DineLA is a two-week dining event in Los Angeles that involves hundreds of restaurants throughout Southern California. The “event,” which started in 2008, usually runs twice a year in the summer and winter. During DineLA, restaurants will usually provide prix fixe (fixed price in French…Ooh La La) to diners who can choose what they would like to eat from a limited menu. The cost is usually around $25 or $35 depending on the restaurant and the meal choice (lunch or dinner).
Why we like it…
So why is A Bean Counter happy about Dine LA week? DineLA is a fantastic time to dine out in Los Angeles because one can dine at extravagant restaurants for (usually…I will explain later) a lower price. Depending on the restaurant and meal choice (lunch or dinner), you will usually pay only $25 or $35 for at least three courses, including an appetizer, a main course, and dessert. A limited number of restaurants offer meals for as little as $15. Some restaurants even throw in a glass of wine or a beverage of your choice with dinner.
This year is even more exciting because in years past, DineLA was mostly available to dine-in customers only. Due to the pandemic and staff shortage in the hospitality field, many restaurants (not all) are providing take-out diners the opportunity to partake in this delicious event. Even alcohol can be taken out this time around to provide restaurants an opportunity to make up for the losses sustained during the worldwide pandemic.
Is dineLA a good deal?
So why did I say “usually” DineLA is a good deal, but not always? DineLA for many participating restaurants means a different menu, and often smaller plates and less food. Some restaurants participate with their regular sized portions and select dishes from their regular menu, but numerous participating restaurants offer smaller bites and off menu new dishes. Another reason DineLA may not be a great money saver is because many restaurants run their own specials on a weekly basis that are usually better than or cheaper than DineLA. Other restaurants may sell discounted gift cards at your major big box bulk mega stores. An example of this is Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse. Fleming’s runs great specials weekly. During the fall months, Fleming’s Fillets of Fall 3-course meal is $63 per person. Tuesdays are known for Tomahawk Tuesdays for Two for $135, which includes a huge Tomahawk steak, two appetizers, two sides to share, and two desserts. Please remember that Fleming’s is not just a casual everyday restaurant and is usually reserved for special occasions. Fleming’s also sells gift cards at Costco. One can usually buy $100 in gift cards for just $79.99. That’s a 20% savings. During Dine LA week, Fleming’s deal is $65 for a lobster tail and a steak (or another option), an appetizer, and dessert. Not too much of a savings from their regular weekly specials.
How should one approach dineLA?
For A Bean Counter, the best way to approach DineLA is by selecting cuisine and restaurants that are of interest to you. Do you have a place you have been wanting to try for months, but never had the motivation to go? That’s a great place to go for Dine LA. Some restaurants still run a great deal during DineLA, but you have to be selective. Dining out just to dine out is not going to save you money or give you the satisfaction of a new experience. Do you research online based on Dine LA’s website for restaurants near you and look at the menu before you go. This saves you a trip and gas money. Of course if you decide to stay in and eat at home we welcome you to try out some of our delicious budget friendly recipes.