445 S Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90071
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Ciudad

Neighborhoods: Downtown
Cuisine: Latin American, Casual dining, Spanish

Ciudad is a Latin American, Casual dining, and Spanish restaurant where most Menuism users came for fun with friends, paid between $25 and $50, and tipped more than 18%.

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  • 9/26/2014

    A Latin American chowhound from San Jose, CA tried it.

Gayot
Rating:
14 / 20
Price:
$$$$$
Read Gayot Review »
pleasurepalate photo

pleasurepalate

 Los Angeles, CA
 

Alfresco Dining in the Middle of Downtown at Ciudad

One of things I love about LA is our weather and how patio dining is something that can be pretty much done all year long and when the dining itself is due to happenstance because of my own forgetfulness, it’s a win-win situation. It was a Tuesday night and I was dragging a friend to a cocktail party at the Bonaventure Brewing Company. We arrive, only to find out that I had my dates mixed up and that the event was actually on Thursday. Go figure. Well, we were already parked and hungry, so instead of calling it a night, we opted for dinner across the street at Ciudad.

Cool weather, sunny skies and being able to watch the tall office buildings glisten from the sun’s rays as it set was the perfect reason to sit at the patio and as luck would have it, it was also Tuesday Paella night. Of course, we had to have that as our main entree and it also came with a crab cake appetizer, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First, let’s talk drinks. My friend went for the White Wine Sangria and I chose the Minty Lime Cooler which was made with fresh mint, lime, splash of soda and touch of sugar. I actually had the Minty Lime Cooler for the first time when I went to the 2009 Planned Parenthood Los Angeles Guild Food Fare last March. It was refreshing and tart then and it was refreshing and tart now.

We decided to order appetizers to share and when we weren’t able to come to a decision between two of them, we decided to just go for it and order them both. First, we sampled their duo of Argentine Empanadas. One had a spinach, pine nut, raisin and Manchego filling and came with a salsa verde sauce. The other was a wild mushroom empanada with chipotle sauce. Both empanadas were subtle in flavor and as such, they both paired well with their individual sauces which had more of a kick to them, especially the chipotle sauce.

Our second appetizer was the Watermelon Salad with baby watercress, Oaxacan string cheese, pedro jimenez reduction, macadamia nuts and marash chili. At first glance, the ingredients may seem like they wouldn’t play together well, but amazingly they did. There was a nice interplay of flavors that included sweet, juicy, salty, nutty, a little bite from the watercress and a hint of earthiness from the marash chili, which make for an unusually different, but delicious kind of salad.

With the paella also comes a crab cake appetizer, which was quite tasty. With it being deep fried, it wasn’t greasy and the batter had a light, but crunchy texture to it. The crab itself may have been mixed with sweet red peppers and some kind of herb. Maybe cilantro? The crab meat had good flavor and was seasoned just right.

Now for the main event, the paella. Just an FYI, at $29, the paella is a fairly good sized portion. So if you’re a light eater and/or watching your pennies, split it with your dining parter. Add an extra appetizer to go with the crab cake and the meal can be quite reasonable. Now when it comes to how the paella tasted, it’s a solid dish. There’s nothing about it that was mind blowing, but you get a nice portion of clams, mussels and sausage and while the rice was saucy, it wasn’t mushy. The flavor was okay, but it really needed something else to take it up a notch. Perhaps, more saffron? Pepper? Overall, not bad.

Even with everything we ate up to that point, there was still room for dessert, especially since the Goat Milk Cajeta Flan mesmerized me when I saw it on the dessert menu. I was curious as to whether the goat cheese would cut into the sweetness of the flan. Without a doubt, it did. The goat cheese added just the right amount of pungency to soften; yet, not overwhelm the sweet caramel flavors of the flan.

To end, it was a nice evening. I definitely enjoyed the ambiance of dining outside amongst tall office buildings and both the food and service was good. A couple of things to mention is that Ciudad is currently promoting a 3-Course Steal Prix Menu, which is basically a 3 course meal that costs $24 for lunch and $38 for dinner. Also, as we were leaving, we were presented with a $20 gift card off of our next meal of $50 or more. I’m not sure how long they’ll be giving this gift cards away, but it’s certainly a nice incentive to return for another meal.

Goat Milk Cajeta Flan at Ciudad

Goat Milk Cajeta Flan

Even with everything we ate up to that point, there was still room for dessert, especially since the Goat Milk Cajeta Flan mesmerized me when I saw it on the dessert menu. I was curious as to whether the goat cheese would cut into the sweetness of the flan. Without a doubt, it did. The goat cheese added just the right amount of pungency to soften; yet, not overwhelm the sweet caramel flavors of the flan.

White Wine Sangria at Ciudad

White Wine Sangria

Fresh and fruity

Minty Lime Cooler at Ciudad

Minty Lime Cooler

Refreshing and tart.

