700 W 5th St, Los Angeles, CA | Directions 9007134.050688 -118.256076
Neighborhoods: Central LA, Downtown, New Downtown
Amazing food – Wow, after reading the review I was shocked. I was taken here by a friend who lives in the area an swears by this place. The food was amazing, the chef was charming and the staff was knowledgeable. This by far is my favorite place to eat when I leave the west side!!!
Classic Yet Comfortable Setting – We visited Los Angeles and chose Cafe Pinot to celebrate our Daughter's 23rd birthday. We had a large family gathering and were extremely happy with the entire evening. The overall environment was very pleasant and the staff was exceptionally friendly and gracious. The gardens were lovely, the patio was inviting, the weather was fantastic and the food was wonderful... A very classic yet comfortable setting. We will return!
I'm a Regular – Wow, I was reading the reviews of Cafe Pinot and was quite surprised to read about all the negative experiences. I live and work in Downtown Los Angeles and am proud to say that I am a regular at Cafe Pinot and I've happily NEVER experienced any of the negatives as stated in the other reviews.
I frequent many high end restaurants as I have an extensive interest in the culinary world and I've always found Cafe Pinot to be great food in a chic atmosphere. Don't get me wrong - I'm no food snob - good food is good food and can be found in many places. The reason that I became a regular is because the staff and the food are equally appealing. The current chef is innovative and I'm always interested in her latest creations. The grilled calamari salad with squash might not sound like a winning combination but it is; the soups are also excellent.; the desserts are appealing - the chef takes standards and gives them a twist - for instance making cheesecake with goat cheese gives it a unique tartness that I found very tastey. The menu does change and I'm sad to see items that have become my favorites leave , but excited to find new favorites. The waite staff is very attentive and they sincerely wish for you to have a great experience.
As far as location goes, it couldn't be better being at the cultural center of downtown - at the library. Parking is conveniently located in the underground garage and rates are reasonable compared to other DT lots.
Overall, I will continue to go to Cafe Pinot, and I'm proud to be a regular.
Avoid this place – The head chef is insane. The Patina Group needs to re-evaluate who they place as head chefs in their restaurants. There is high turnover in the kitchen and it has resulted in a poor overall dining experience.
I signed up for City Search just to complain about this place – Someone has beat me to it: hello there! I also went Sunday after subscribing to the Patina email list and had an unpleasant (to say the least) dining experience. There are far better dining options downtown. I notice many of the reviews seem over a year old, hence the 5-star rating here. Alas, that I'd only thought to look here before I went: A familiar story of a place that has sadly deteriorated. What was once a find and a recommendation to friends = an embarrasing recommendation when it is followed up on after the place has peaked. The service was inefficient, unprofessional in attitude, and I don't know how else to explain it--seemed confused. Much to our amusement we saw a waitress going towards a table and then stopping like she had forgotten something and turning around with a completely vacuous look on her face. A table next to us also had similar looks of discontent that seemed to grow as the interminable meal went on. Wrong orders came out. In fact, it seemed the host was more helpful in having things run smoothly (he actually came to the table and cleared off the plates; we were relieved at a sign of life). We were seated before another table but ended up being serviced later than they did. Finally the waiter just disappeared and other people were doing all the work--I imagined him chain smoking in the alley doing the crossword puzzles, at my expense. Now, the food. This was of course not the greatest day to sample the food, as we ordered off the prix fixe menu, but still. It was also another classic example that causes despair: Prettily plated with no grounding and appreciation for the real underlying essence of the food. I can't help but think of it as like getting a knock-off of what's really worth spending money on--the general crowd isn't really going to be able to discern a fake. The entrees were as confused as the wait staff, dessert cloying. We can only hope the general public may have enough sense to recognize rude service and look elsewhere.
