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Where To Eat Now 

Tuesday, Sep 18 2007
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Downtown L.A./Chinatown/Westlake

ADCB?Ciudad Glistening oysters at happy hour. Fatally strong mojitos. Peruvian-style ceviches and Bolivian-style tamales, Caribbean paella and a classic pescado Veracruzana, Bahia-style moqueqas and a fritanga that would knock them silly in Managua. Ciudad, the Pan-Latin downtown outpost of Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, may be all things to all people, but especially to all people whose pleasures include bending an elbow every now and then. 445 S. Figueroa St., dwntwn., (213) 486-5171. Mon.–Tues. 11:30 a.m.–9 p.m., Wed.–Thurs. 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri. 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m., Sat. 5–11 p.m., Sun. 5–9 p.m. Full bar. Valet parking. AE, D, MC, V. Pan-Latino. JG ILN

AC?Haru Ulala Los Angeles is in the middle of an izakaya renaissance, an explosion of intimate, beer-soaked taverns flipping out beakers of sake, small plates of tofu and braised seaweed, and small, oily grilled fish of every description. Haru Ulala, a neighborhood izakaya affiliated with the nearby Go-55 sushi bar, may have neither the encyclopedic sake list nor the fancy seafood selection of some other restaurants, but the steamed cow tongue, yellowtail with daikon radish, and simmered Kurobuta pork belly are delicious, the green-tea noodles are soothing, and the restaurant is open very late on weekends. 368 E. Second St., downtown, (213) 620-0977. Mon.–Thurs. 6 p.m.–mid., Fri.–Sat. 6 p.m.–2 a.m. Street parking. AE, MC, V. Japanese. JG I

Location Info

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Silver Lake/Los Feliz/Echo Park

Millie’s As several generations of Silver Lake hipsters can attest, Millie’s was designed to cure hangovers the way that penicillin was designed to cure syphilis, a hot, crowded, underventilated slice of culinary purgatory that cuts straight to the heart of the problem. Swear by the grease cure? Millie’s chicken-fried steak with 40-weight gravy is there for you. Believe in a shock to the system? An extra-spicy Devil’s Mess omelet, which comes with therapeutic doses of everything in the kitchen, may do the trick. Bacon and strong coffee the ticket? You’ve come to the right place. 3524 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake, (323) 664–0404. Open daily 7:30 a.m.–4 p.m. V, MC only. No liquor. Street parking. American. JG GL

Say Cheese A dual storefront in Silver Lake houses this gourmet store on one side and espresso café on the other. The lunch menu features salads, sandwiches, quiche and the house specialty, tartiflette (baked diced potatoes with onion and bacon topped with melted reblochon cheese and served with a mixed green salad). The gourmet shop tempts with a notable variety of pâtés (including duck foie gras at a dizzy-making $106 a pound), olives and, of course, a handpicked selection of French cheeses. 2800 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake, (323) 665-0545, fax (323) 665-6465. Open Mon.–Sat. 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m (store open until 6:30), Sun. 10 a.m.–5 p.m . No alcohol. Lot parking. AE, MC, V. Sandwiches $8–$9.50. MH GL

Hollywood/Melrose/La Brea/Fairfax

Antequera de Oaxaca The place specializes in botanas — bar munchies, more or less, served in a restaurant without alcohol. The botanas are assembled into a big combination plate for one, two or four people: crunchy balls of chorizo, dried beef, professional-strength slabs of fried pork rind, a tangle of shredded string cheese, Oaxacan chile relleno stuffed with a sweet-sour chicken stew, and chunky, rustic guacamole. The pace is just right. The dining room is pleasant. And the plate is enough for two or three hungry people. 5200 Melrose Ave., Hlywd., (323) 466-1101. Open daily 9 a.m.–8:30 p.m. No alcohol. Street parking. MC, V. Oaxacan. JG H

AC?Magnolia Magnolia is the very model of a useful restaurant, open ­after the clubs close but prepared to make you eggs ­Benedict for brunch the next day, suitable both for a first date and an impromptu burger after a movie at the ArcLight, with an outdoor dining room suited to long conversations and an indoor one so loud that conversation is moot. The wine list is short and pleasant. The menu of big salads, hearty pastas, hummus with pita, and pan-seared halibut is probably the sort of thing you could assemble yourself out of ingredients bought from Trader Joe’s, but the kitchen does a pretty good job — and the point is to be out, with music, cocktails and your friends. 6266 1/2 W. Sunset Blvd., Hlywd., (323) 467-0660. Open daily 11 a.m.–2 a.m. Full bar. Valet parking. AE, MC, V. California Contemporary. JG INK

Mid-Wilshire/Koreatown/?Central Los Angeles

AD?A-WonJust south of L.A.’s oldest Thai-restaurant neighborhood, tucked away in a mini-mall where the Lexuses pack together as tightly as grains of rice in a bowl, A-Won is one of Koreatown’s oldest sushi restaurants, a temple of raw halibut and sliced chiles, a serene but well-worn place where the high-backed booths are as private as little cabanas and the soju flows like water. Marinated sea cucumber, massive portions and the habit of eating sashimi with raw garlic have their fans, but the great Korean contribution to the world’s sushi kitchen is probably hwe dup bap, an elaborate raw-fish salad leavened with dried seaweed and hot rice. And at A-Won, a Koreatown institution devoted to the cult of hwe dup bap, the display is formidable: order after order racing out of the kitchen in bowls as big as Valkyrie helmets. Good hwe dup bapis as alive and vivid and evanescent as a wildflower, the taste of the spring’s first asparagus, or the throwaway phrase in a Lily Allen song that breaks your heart. 913½ S. Vermont Ave., L.A., (213) 389-6764. Mon.–Sat. 11 a.m.–11 p.m.; Sun. 4–11 p.m. AE, MC, V. Beer and soju. Guarded lot parking. Korean sushi. JG HLK

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