It's for my Mom
Please help... my Mom is having - gasp - surgery on her stomach, of all things, which will render her unable to digest anything starchy for months, and pretty much anything at all for a little while, at least. She and Daddy will be in L.A. just before this frightful thing happens, and they want to know where to have the kind of meal one would want to have before becoming unable to ingest much of anything enjoyable for quite a while. Something spectacular. Silence-inducing. Grunt-causing. Yet elegant and glamorous, a place in which one would want one's parent's to dine in style. Something to tide her over until her poor little tummy can digest again. I'd say (Dad - forgive me) that money is no object.
BTW - bread - exquisite bread (she bakes her own) is probably her favorite food. This is not a woman who necessarily needs the exotic - just the absolute most delicious fresh perfect real food there is. Maybe something fresh-fruit related for dessert, or creme caramel.
Jeez, I dunno, Tara. One person's dream is another's nightmare. I don't think I know enough about your parents' food preferences to venture into exotic realms. Plus, the kinds of places that make me moan in ecstasy aren't necessarily "elegant and glamorous." If you've read the Los Angeles board (and if you haven't, you should), you know that Campanile keeps coming up as a favorite recommendation. Campanile, where Mark Peel is the chef, is in the same building as La Brea Bakery, presided over by Mark's wife, Nancy Silverton, who is the best baker in Los Angeles. Given your Mom's love of good bread, this is what I'd suggest. Tell your Mom to go to La Brea Bakery in the morning. Get all the bread and pastries that appeal to her, but don't pass up the fig/anise bread if it's available. Also get some of the fabulous cheeses that they have on hand at the Bakery. And anything else in the display case that looks yummy (that's almost everything!). Make this a picnic lunch at one of the many scenic spots in Los Angeles. Take a walk after lunch, and then a nap. Then return to Campanile for dinner. If your Mom likes beef, she must, absolutely must, have the grilled prime rib with black olive tapenade, flagolets, and bitter greens. (Please don't tell me she like her beef well done.) Oh God, if this doesn't make her "grunt," she has serious problems other than her stomach. Maybe a neurologist could help with a sensory problem of the magnitude that not liking this dish would involve.
But, PLEASE, read through the Los Angeles board. There is a ton of information about Los Angeles restaurants there. And then, if you have more specific questions, by all means come back as ask them.