Dinner Plan: John Terzian

An LA date night through the eyes of a nightlife maven

By The Editors

Where to Take Her, Expert Version
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15 December 2015

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.

Our black Uber SUV was heading north on Doheny from The Nice Guy in WeHo to Blind Dragon in Beverly Hills when John Terzian, owner of both those places, joked, “Uber has put the DUI attorneys out of business.” He would know. He hops a car nightly to check in on his H.Wood Group’s growing LA nightlife empire, which also includes Bootsy Bellows, Henry’s and SHOREbar.

Terzian’s a busy man. But he lent us a few minutes of his time last week to tell us where he likes to go on his off nights. As a native Angeleno hailing from the Westside, his pick for dinner is a classic.

What follows is a Dinner Plan curated a la Terzian that makes for the perfect Holiday Date.

Start: Giorgio Baldi’s
Pacific Palisades

John has been going to classic Westside Italian haunt Giorgio Baldi since childhood. He used to order the dover sole, but now typically opts for the veal lemon, an off-menu item that’s paper-thin, crispy and seasoned with lemon and butter.

Next Up: SHOREbar
Pacific Palisades

Cross the street from Giorgio Baldi to SHOREbar. It wasn’t John’s first club — LAX and Las Palmas came first. But it was the first bar he built that reflected his own personal vision. Rather than play to the expectations of others, he designed a space modeled after the breezy seaside bars in Martha’s Vineyard. It took him months to get the original owners to sell him the place, but eventually he managed to convince the guy to contribute $20k to the renovations. It was a big success, and propelled him to do Bootsy Bellows.

When he goes, he orders an Elyx on the rocks with lime and tries to find an out-of-the-way corner. “I love the corner by the bar downstairs.”

Last Stop: The Nice Guy
West Hollywood

Hop in an Uber and head to The Nice Guy. If you haven’t been yet, you’ll need a reservation. Will there be celebs here? Yes. Count on it. But for good reason: the mid-century modern main room feels like Frank Sinatra’s house, and it’s very comfortable, the lighting low and the drinks punchy. John sets up his post near the DJ, where he manages to address all his patrons with grace and sincerity. It’s a good cue to take.

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