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First Time to Century City, LA. Where should I go for good food?

Hi Chowhounders,

I am visiting from New York for 2 days this coming week, and will be staying at the InterContinental Hotel in LA (2151 Avenue of the Stars). This is my first time visiting this area, so if you can suggest any great restaurants that fit into the following criteria, I will really appreciate it:

- I am open to all cuisines, and my favorites are French, Italian, Japanese, and New American
- While price is no a concern, I am in town for business so I will have limited time for a long dinner (i.e. fine dining that requires 2+ hours for dinners are possibly out)
- I don't have a car, so places reachable by a cab are preferable

Thank you in advance!

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  1. Best and biggest deal restaurant in Century City is Craft. A very large and diverse menu, so while many make a multi-course extravaganza of multiple shared dishes, you can certainly eat faster and simpler, perhaps at the bar. Best French restaurant is just to the west of Century City off Santa Monica Blvd., called La Cachette. Fine food served in what looks like a converted large house -- I'm not sure it will be comfortable eating solo or quickly there. Best lunch or breakfast spot nearby is Clementine, across Santa Monica Blvd. on a little street called Ensley. Top notch upscale sandwiches and salads, and good baked goods. Very casual, quick, with counter service, a lot of small tables, and much take-out. Many people like Houston's, close to the multiplex theatres, for bar, burger, ribs and steaks, or salads. Best dish there is probably the french dip made from prime rib. They don't take reservations and it can get crowded. There is one place in the food court in Century City that serves prime rib sandwiches and even prime rib that has received good reviews -- most of the other restaurants and booths in the vicinity are chains to be avoided. You are a short cab ride away from Puck's flagship, Spago, or his new steakhouse, Cut, or a myriad of other high-end choices in Beverly Hills to the east.

    5 Replies
    1. re: nosh

      Agreed with nosh on practically all the suggestions; but do make a pitstop at Clementine (even if to grab some baked goodies on your way to the airport!)

      Would also throw in Mako for Japanese (would say Urasawa but that'd definitely be a 2+ hours affair).

      For something a bit more kitschy, check out the Trader Vic's for tiki drinks and go next door for Circa 55 to eat -- which is pretty decent.

      ~H.C.
      http://la-oc-foodie.blogspot.com

      1. re: nosh

        The prime rib place in the food court is The Carvery, and is operated by Lawry's, home of the prime rib on La Cienega in nearby Beverly Hills.

        1. re: carter

          Thanks for jogging my memory. Now here's the question: Which sandwich wins, the french dip at Houston's or the prime rib dip from the Carvery? What are the respective prices??

          1. re: nosh

            No contest! The prime rib french dip at Houston's is incredible! I cut out carbs a few weeks ago and all I can think about is that sandwich.

          2. re: carter

            Definitely check out the food court in the Westfield mall! It is the nicest food court in a mall in Los Angeles. The Carvery is really good for the price!

        2. You're also a short cab ride from Westwood Blvd, and there you've got Shamshiri for Persian or Sunnin Lebanese Cafe. If you're craving Chinese Chicken salad, Feast from the East has a great version on Westwood just south of Santa Monica Blvd.

          For Italian, it's a short cab ride over to Il Pastaio in Beverly Hills.

          On Cotner, very close too, is Upstairs2 which would be good if you wanted to go out with associates too.

          Mako is good, but so is Sushi Sushi.

          Welcome, and hope it's a pleasant stay!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Emme

            You could cab over to Chaya Brasserie in Beverly Hills which has Japanese, French and California influences, a great vibe and excellent service. You can eat in the bar or at a table there.

            -----
            Chaya Brasserie
            8741 Alden Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90048

          2. The cafe in the Intercontinetal was actually pretty decent when I went there for lunch, not a destination place but had a pretty nice burger...it'll be good in a pinch but of course, I'd rather be at Craft.

            1. My suggestion is that you focus on the immediate Century City area since Century City is (relatively) one of the most pedestrian friendly areas of town, plus catching a cab at anyplace other than a hotel or airport is kind of problematical (nothing at all like New York). From your hotel you're just a couple of blocks from Craft and the other restaurants in the brand new Century Park complex, as well as the Century City Mall food court (also brand new and not your typical mall food court). It'll be a nice leisurely stroll after a business day.

              1. Note too that Century City is a souless corporate business park that is comprised of office towers and a few hotels directly next to Beverly Hills. It isn't a residential area and although it is walkable, I don't suggest walking anywhere besides the places that have already been mentioned. Any of the other food options are for the geographically enslaved office workers stuck here. Most people would kill for something as simple as a Pret Manger.

                If you want to cab somewhere consider Spago or slightly farther Lucques. Cabs are easy to get in CC and unlike NY, are easily called in LA. Arrival times will always be short, less than ten minutes from any major restaurant.

                Consider reading BH posts because you are walking distance.