Terrible Service, Average Food, Wait Staff Could Care Less – Horrible experience. I took my mother here for mother's day. The entire "brunch" took 2 hours! They kept serving the wrong plates to the wrong person and service was abysmally slow. The waitress I had seemed completely indifferent and the waiters were standing at the hostess desk arguing about who could take their break. As the tip was included I couldn't express my dissatisfaction through leaving a tip. I strongly do NOT recommend this restaurant--made a day that should have been special into a complete disaster. Feel disrespected in the lack of professionalism, slow service, mistakes and the food was only passable. Whoever manages this place should pay attention to how the customers are treated. Especially as the waitress did not bring to our attention the tip was included and then actually said "but feel free to leave more. Took 15 minutes after being seated just to get water. One person kept getting served 5-10 minutes after everyone else. ??? This was a 3 course meal that took two hours, complete with flies in the restaurant. Atrocious.
Another example of "haute pretentious cuisine"..... – I visited L.A. with friends recently and we had dinner at Cafe Pinot. A friend and I shared an entree for $34, grilled scallops "on a bed of potatoes and squash puree," or something to that effect. There was a split charge, of course, which is customary and acceptable. We each received a large, almost empty plate with three scallops laying on barely a brush-paint's worth of whatever the bed of potatoes and squash was supposed to be, so it was essentially three lonley little scallops in a sea of white. Perhaps this was haute astronaut food. In addition, the scallops were grossly overcooked. Another diner at our table ordered the mustard-crusted chicken, a visually pleasing and generous plate. However, the dark meat was thoroughly raw, which, as anyone knows, is both disgusting and potentially dangerous. We do not recommend Cafe Pinot under any circumstances; there is an abundance of superior choices in the area.
Good food, excellent wine, decent service, a bit small if you can't sit outside – If you are going to an event at the music center etc, this is a beautiful venue and they can get you out the door on time. However, if it rains, do a reality check. Most of the tables at Cafe Pinot are outside. They have tarps and heat lamps, but it was like dining in a shower. On a clear night, it is wonderful. If you love great wines and don't care about the price, this is the place for you.
If you are vegetarian, look at the menu before you go.
Great Experience – Although I had not been here for about a year, I had always remembered this restaurant to be a magical place in the realm of Downtown Los Angeles. This still held true on my most recent visit last night. The vibe in this place has really picked up and they were very busy!! The bar was full and even though it was a Saturday night, we were shown to our table immediately. The hostess was very polite and even saved a nice table for us on the patio (which is one of the best parts of this restaurant). We were a party of 4 and we ordered across the menu. I am not sure why the other reviewer didn't like the hamachi dish because it was so unique and flavorful...pepper sorbet with olive oil and grapefruit. WOW!! The filet mignon was tender and cooked to perfection. My other guests fully enjoyed their meals which if memory serves me correct, one of them had a black cod dish and I think the other had the lamb. The service was very professional and efficient. Overall, this was a great night and we will most CERTAINLY be back. On the patio again....if possible!
Decrease in quality and service – I was surprised to read the bad reviews of this restaurant because I went here two years ago with my parents and I remember the experience being magical. The food was great, the service was attentive and helpful, and the atmosphere was upscale, but inviting. However, I went back here last night and was shoked by the decrease in quality that has occured over the time from my last visit. My beau and I started with an heirloom tomato salad, a beet salad and a yellotail hamachi. The two salads were very unimpressive and instead of being a coherent dish were just a plate of different ingredients with no real fusion. The hamachi was very uninspired and tooooo lemony. A similar dish at Nobu is much better. For my entree I had the duck a la orange which had a good flavor. The mustard chicken with pinot fries which was plain and the flavor was really not anything extraordinary. I had the tomato salad and the ckicken on my previous visit and my family and I had raved about it. I am not sure if it was an off night or they have simply lost their touch over time. The creme brulee was very good, the cookies were a joke (really terrible), and the berry crumble was sorbet and granola essentially, very disappointing. To make matters worse, our waiter was horrible, very condescending, unhelpful, and had a bad attitude. I won't be coming back here again, especially with all of the terrific options that have recently sprung up in downtown.
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