Needed: Fancy-ish/Hip-ish dinner for 12
My boss has to entertain some corporate big wigs in November and wants a place that has great food and a bit of hip LA cache.
His initial choice was Providence but now he's backtracking, thinking it is a little too expensive.
Here are the requirements:
geographical: Hollywood/WeHo/West LA (no Santa Monica or Downtown)
also, he doesn't like the idea of going to a hotel lthough i think he might change his mind if the right place is found in a hotel
cuisine: open to anything but needs to accomodate non-meat-eaters
price: wants to keep the tab under $2k
(roughly around $150 per person for food, wine & tip)
I anxiously await some awesome ideas.
Bodie (the chowhound formerly known as c-bo)
Love Norman's - food there is awesome. It's quieter there, though, and I probably wouldn't describe it as "hip". But mm, the pig and paella Fridays. And the service there is excellent.
Was not really impressed with Red Pearl Kitchen - service is slow, (I didn't have the rude hostess, but I did have some guy serving in sort of the same capacity who was overly friendly; this was right when it opened about a month ago) and while the food is good - eh.
Simon LA might be an option, even though it's in the Sofitel on Beverly. It's definitely all shiny and hip right now. I'm too lazy to do the caluclations that JBC did, but if I recall correctly, it's probably around the same price as Norman's. Only problem is that I don't know if the inside dining area has a table large enough for 12, but the outside seating area (which has super-powerful heat lamps) does. Food is good - the braised short ribs were awesome, and the truffled mashed potatoes (which come as a side) - mm, I'd return for those. Cocktails are inventive, and the wine list is pretty decent.
Caveat on Simon LA, though - I went there with a group of 4 others, and even though we had a reservation we still had an hour's wait due to another private party that was taking their time to clear out, or so they claimed. We were generously compensated, however, with cocktails, appetizers, and dessert. After being seated, however, service was good, with the manager coming by several times to make sure we were happy. So, if making a reservation there in hopes of impressing other people, I'd make absolutely dead certain, if possible, that a scenario like that wouldn't happen.
Is a private dining room a requirement?
If not, and there not from Flordia (Miami/Orlando), then check out Norman's.
Location = On the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood.
Non meaters = Does that mean no Beef/Veal/Lamb, ect., but fish o.k.? Strict Vegans?
Food = Excellent new-world cuisine.
Budgeting - averaging out each line item
Cocktail, Beer, Glass of Wine = $10
Starter = $14
Main = $33
Dessert = $10
Total = $67 + Tax & Tip = $86 per person
That leaves $64 per person for the wine list (which is a pretty good one), after dinner drinks, any additional shared tapas & Mid-plates, and averaging out the $7 Valet per car charge. It could be very very doable under $150 a head.
Since it's not till November, if Norman's looks interesting enough, there's plenty of time for you or your boss to check them out.
They also have a 4 course tasting menu ($69) with wine parings ($45) for $114 + Tax & Tip = $145.62 per person. And that would leave just enough room for the Valet, assuming they all don't come in seperate cars, but nothing for a drink at the bar either before or afterwards.
Private Dinning - In the kitchen is $125 with wine parings at $75 = $200 + Tax & Tip = A Budget Buster.
Red Pearl Kitchen ... although there was a thread going around about their horrible host and reservations.
They have a great lounge area in the back that say it can hold up to 24 people and with your price range, i'm sure there will be more than enough food.
good vegetarian choices as well.