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Westside Business Dining with Foreign Client

  • l

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Looking for appropriate fine dining on the westside to entertain a late 30s/early 40s head of a Fortune-100 equivalent company visiting from Asia, for a Friday Dinner. I understand he is a frequent traveler to these parts. My thought is that the venue / ambiance is as important as the quality of food. I am seeking impeccable service & decor, quality food & drinks, and low riff-raff factor. As much as I hate to say it, a dash of pretension may not hurt.

The only places I could think of were Whist, Jer-Ne, Catch & One Pico (I just realized that they are all hotel restaurants, lol). I was also considering traveling a bit more inland to Cut or Uresawa (I've never been nor even know how to spell it, but have heard it is the most expensive place in LA) ...

Because reservation on short notice will undoubtedly be an issue, multiple suggestions are appreciated.

Gratefully yours,

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    1. re: Servorg

      dinner on a friday, nice catch!

    2. My Asian clients enjoy La Botte, Valentino, Melisse, and Abode--all in Santa Monica.

      1. I would add Josie, La Cachette and Vincenti to your list.

        1. If you are willing to drive a little more inland I would try Providence. Seafood is always elegant. Sona has a nice atmosphere and can get pretty pricy. For the Westside, other than those mentioned, there is also Jiraffe in Santa Monica.

          1. Visiting Japanese seem to really love steak places -- the older crop like Lawry's, but if this guy is only early 40's, maybe a hipper place like Cut or Jar.

            1. I'd go with Cut. You'll get everything you want -- quality food, quality service, some pretension, and maybe even a low-key star-sighting thrown in.

              1. East side of Westside--Craft.
                West side of Westside--Capo or Ivy at the Shore

                An FYI, the last time I was at Whist, the restaurant was fairly empty. The scene by the pool was outrageous though. Jer-ne was also similarly empty with no scene at all--clearly because they forgot to put cabanas and beds out by the Marina. Hmmm, fishy. Both good food, but lots of empty tables may come across the wrong way. Catch can have a sorta scene and can have sorta good food. I would say it is safe but you could do better. No input on One Pico. Lastly, Urasawa short-term on a Friday night...highly unlikely you can get in.

                I second (or third or whatever) these: Valentino, Vincenti and Cut.

                p.s. If you are willing to go as far East as Cut, Spago should be a consideration.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ellaystingray

                  I'll second Craft. I think it fits the bill in terms of elegance of decor, great service, good food (nothing crazy or too trendy). The prices are high enough to keep the riff-raffs out. Lastly, the place is quiet enough for a good conversation.

                2. Two more ideas.

                  BOA in Santa Monica.

                  Or, though not a "trendy" scene, you can smell the money at Hotel Bel-Air from Sunset. There is definately scenery there, I just don't quite know what to call it. Maybe the, "I laugh at the small country you own," kinda scene. The riff-raff only have one vacation home.

                  1. One more thing to consider- if it's this Friday, seeing as it is the day after Thanksgiving, I don't know how busy any of these places are going to be. Otherwise, you may want to stay as local as possible just to not have to deal with traffic with an out of town business guest.

                    I would stay away from Jer-ne. At all costs. The service isn't pretentious- it is just plain bad. Ditto for the food. If steakhouse is the route you want to go, Cut is probably the best choice.

                    1. Melisse, La Cachette, Valentino or Spago. I wouldn't take a chance on service. These places have been around for a reason. They know how to take care of guests.

                      Feel free to let the manager know ahead of time (in a nice way) that your with a vip busness client and if you have any special requests. They will want your repeat business and keep an extra eye out.

                      1. I do like One Pico. Other than the other suggestions, I would suggest:
                        the Restaurant at the Bel Air hotel, Spago, The Penthouse (great views), and definitely Providence.
                        Craft is pretty nice but the food when I went was not really awesome. Josie has good food but the atmosphere (while really nice and quiet) has no WOW factor if you're looking for that at all.


                        1. urasawa would be interesting - if you tell him it's one of the three places in LA that got 2 michelin stars and that it was the only japanese restaurant to do so, and you would be so interested to get his take, it could work out.
                          you need to call immediately and get on a waitlist for your day.


                          melisse might be difficult on a friday.

                          if all else fails, call michael's and get a patio place.

                          1. Mastro's, Ursawa, Capo, or Valentino would be my top choices.

                            I wouldn't do any of the Santa Monica hotels; I just don't think any of them are all that interesting.

                            But If you want to go to a hotel restaurant (which I think is more NY or SF than LA), I'd go with the Restaurant at the Hotel Bel Air, the Belvedere at the Peninsula, the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel. For something more trendy than those, I also like the Tower Restaurant at the recently renovated Sunset Tower Hotel (the old Argyle).

                            1. If you can get into Cut or Spago, I'd start with drinks at the bar at the Peninsula Hotel. Amazing scene on most Friday eves, though I don't know about the Friday after turkey-day.

                              3 Replies
                                1. re: glutton

                                  C-list celebrities, middle-aged men, and hookers mainly. Although occasionally you'll see a B-list celebrity as well.

                                  1. re: soccerandlost

                                    S & L isn't completely wrong, but he gives the atmosphere short shrift. The scene is one of expendable wealth. You drive into the circle and see the cars they leave upstairs, then you enter the hotel and see the lobby with its furnishings and flowers. The bar is to the side, the bartenders are professional, the patrons are mostly successful and welldressed, and the talent is on display. Very BH/LA for a foreign client.

                                1. re: fdb

                                  thanks everyone! went to Whist @ Viceroy & got a cabana. it was great!

                                  1. re: lany

                                    Thanks for reporting back. I did that once with my Asian clients and they loved it! That was a few years ago. How is the food now?

                                    1. re: fdb

                                      Food is about the same as then ... good, not quite excellent.