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My boss is going to hate me... please help stop my slide into deeper hell!

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Boss and his boss are coming along for lunch. The pressure is on to find a decent place in an area where there is not a whole lot of decent places to begin with. Originally I wanted to take them to Hakata Ramen but boss said that it is WAY too casual for his boss. Boooo. Plus, it's not even close to the area we're going to be in.
I have been requested to look for a great (non-Italian) place for lunch in either Inglewood or Hawthorne, that is not TOO casual, AND takes American Express.
I've pondered taking them to either McCormick's, Houston's or something of that type in Hawthorne but, I think they're looking for something not so chain-y. They prefer Asian or Indian. This is impossible... I am about to tear out my hair. Please help!!!

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  1. This is really Scary. Your in the Desert Wasteland looking for a decent restaurant?
    HOUSTON'S in Manhattan Beach is my first thought. And they take A/E.
    SPINACH-Artichoke DIP
    BB RIBS or Fresh Fish
    Dessert
    (you'll get a promotion)

    2 Replies
    1. re: russkar

      hahaha!! Scary is right. I will be sure to remind them that they are in the "desert wasteland" of decent chow-ish restaurants. My boss has been privy to my chowish nature but since his boss is coming along as well, it changes the game up a little. There's an immense amount of pressure because it seems like my boss looks forward to my finds, and so I feel like there's a certain expectation that I've created :(

      1. re: Asia

        Once the Walnut Cobbler with Ice Cream reaches their lips you'll be up for a Promotion.

    2. What are those two places in Hawthorne......the Pakistani places....Al Noor and Al Watan...never been but some people seem to like it on these boards....Bilal would probably be way too divey......Shershah in the Marina is nice if you want to drive down a bit.

      There's an El Pollo Inka on Hawthorne in Lawndale....this one is cool cuz it has a big fire in the window with rostiserre chicken...might be to casual though....looks like they do take AMEX.
      http://www.elpolloinka.com/flash/loca...

      Ayara Thai Cuisine is near Inglewood in Westchester...nice atmoshpere if they want thai food. not sure on the AMEX.

      I'd still probably go to Houstons...love that place.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Xericx

        Boss doesn't like El Pollo Inka. Ayara would be perfect but, is a little bit out of the way.
        I'm kinda scared stiff about a possible long wait at Houstons. I love that place too!
        Al Noor and Al Watan? hmmm... are they nice enough for a business lunch? I've never been!

        1. re: Asia

          they are both great food but super ghetto. absolutely not the right place.

      2. not sure if this is going to help but maybe it'll spur some ideas. if your boss is willing to drive a bit further to manhattan beach, there are several restaurants by the pier, including the kettle owned by the mimi's cafe chain. there's a couple of higher end restaurants right around the kettle that may meet your boss's needs, but unfortunately i've never been.

        my only other thought is gaja in lomita, which is probably too far. but it's a great japanese okonomiyaki place that is very different from the ordinary meal.

        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

        your area is pretty sparse for what you're looking for. i definitely would've said el pollo inka for their wonderful steak saltado. good luck!

        1. I love Al Watan, but appropriate for a biz lunch? No way, Asia. ZERO atmosphere. Looks like it was decorated by mechanics, and they tend to have all-Urdu TV on with the volume WAY up (last time I was there, they were watching one of the all-time cheesiest shoot-em-up spy movies I've ever seen in my life...)

          Food's good though...

          1. as SL Bodhi says below, al Watan's not boss-worthy, and al Noor's only a little better--both have incredibly good food, but are NOT pretty.

            unfortunately, not being all that familiar with the area, I can't give you a recommendation...but unless it's *WAY* Casual Friday, I wouldn't take the bosses there.

            1. i wouldn't bring my boss to such really casual places.
              although the food would be good, the ambiance would stink, and the service would be VERY iffy.
              also, would highly doubt that they take american express.

              1 Reply
              1. re: westsidegal

                Al Noor and Al Watan both don't take AmEx

              2. What about Taiko on Rosecrans in El Segundo?

                1. I second Taiko on Rosecrans.

                  1. also, China Cafe at Rosecrans and Manhattan Beach Blvd. (I think). In a mall, near LA Food Show and Macy's Furniture. Also near Fry's. A bit upscale, California-white-folks Chinese food (I hope I'm not offending anyone..) but I actually like most of their offerings. Doesn't seem as greasy and more fresh tasting than $5.99 lunch plates in average Chinese restaurants.

                    1. I'm not sure how far this is from where you are, but the Depot on Torrance Blvd is nice. Their menu has an asian flair. http://www.depotrestaurant.com/

                      1. What about Second City Bistro in El Segundo? Great food, though not Asian or Indian.

                        1. Perhaps Belacan Grill in Redondo Beach. Quite a number of hounds like this place. Not as authentic as I would have liked, but it's still one of the better representations of Malaysian cuisine in the area.

                          This guy really likes it: http://www.cooknengr.com/blog2/archiv...

                          1. If they like tempura you may want to try Komatsu in Torrance. The have lunch sets which are very good and reasonably priced, but they may not accept Amex.

                            Komatsu Tempura Bar
                            1644 W Carson St/Western
                            Torrance
                            (310) 787-0787

                            1. So where are you gonna go Asia?

                              1. i have to agree with the Taiko reccomendation. I've only eaten there once, but was really impressed. The bento box had a great assortment of very different and tasty items. Personally I can not stand Houston's. I think it's just something personal. What about Chef Hannes in El Segundo? I had dinner there recently, really good, healthy comfort food. In Manhattan Beach I really like Cafe Pierre. I think any boss would like it too.

                                1. How about Sakura Japanese Restaurant. (4545 S Centinela Ave Los Angeles, CA 90066-6249)
                                  Not great atmosphere but damn decent sushi at a fair price. Not far from LAX. Also, within that shouting distance is the Crowne Plaza LAX -- Brasserie Restaurant. Decent food, nice room, perfect for a business lunch. I mean, is Torrance out of line or Manhattan Beach?

                                  1. Totally should have taken Taiko... I really really really regret not doing so. Boss LOVES Japanese too :( Didn't have time to check the posts until now. I'll know better to post for suggestions sooner next time :(
                                    We ended up at Houston's where it was kind of loud. However, the food never really disappoints. It's very reliable. What I didn't like about taking my boss' boss to Houstons is that, there are tons of Houston's everywhere. He could've gone to Houston's at home! Not very hound-ish in nature as it is a pretty sizeable chain. However, a very good chain.
                                    I had the burger and Tortilla soup, which was good. Boss had the vegetarian burger, which he LOVED. Boss' boss had the sushi salad, which he said was very good but, dang... if I had only taken him to Taiko maybe I would've gotten an even better review!!
                                    Thanks again for all your help!
                                    I'll know where to take these guys next time ;)