Argentine Empanadas at Ciudad

Argentine Empanadas

First, we sampled their duo of Argentine Empanadas. One had a spinach, pine nut, raisin and Manchego filling and came with a salsa verde sauce. The other was a wild mushroom empanada with chipotle sauce. Both empanadas were subtle in flavor and as such, they both paired well with their individual sauces which had more of a kick to them, especially the chipotle sauce.

Watermelon Salad at Ciudad

Watermelon Salad

Our second appetizer was the Watermelon Salad with baby watercress, Oaxacan string cheese, pedro jimenez reduction, macadamia nuts and marash chili. At first glance, the ingredients may seem like they wouldn’t play together well, but amazingly they did. There was a nice interplay of flavors that included sweet, juicy, salty, nutty, a little bite from the watercress and a hint of earthiness from the marash chili, which make for an unusually different, but delicious kind of salad.

Crab Cake at Ciudad

Crab Cake

With the paella also comes a crab cake appetizer, which was quite tasty. With it being deep fried, it wasn’t greasy and the batter had a light, but crunchy texture to it. The crab itself may have been mixed with sweet red peppers and some kind of herb. Maybe cilantro? The crab meat had good flavor and was seasoned just right.

Paella at Ciudad

Paella

Now for the main event, the paella. Just an FYI, at $29, the paella is a fairly good sized portion. So if you’re a light eater and/or watching your pennies, split it with your dining parter. Add an extra appetizer to go with the crab cake and the meal can be quite reasonable. Now when it comes to how the paella tasted, it’s a solid dish. There’s nothing about it that was mind blowing, but you get a nice portion of clams, mussels and sausage and while the rice was saucy, it wasn’t mushy. The flavor was okay, but it really needed something else to take it up a notch. Perhaps, more saffron? Pepper? Overall, not bad.

Doug_S photo

Doug_S

 Burbank, CA
 

Great Drinks, Ambience, and Latin-Inspired Food

This is a great place to go for either drinks or dinner! It is a very fun, artsy atmosphere (not pretentious though), a great place to get outstanding drinks and/or tasty, unique food.

The bar, with it’s outstanding Mojitos, Pisco Sours, and other latin style drinks, and it’s large selection of sipping rums and Spanish and Latin Americanwine, is definitely one of my favorites in Downtown.

The restaurant is very vibrantly and artistically decorated. The food is a wide range of Latin-inspired dishes that range from very good to excellent in flavor. My favorites are the Paellas and Moquequa, and the Carnitas and some of the seafood entrees are excellent, but I have had a couple entrees (like the Squash Rellenos) that were a bit bland. All the food is of utmost freshness and quality though.

They also have a great selection of tapas and small dishes, soups, and salads, as well as Spanish cheeses.

Brazilian Seafood Moquequa

Wow, this is a great dish. It’s sort of like Paella, but it’s moister, almost soupy in texture, and it has a great lime-coconut flavor with mild spiciness. The seafood is very good.

SoCalPastryChef photo

SoCalPastryChef

 Torrance, CA
 

Great LA tapas scene

Great place to have a little fun with friends/co-workers. Small seating, dowtown LA parking (so beware), great drinks

Peruvian Cerviche

OMG… it was truly delish! Around 12 women attended our luncheon, and we all shared dishes. Great variety and the drinks were well made also. Great find… must try.

tinajean photo

tinajean

 Burbank, CA
 

Great food.

I did a progessive dining event downtown in which a few restauarants introduce a single course of what to expect for DineLA Restaurant Week. We were served Yellowtail Crudo with red jalapeno, lucques olives, seared garlic, Meyer lemon and smoked paprika. It was awesome and so refreshing in this hot weather. I will be visitng this place for Dinela week, I can’t wait.

Tags
Downtown Latin American Reservations
Website
Video
Hours
Sat 05:00PM - 11:00PM
Mon-Tue 11:30AM - 03:00PM
Mon-Tue 05:00PM - 09:00PM
Wed-Thu 11:30AM - 03:00PM
Wed-Thu 05:00PM - 10:00PM
Fri 11:30AM - 03:00PM
Fri 05:00PM - 11:00PM
Contact Business
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Doug_S

Burbank, CA
+7 useful

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shaner

Los Angeles, CA
0 useful

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justin

Chicago, IL
+902 useful

Ciudad  Restaurant Reviews

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Ciudad is located near the cities of Civic Center Little Tokyo, Sanford, Dockweiler, Windsor Hills, and August F Haw.
People found this by searching for: Downtown Los Angeles Restaurants Yelp, Www.Lacuidadrestaurant.Com, Argentinian Empanadas, Flan De Cajeta, Ciudad Restaurant, Ciudad Restaurant Los Angeles, and List Of Past 2010 Restaurant Chains In Downtown Los Angeles.