Is This the Ultimate Arts District Date?

Inko Nito is a new robatayaki that redefines warehouse dining

By Reuben Brody

Is This the Ultimate Arts District Date?
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26 January 2018

From the driving, to the parking, to the not knowing where to drive or park, dinner in L.A. is harder than it should be. That’s why we created Dinner Plan — your itinerary to a damn good time.

This week, we head to the Arts District for an intimate date night.  

Culture: Hauser & Wirth
Arts District

There’s a caveat to hitting Hauser & Wirth: you need to go before 6PM, after which the gallery is closed. The early hours defy reason, but the art inside is always interesting, and there are three rooms of modern works and sculpture to meander through. Afterward, make a pit stop at Manuela for a cocktail, or just head on to Inko Nito, next door.

901 E. 3rd St. (map)
Website

inko nito (2 images)

Get Fed: Inko Nito
Arts District

Over the past decade, restaurants in warehouses have bee dominated by Edison bulbs, exposed brick, reclaimed lumber and distressed everything. They were cool, but the sheer number of them and the fact that they are always WAY TOO LOUD has rendered them a bit passé. Inko Nito, a new robatayaki (a traditional, peformative style of Japanese BBQ) spot in the Arts District is also set in a warehouse-esque room, but it eschews all the above for a modish decor, pin lights, shared tables, and music kept at a low enough volume to allow intimate conversation. Bone-in chickens, yellowfin collar and big ears of corn are grilled to perfection on a station in the middle of the room and then dusted or slathered with a variety of spices and sauces. Everything comes out when it’s ready. Expect to order about three dishes per person.

225 S. Garey St. (map)
Website

Thank You Sir, May I Have Another: Westbound
Arts District

Some dates go so well you need a drink after (and if they go poorly, you’ll want to have one solo). For that, venture to Westbound, a small cocktail bar three blocks from Inko Nito. The place is designed like a train car: the bar is cozy enough, but the booths in the back are more ideal for boozy banter. If it’s going well, sit next to each other.

300 S. Santa Fe Ave. (map)
Website

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