothing to write home about. No wifi. $$Sure3
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The RoostAtwater VillageBarDivey
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Canter'sBeverly HillsBakeryXAn LA staple: matzo ball soup + pastrami sandwich. Came here on the second day of Passover and it was intense. Everyone that works here seems to hate it which is kind of fun. The old French lady at the bakery counter sneezed into her arm and said that she's never seen babka there but told me to get some of their chocolate racetrack, which is pretty much exactly the same. I'd rank it just under the TJ's babka.$$Yeah5X
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ChaumontBeverly HillsBakery / BreakfastXStandard pastries, big salads, nothing really to write home about$$Sure3X
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Fred's BakeryBeverly HillsBakeryXBabka Quest, Part I. Super dense, a little dry, a bit too orange-y. They also had cinnamon babka but I didn't try that because it was as big as my head. There were a bunch of flying insects around all the pastries but it didn't make me sick so I guess that's ok. Lexi did not like it but I kept it at the office and ate it for a week.$EhX
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Schwartz BakeryBeverly HillsBakeryBabka Quest
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Son of a GunBeverly HillsSeafoodLobster rolls, shrimp toast. I don't really like either of those things so who knows if I'll ever come here$$$
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Mariscos JaliscoBoyle HeightsTacosXWas going to Smart and Final and decided to try it because of the long line of non-white people. They were not wrong. Later saw it in City of Gold sooo basically I'm Jonathan Gold. They seem to know all the homeless people that come by, and they give them food, which is pretty dope.$YUP5X
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Las MolenderasBoyle HeightsMexicanXWOW. 3 types of mole, and you can get all Bubba Gump on it: Mole tacos, mole burritos, mole enchiladas, mole nachos, mole fries, sides of mole, mole tortas. They were playing Cupcake Wars the whole time we were there which is forgivable. Best corn tortillas I've had to date.$YUPX
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IKEA Food CourtBurbankSwedish?XI don't know why it took me 26 years to finally eat at an IKEA but it did. Everything is so cheap which makes me suspicious of it but it was all good cafeteria stuff (from Sweden, I assume). No assembly required. Elderflower juice is +++$YUPX
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Monte CarloBurbankDeli"Homely Italian food, big portions, GELATO BAR. Market in the same building with TOO MANY OLIVE OIL OPTIONS." - JN
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Olive & ThymeBurbankCafeXGood for brunch, fancy pastries, and other artisanal items. Full of beautiful young white people on their iPhones that don't finish their food.$$Sure3XXX
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QuenelleBurbankIce CreamXGood consistency but flavors could be stronger. +1 for Kecap Manis flavor (s/o to Southeast Asia) but otherwise - Salt & Straw is still the top. $$Eh
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Go's MartCanoga ParkSushiIn a hole in the wall in a strip mall in the valley and it's supposed to be some delicious shit$$$$
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Bang Na Thai FusionChinatownThai
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BaohausChinatownBaoXJust ok. Flavors are a little underwhelming, taro fries are tough. Chairman is better. $$Eh4
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Belle Belle's CueChinatownBBQTexas BBQ made by an asian so idk
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Coffee HillChinatownCoffeeMore coffee blah blah blah
70
EndorffieneChinatownCoffeeXGreat coffee. Every time I come here I'm half expecting it to be a fake coffee shop, like that Prada store in the middle of the desert. Guy that runs it is really nice (always forget his name) (it's Jack).$Yup3
71
Golden DragonChinatownDim SumXCame here years ago for Chinese New Year when I was living in Riverside and coming to LA was a huge deal so now it's kind of trippy that this place is basically in my back yard. Most cheerful dim sum cart people I've ever encountered which I'm not sure I like, but the food is great. Came here a little bit before lunchtime on a weekday because I could.$$Yup3
72
Howlin' Ray'sChinatownChickenXHot chicken, rub is slightly sweet; you emerge with indigestion and coated in a thin layer of peanut oil. Worth it. Guy behind the counter introduced himself, shook my hand, and gave me free stuff. "Typical," said Lexi. $$Yeah2X
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Lao TaoChinatownTaiwanese
