Where to dine with someone who talks too loud – Los Angeles
Between actors, singers, and quasi-comedians who go on studio tours for a living, Los Angeles is full of people who’ve never grasped the concept of an inner voice. As a result, we all have a loud mouth in our lives that we love (or at least tolerate) and sometimes agree to have dinner with. But bringing such a person to the wrong restaurant may involve a few dirty looks or “shh!” ashamed towards your table. Do not do that. Instead, take that human megaphone you call a friend to a place where the music is loud, the energy is exploding, and you won’t get any eye rolls when they inevitably start sharing their latest bad decision too much. Here are 12 places to dine with someone who talks too loudly.
Photo credit: Wonho Frank Lee
Like many of Hollywood’s hot new spots, this swanky French brasserie is so loud you might consider bringing a walkie-talkie to communicate with the person sitting across from you. Your loudest friend, however, will feel right at home, happily shouting loudly about their love interests, upcoming vacations, and the adaptogen-infused sparkling water they’re currently obsessed with. What we loved here: the wellington lamb covered in flaky puff pastry and a decadent black truffle risotto topped with Iberian ham. Things we didn’t do: unnecessarily complex mackerel sashimi (why is it covered in small vegetable escabeche?) and the winding walk down the Hyatt Thompson lobby you have to take to get to the restroom.
Unlike the time you took your friend to a hushed Italian restaurant where she scandalized the entire dining room with intimate details about her recent breakup, Night + Market’s rowdy outpost in Venice is perfect for high-volume disclosures. Although there is no hard liquor here, their wine list is one of the most extensive in the neighborhood and always presents you with something new, natural and funky. Make sure a form of larb, fried chicken, and noodles is on your table, and you’ll have a great time.
Photo credit: Andrea D’Agosto
This Oaxaca institution in Koreatown is the perfect place to bring someone who, for some reason, doesn’t seem to understand that the sacred art of conversation also requires a bit of volume control. Guelaguetza is known for its constant party atmosphere, which is fitting given the traditional indigenous festival that gives it its name, which features colorful costumes and plenty of dancing. There’s plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, a colorful patio with live mariachi music on certain days, and some of the best moles in town. They also serve over 150 different types of mezcals and tequila. We haven’t tested them all (yet), but everything we’ve tried, we’ve loved.
When excessive dining is in order, head to Grandmaster Recorders, an Aussie spot on Cahuenga in Hollywood run by the People EP & LP. The massive space — multiple stories including a dining room, open kitchen, living room, and rooftop bar — taps into the building’s history as a former recording studio where Stevie Wonder, Bowie, and the Chilies Peppers once did magic. Music and food carry equal weight, with early 2000s R&B in the background and tropical cocktails with names like “Shake Your Money Maker.” It’s a huge place, so if your date confesses to tax evasion or walks you through the latest office drama at jaw-dropping volume, other tables are likely to drown them out.
Looking out at the vast gray ocean across the highway from Neptune’s Net, you’ll be struck by how even the biggest, most destructive waves always return to the sea. Then a tow truck will noisily pass you and will save you from thinking about even more pseudo-philosophical trash that probably belongs in a Target shirt. But that’s why Neptune’s Net, a well-worn seafood shack in Malibu, is the perfect place for meals with those who can’t keep their thoughts to themselves: even if the food isn’t the best in the world (except for a wonderful clam chowder bun bowl), the sounds from your friend’s mouth will be carried away by the wind, carried away in a sea of biker gangs, gossip between groups of friends and impatient drivers on the PCH.
If you’re reading this guide, chances are you’re having some sort of one-on-one encounter with a talker who has done (at least one) form of musical theater and/or improvisation and never you since. Take them to Ddong Ggo, unofficially the smokeiest patio in LA, a Koreatown bar known for its overflowing ashtrays and Hite beer towers. There are great snacks at the bar, like kimchi seafood pancakes and honey fried chicken, and while you might not spend your whole night here, Ddong Ggo is a fantastic place to kick it all off. the hijinks you are planning next.
Photo credit: Jacob Layman
A meal at the Carousel picks you up and immerses you right in the middle of Glendale’s wealthy Armenian community. The Middle Eastern restaurant is the neighborhood’s social hub, a gigantic dining room that’s partying almost every night of the week and filled with huge platters of kebab, assorted meze and shawarma guaranteed to feed a group of any size. It’s all set up like a wedding reception, with tables tightly packed next to each other in even rows. Expect burnt meats, lots of gossip, and at least two or three birthdays celebrated.
When Hop Woo opened in Chinatown in 1993, there were only eight tables in the entire restaurant. Since then, the Cantonese restaurant has expanded, first to a larger space in its original building, then to its current location across the street. Over the years it’s become a neighborhood hangout, a place where you’ll find older Chinese couples dining on spicy Sichuan-style fish next to tables full of rowdy teenagers. In other words, no one will notice a few loud speakers, so feel free to use your outside voices here.
Pijja Palace is an Indian sports bar and is nothing like the image that just came to mind. The interior is chic and stylish, with a pastel color scheme that would feel right at home on a Millennial vision board. Flat screens cover every wall, forcing you to follow the graceful moves of a hockey player you’ve never heard of (but maybe now love?). Pijja Palace feels like a real neighborhood spot for Silver Lake, a cacophony of aunts and cousins and best friends and normal people on dates. The room fills up quickly, so be sure to book.
This classic Silver Lake Mexican restaurant with bright pink walls and a kitschy theme has been a gay nightlife institution since the 1960s. It’s also famous for its noise and its maze-like setup, so if your date is talking from the so-called “evidence” that Kubrick faked the moon landing, you can sneak into the shadows and plan a getaway. While you don’t need to drive across town for Casita del Campo food, if you need killer margaritas, enchiladas, giant burritos, or sizzling fajitas that could stop traffic, there’s no no better place in the neighborhood to gather the loud- talkers.
The energy of the MUN Steakhouse is ionically charged: vintage Usher sounds from the speakers, premium steak sizzles as it hits the grill, and drinks are flow. This KBBQ spot in Koreatown is every extremely loud person’s aural dream, a place where they can yell directly into the waiter’s ear for an extra helping of bacon potato salad and not sound out of place. Meals here should balance MUN’s excellent meats (get the $200 varied combo that serves four and includes flat iron steak, honeycomb-cut pork belly, pork jowl, and short ribs ) with fun and whimsical a la carte dishes like truffle shrimp and kimchi. “bomb” noodles, a chilled soup similar to naengmyeon.
Ray’s BBQ in Huntington Park serves Texas-style smoked meats that rival those made in the Lone Star State. Here, you’ll eat pulled pork cut to order and extra-fat black pepper-encrusted brisket that tastes like it’s been smooched by a big column of smoke. For those who spent their formative years planted next to the biggest loudspeaker at raves, there’s a nice, breezy patio that’s usually filled with the sounds of kids and passing cars. Voices seem to be drowned out by everything around them, so there’s no need to sweat when your friend inevitably starts screaming about their latest traumatic Airbnb experience.