Dinner DTLA - Close to The Wolves

We’re meeting up with some friends for a surprise party at The Wolves in DTLA next to Spring Arcade. Since it’s going to be a full evening out, I was thinking of dinner nearby so we can park the car once and not need to worry about it for the rest of the evening. At worst, we’ll just Lyft to dinner and back.
My initial thought was to book at Bestia, but the best I can get at Bestia is 5PM. Much too early if our plans are at 8PM. I don’t spend as much time around this neighborhood so am looking for suggestions. Open to all cuisines and want to keep dinner at around $$-$$$ since the night’s budget will include drinking at The Wolves.

bon temps is right next to bestia and in the same price range
broken spanish
little sister
guerrilla tacos


Also Bavel!


Within walking distance, depending on your shoes (men don’t have to think about this):
Orsa & Winston
Baco Mercat
Miro (a little further out)


And I (and my feet) love the fact that you did think of it!

We were lucky enough to get a 6PM into Bestia. It was my first time sitting inside…and the atmosphere is gregarious…great for a casual night out or dinner with friends. Sitting outside on the patio makes for a quieter evening.
We had cocktails with dinner rather than wine. She Knows and 5th & Adams worked well for us…She Knows is fresh and clean (cucumber, celery, and grapefruit) while 5th & Adams is spicy and smokey (mezcal)with only a hint of sweetness (pineapple).
We started with the gem lettuces and the bone marrow gnochetti. Both were great. The husband loved the salad, but I adored the gnochetti. I love how the gnochetti are pan fried adding a slight crispy crunch when you bite down. We also ordered the Alla’nduja pizza and the spaghetti rustichella. We both loved the spiciness of the house made 'Nduja and I really enjoyed the extra fennel pollen topping the pizza. The spaghetti was a lovely al dente, but I personally didn’t enjoy how the poached lobster was just chopped and thrown on top. It makes it seem like the lobster meat is an afterthought. It would have been better if it had been mixed in together with the pasta and the tasty sauce.
Dessert was fantastic. We got the blueberry lemon frozen tarte and the apple cider doughnuts with maple ice cream. We loved the tarte. Like their Meyer lemon tarte, the blueberry version is delightful…but outside of the fact that if there weren’t blueberries on top and blue layer you might not know there are blueberries as the lemon overpowers the blueberry. The doughnuts were just fun and great with the maple ice cream…I loved that the ice cream wasn’t super sweet.
Service was great. Bestia is going on our list of go-to restaurants now.


Update on The Wolves:
It was my first time here, and truly, it’s a lovely bar. Architecturally stunning…like it was lovingly restored from the 1920s. I was also looking forward to the drink stylings of Kevin Lee as I had been a fan of his from Puzzle Bar in La Mirada, but he had departed 2 weeks prior.
Knowing what I know about Kevin’s perfectionist approach to cocktails and him only being gone 2 weeks, I expected the bar program to still be fairly consistent. I was wrong. Kevin believes in balance and harmony. The old fashioneds and mint juleps being served as part of the party we were with were woefully heavy handed with bourbon and rum…you could have lit those things on fire. Cocktails relying on fresh fruit juices seem to have fared better with the balanced of mixers to spirits, but these seemed to be more mixers than spirits. If this is their program 2 weeks after the bar manager leaves, I don’t expect it’s going to get better going forward. While the bar is gorgeous and our service was good, I don’t think it’s worth going out the way to check it out. I’m putting this one on death watch.


It is indeed gorgeous, although the one time I went they were pains in the ass about folks standing and the volume of the revelry. I expect that at a place like Varnish, but it just felt heavy handed at Wolves.

aww thanks for this review. Bummer to find out Kevin Lee (bar manager) left - fan of his since Puzzle Bar too!


L.A. Times Weekly Update has news on Kevin’s newest adventure over at the Edison. Scroll to the last item at the bottom. Very limited information.