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DineLA @ Simon LA

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We've been hitting DineLA's Restaurant Week pretty hard over here at LAist, but I just wanted to make a few quick observations about my great experience at Simon LA last night. We arrived about half an hour early for our reservation, but the hostess seated us promptly, in a friendly and welcoming way. Our waitress got our drink orders in quickly, and our appetizers came out within minutes of placing our order. This place is ready for Restaurant Week. I saw quite a few other tables with the prix-fixe menu -- Simon LA has been getting some good marks on the boards for its great R-Week experience.

And honestly, it was the service -- attentive, quick, unobstrusive -- that really set the night apart. I like going to a restaurant where I don't even have to think about whether or not I need anything, it's just there. Bread appears, water is refilled, dishes cleared away, oh look here's dessert! Which is also to say -- the food was pretty good too, especially the appetizers of "jumbo" lump crab salad, and yellowtail carpaccio with a nice citrusy garnish. The braised short ribs, resting on a bed of broccolini, were positively melting with flavor -- it was definitely the big hit of the night. The donut bread pudding isn't overwhelmingly sweet, and the flavor left me unimpressed. But cream cheese icing on miniature red velvet cupcakes (lined up three in a row), topped with juicy red raspberries? Yes please!

Simon still ain't cheap: with alcohol (we had a glass of wine and a DELICIOUS martini), you're still looking at a cool $100 for two people. But with great service, appetizing menu choices, and thoughtful touches like a generous bread basket to begin the meal and a huge plate of fluffy pink cotton candy to end it, it's definitely thumbs way up for this R-Week participant.

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Photo from Simon LA's website