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The Little JewelChinatownCajun / DeliXPo Boys are huge, bread pudding has whiskey sauce, yup. SOLA rating is based solely on location.$Yup2
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Nick's DinerChinatownDinerPastrami melt
76
Phillippe'sChinatownDeliXSandwiches - French Dip
77
Pho 87ChinatownPhoXThe standard good good. Food comes out quick, which is good because it fills up; pay at the counter when you're done otherwise you'll look like a tool, sitting at a table while everyone stands waiting for you to be done. They give you fortune cookies for some reason.$YupX
78
Pho Broadway - WATCHChinatownPhoXStandard cheap pho, not super greasy, free parking - Supposedly closed until August 2016$Yup
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Plum Tree InnChinatownChineseStandard Chinese? $$
80
Pok Pok - CLOSEDChinatownThaiWhoops. Gone forever bye$$
81
Ramen ChampChinatownRamenXVeggie cold noodles were tasty, great flavor, perf for a hot day. Other broth is flavorful, not super oily. Guy drew a cartoon on my receipt - "But not on mine," said Lexi.$SureXX
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SalathaiChinatownThaiX
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ScoopsChinatownIce CreamXInteresting flavors, but texture leaves something to be desired. Salt & Straw is better IMO$Eh3
84
Spring Street Smoke House
ChinatownBBQXSmells amazing on the outside, smells amazing on the inside, you'll smell amazing when you leave. Brisket is a little dry and the sauce is kinda tangy but otherwise pretty good. Bread pudding could use more sauce. Like all BBQ spots, not sure if you should come here on a date unless you feel real comfortable with them. SOLA rating is based solely on location.$$Sure4X
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Thien HuongChinatownPhoXBun was ok. The employees were in there chillin with their feet up on chairs and yellin at each other but it's their place I guess and if it's cheap who gaf$Sure
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Bar Nine CoffeeCulver CityCoffeeXMinimalist decor, good coffee, they give you cold brew in glass jars with lids that you get to keep (say it with me, "soooo hip"). Good place to work if you don't mind no AC. $Sure3XXX
87
East BoroughCulver CityVietnameseXBun was good, daikon cakes were perfectly crispy on the outside, coffee was strong$$YupXX
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Father's OfficeCulver CityGastropubXKind of dudely. Great selection of beers. They don't have ketchup so don't ask about it but the guy wasn't an asshole about it. Burger was great.$Sure3X
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Lodge Bread CoCulver CityBakeryBabka Quest
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Picnic - CLOSEDCulver CityCasualXGood food, interesting concept, butttt now it's closed so I guess fuck us all$$
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Sambar - CLOSEDCulver CityIndianHeard the drinks are good - WOMP WOMP IT'S GONE$$
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7th Street CafeDowntownComfortHot Cheetos-crusted chicken tenders??? Sounds like diabetes
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Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken
DowntownDonuts/ChickenXWhat the name says
94
Baco MercatDowntownSpanishXWell seasoned food without being overwhelming. Drinks are good but a little sweet. Inside is soft industrial (not a sex thing). Outdoor seating makes you feel like you're having Sex and the City brunch (I assume that's what it's like because I've never seen Sex and the City)$$Yup3XXX
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BadmaashDowntownIndian / FusionXChicken Tikka Poutine is great, everything else is kind of overpriced, a little culturally appropriate-y ("smelly Indian man" references??)$$Sure4
96
Bar ClacsonDowntownBarXEuropean-y. Drinks are decent, though kind of overpriced. They have prosciutto and cheeses and paninis and other things that smell really good. $$Sure4X
97
Beelman's PubDowntownBarXA little too clean and overly-British-y to be a real pub; it's kinda like how New Orleans Square at Disneyland is definitely not New Orleans, but it's still enjoyable and you'd totally go again. Except Beelman's at least has booze and no kids are allowed, so I think Beelman's >> Disneyland in this case.$SureX
98
BestiaDowntownItalianFancy AF, go solo or with one other person to get seated at the bar$$$
99
Birdie'sDowntownDonuts/ChickenXWent late at night so got a chicken sandwich, which was tender. Weird crowd - felt like everyone in there, including the cashier, was in high school.$Maybe
100
Birds & BeesDowntownBarXThey make a drink with pistachio cordial and egg whites and it's basically a dessert in a cup and probably my favorite drink ever. Feels like a swanky womb for bees. $$Yes5XX
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