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The Best Restaurants To Take Your Parents To Eat

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One of the great parts about being a transplant is that you get to show off this fine city to your friends and fam when they roll into town. And while the arrival of the latter might mean it's time for unprecedented nagging and all sorts of questions about why you can't get a "real" job, its also an opportunity to be treated to a proper meal. But you can't just go anywhere. Chances are the 'rents won't appreciate a place where they can't actually hear themselves think. (Neither do we, actually.) Here are some of our favorite family- friendly spots near some of our city's landmarks that'll make you look like the ultimate tour guide.


Cole's has been open since 1908 (Photo by Hank Chinaski L.A. via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr

It's debatable wether Cole's or Philippe came up with the idea of the French dip first, but only one of these two establishments serves prohibition-era cocktails, which is exactly what you're going to need after a day of carting around your parents. After a day of wandering around DTLA's landmarks -- Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall, the art deco buildings of the Financial District, the newly-revamped Grand Central Market, and Gallery Row -- you'll be ready for a hearty lamb dip with a side of spicy sweet potato garlic fries and a stiff old fashioned.

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Cole's is located at 118 E 6th St, Los Angeles, (213) 622-4090


If your family insists on seeing a slice of iconic Hollywood, skip the star walk. This is the way to do it. Opened in 1919, Musso & Frank Grill is equally as famous for their fantastics steaks and martinis as they are for being a magnet for the Hollywood elite. Charlie Chaplain, Greta Garbo, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and Steve McQueen are just some of the regulars who graced the booths at the restaurant. It's still operated by the third and fourth generations of the John Mosso family, making it a local legacy.

Musso & Frank is located at 6667 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, (323) 467-7788


Any trip to L.A., especially during the holiday season, means a trip to the Grove. After doing some retail damage, stop by the Farmers Market for a bite at Chef Jimmy Shaw's Loteria! Grill. Shaw spent a great deal of time in Mexico City growing up, which inspired the first Lotería! at the Farmers Market. The menu is full of regional Mexican specialties, showcasing the fact that L.A. is the second largest Mexican city in the world. Here you'll find stewed guises and excellent tacos wrapped with hand made corn tortillas.

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Loteria Grill is located at 6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, (323) 930-2211


Photo courtesy of Umami Burger on Facebook

A hike in Griffith Park up to the Observatory is essential for any out-of-towner. After you've worked up an appetite, you could head over to The Trails for a sammie, but you could do that with your hipster friends. Take this an op to splurge and grab some arancini balls and wood fired pizzas at Little Dom's on your fam's dime. Then wander around the shops and boutiques in the area and try to explain the concept of hipsterdom and gentrification.

Little Dom's is located at 2128 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, (323) 661-0055

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It won't be long before your Midwest family sees one of these ever-expanding, L.A.-born burger joints in their neighborhood, so might as well give them a sneak peak of coming attractions. After a day of shopping on Colorado Boulevard or checking out the Huntington Gardens, hit up Umami for a craft beer and one of their burgers. Then go for a CoolHaus ice cream sandwich next door for dessert.

Umami Burger is located at 49 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, (626) 799-8626


Photo of The Ultimate Gin and Tonic courtesy of The Bazaar on Facebook

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The Water Grill in Downtown L.A. has long been a staple in the seafood scene, but their new Santa Monica outpost is just so much more SoCal. The restaurant sits on Ocean Boulevard, and is one of the best places to watch the sunset over the Pacific while slurping down oysters, live uni, clams, and cold lobster tail. The seafood towers don't come cheap, starting at $39 for two, but they're quite a sight. Sit at the raw bar and order a glass of crisp New Zealand sauvignon blanc and chow down on cold seafood. Save room for their outrageous croissant bread pudding with caramel sauce. It's worth the splurge.

Water Grill is located at 1401 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, (310) 394-5669


If mom and dad consider themselves foodies, then Jose Andres' modernist tapas restaurant is the place to go after wandering around Rodeo Boulevard and exploring the land of plenty known as Beverly Hills. Dishes like the melt-in-your-mouth Philly cheesesteak made with air bread, cheddar, and Wagyu beef will blow their minds and make them forget all about the price tag. Be sure to try the Ultimate Gin and Tonic; it's one of the best sips in the city.

The Bazaar is located at 465 S La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles,(310) 247-0400


Michael Cimarusti's new Rhode Island-style seafood shack in WeHo is probably the hottest reservation to nab right now, but despite it being the hip place to be, it's not obnoxiously loud. After exploring the eccentric side of the area and the Sunset Strip, settle in for some steamed clams or a dozen oysters from the raw bar. The lobster roll with drawn butter is damn near perfect, too, and the strawberry rhubarb pie might give mom's a run for its money. Grab one of the craft cocktails and you'll be hooked.

Connie and Ted's is located at 8171 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood, (323) 848-2722