Unpretentious Saturday lunch in late June-where?
I am arriving in LA for a few days in late June. One of the reasons is to meet with a doctor who has done me a series of favors personally - basically to meet him personally (we correspond via email) and take him for a thank you lunch. His office is in Beverly Hills - I get the feeling that he lives fairly close to central LA. He is quite a bit my senior (in his 60s)and loves LA - he is very familiar with the city and likes to show it off (i think).
Yet, he is a bit evasive on picking a place for lunch. I wanted to create space for him to show off his knowledge and choose something he might like...being from east coast, I teased him that there is probably no decent deli in LA. He countered with deli suggestions, but in his last note suggested that "we can do bettter than deli" and suggested that I choose! eeek! He is not trying to be difficult, its a casual thing, I think he knows its my tab and figures that if i am paying...then i should choose (maybe he does not want to 'waste a meal' on Nate and Al's ?)
So where should we go for lunch?
The parameters are: It should not be too formal or showy, i don't want to appear to be 'trying to impress'. Its a casual fun Saturday lunch...but it should be "an inside job". This is an experienced Los Angelino we are hosting. Maybe there is casual cutting edge spot with great food that he has yet to try - what is it? Many years ago i was at Masuhisa at the time it was only moderately famous and it was a small, unpretentious spot - something like that would work. Great up and coming chef an option?
I will throw back a few options to him - what are they
If you think he wouldn't mind some "ethnic" fare then either Guelaguetza for Oaxacan food or Chichen Itza for an excellent example of Yucatan cuisine would both be good choices. On the other hand if you are a pastrami lover then Langers would be the place. The best pastrami sandwich in America, (and that includes NY City).
Guelaguetza. 3014 W Olympic Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90006-2516 Phone: (213) 427-0608
Great suggestions all - I don't feel like i know him well enough to do anything aggressively ethnic such as Ethiopian or Oaxacan.
Angeli Caffe seems to hit the mark for me - its italian but its also seasonal, locally influenced - focused on the ingredients
Any others in this vein - so i can throw him some options?
Go to San Gabriel for Dim Sum
May be a wait of some kind on Sunday, though!
IF you could go on Sunday, I'd say take him to Boneyard Bistro, whcih is open for a prolonged "brunch" and has AMAZING bbq and Bistro dishes.
Angeli Caffe is good for lunch, and an LA institution. Evan is not "up and coming", she's here to stay!
How about Ethiopian for lunch? MEssob or Rahel are good choices.
Of course, in terms of Delis, ask him to take you to Langer's for Pastrami. Get the 19 or the pastrami palte. Nuff Said.
A trip to the Original Farmer's MArket would be fun-a choice of all the good food plus an LA landmark-jjust stay out of the Grove-but he's probably well versed in it.
While I love Angeli Caffe, it is far from cutting-edge and has been here for twenty-plus years. I'm sure the doctor has already been there.
I'd second the Hungry Cat rec but I fear that the menu would be too limited. If the doc doesnt eat seafood his only other option would be the burger.
I would recommend Fraiche in Culver City. Casual with an interesting seasonal menu. Only about a ten minute drive from Beverly Hills. Entrees run around 10 - 20 bucks and they have a lovely front patio.
The lunch menu can be found on their website: www.fraicherestaurantla.com
9411 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
Sadly, Fraiche is not open for lunch on Saturdays; otherwise it would have been ideal. I like Archer's suggestions of Anisette or Comme Ca and would also add as suggestions Campanile (terrific California cuisine, sit in the front room), Joe's (very nice brunch), La Terza (good Italian, sit outside) and the Lobster (more for the view of the Bay and the Pier than the food, though the seafood is quite decent).
8384 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048
624 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
1602 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401
1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291
8479 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069
225 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401
The Grill in Beverly Hills-great for lunch. Dayton just West of Rodeo Dr.
Or La Scala-Canon between Santa Monica and Brighton
Is Anisette open for lunch on Sat? If going to Santa Monica is not too far (it's a fairly short drive on a weekend), he might enjoy trying one of the newest restaurants in town...Or how about Comme Ca?