Lunch Dinner in Century City
I'll be spending a few days in Century City on business and the firm is generous enough to pay for my meals. Where should I go? I'm at the Intercontinenal hotel on the Ave. Of stars. I won't have a car, but i might be able to take a taxi.
Any kind of food is nice, as long as its good food =)
My wife and I stayed at the Intercontinental last week. I actually think the hotel's restaurant (Park Grill) has some excellent food, although it is quite pricey. If you decide to eat there, I'd recommend the scallops over risotto plus anything off the market menu (which was very mushroom oriented when we were there and contained an amazing morel stew).
For a light meal, walk down a couple blocks to the Hyatt Regency hotel and stop into X Bar. The trio of burger bites is awesome and the tuna sashimi avocado stack is also quite good. Nice atmosphere too, though a bit quiet when we were there.
Have a nice time!
I love Gulfstream at the Century City Mall. It is owned by the Hillstone Group chain (most known for Bandera and Houston's), but everything they do is terrific. My favorite way to eat there is to sit at one of the bar booths (for two) or at the bar and order the shrimp cocktail (THE best I have had in LA) and either a half dozen raw or fried oysters (only depending on how much I want to splurge). The Ahi burger is terrific, so is the chooped salad.
Across the street (crossing Santa Monica is not easy, but possible) is a casual little bakery/lunch spot called Clementine. They have nice salads and sandwiches and a chocolate chip cookie that's a winner for my taste buds (slightly more chewy than most). It is also nice for breakfast or perhaps to pick up a few snacks for the hotel room!
Craft is by far the best in the area, but it is expensive. If you are on your own, you can just eat at the bar. It is in the plaza between the CAA building and the two towers.
In the same plaza and good for lunch are The Stand (hot dogs, burger, salads) and Picnic (sandwiches, salads, soups). Avoid Habanero Grill like the plague.
Also very good is La Cachette, which is probably a short taxi ride. It is a more formal French restaurant.
In the Century City Mall is a food court (better than most) and some sit-down restaurants. Houstons is a chain, but has very good burgers. Gulfstream, which is just across from Houstons, is more seafood-oriented. Both have bar areas for someone eating alone.
For dinners, and accessible by cab, if you like Japanese food, take a cab to Olympic and Sawtelle. There are a host of very good Japanese restaurants on Sawtelle. Kiriko is my personal favorite for sushi and Orris is very good for small plates and wine.
Also within cab distance is all of Beverly Hills -- Spago, Mako and Fogo de Chao are the restaurants I typically go to in that area (I assume Urasawa is outside your budget). If you can go before it closes, you could pick up cheese, pate or charcuterie at The Cheese Store in Beverly Hills. It has some of the best selection of cheese in the nation, and they will provide samples to help you choose.
A bit further, but not by much is Third Street, which has two small plates/drink restaurants that I really like, AOC and Celadon. At Third and Fairfax is Farmer's Market, which has a lot of food stalls. But that may be a bit less upscale than you are looking for. I don't know its hours right now, so it may close before you can get there for dinner.