HELP - been offered a free dinner at fanciest, most impressive place of my choice
And I don't know what that would be....
It's gotta be something delicious, expensive, and probably a little ostentatious. Or at least very obviously of high importance. A foreign business associate of my mom has offered to take us out and it's crucial we choose a place that matches his level of self-importance. :) Andddd I wouldn't want to waste this offer on something I can afford by myself.
Dinner for tonight!!
Thanks hounds!! I know you won't let me down.
I know it's old school and possibly a little cliche - but Spago in Beverly Hills is still one of my all-time favorite restaurants, and is absolutely delicious, expensive and a little ostentatious. If you want a little newer/trendier, you can also go to Osteria Mozza or Providence, which are both fabulous too.
The OP wants dinner for tonight!?! Urasawa might be the most expensive, unique, and perhaps the most accomplished and unique restaurant experience in SoCal these days, but unless the host was in the know, it wouldn't necessarily be that impressive or ostentatious because it is so small and intimate. And even with connections, can one just get in with a party of at least three the day of?
Spago was the first in my mind too. Then Cut. After that, one of the hot new places in town (which may be fairly dead on a Wednesday) like XIV, The Bazaar, or Gordon Ramsay's new place. Then I think of luxurious hotels either in Beverly Hills (Belvedere at the Peninsula, the Four Seasons) or one of the hotels on the beach in Santa Monica.
So it sounds like stroking this persons ego and making them feel amazingly important is a key issue with a big addition that if it is a great dining experience for you and Mom, that would be terrific. I think many of the suggestions give thus far can accomplish the second point, but to really hit the first one out of the park, we need more information.
First, you say foreign. Which country is he from? Are they westernized or do they/have they spent a lot of time in So Cal?
Second, what type of foods does this person like? Do they drink? If so, do they drink wine or hard liquor?
Third, where or what part of town will they be staying in?
Fourth, do you have any frame of reference such as previous places you or your mother have taken him or beeen with him to and what he liked/disliked during those situations?
Fifth, is he a foodie or a showman?
Sixth, what is the nature of the business relationship? Is he a vendor, customer, colleague or associate in business network?
I do this type of entertaining on a highly regular basis both here and abroad, so this is something I am really familiar with. If the questions seem overly prying, I apologize, I'm just trying to get information so we can provide the best possible recommendation.
Go to Providence and do the chef's menu - $155pp and could add up quickly with wine pairings. It's been on my must do list... Urasawa will be difficult to get a same day res and Patina or any other Splichal establishment will not live up to expectations. If there will be 4 of you (tho from your post seems like only 3), you can try to reserve the chef's table for a front row experience.
I'd go with the tasting menu at either Ortolan or Melisse. Both amazing. Can't go wrong with Spago or Providence either.
if you really want self-important and ostentatious do Gordon Ramsay at the London, it will be amazing and expensive.
Get on the Southwest Burbank to Las Vegas flight for tonight. Charter flights available also from Santa Monica Airport.
Once you land, go straight to L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon.
How important would THAT feel?
Well, since tonight is already here, I can only hope you did NOT end up at Providence, yet if you went to Vegas and Robuchon, you did it right!!!
Otherwise, Spago is still the most impressive LA experience that has almost no duplication in town - good food, good ambiance, good-looking and often well known crowd, and just an overall good time.
and you always want to go to Spago on someone else's dollar!!!
Thanks for all the input everyone! Because of the short notice, a group of 7 of us ended up at Providence. The food was very good, our benefactor enjoyed himself, and overall it was a success I think. But it was a little too stuffy and seemed more like a good date place or very special occasion place. It was my first time having a tasting menu, and it was an interesting experience. I think I prefer my little hole in the walls.....
(The Urasawa suggestions were soooo tempting but I also had little hope we could get in tonight.)
Although I didn't respond to your initial request for information (I'm afraid I have to eat at the "low cost establishments"), I appreciate your responding with follow up information. It's a bit of a pet peeve of mine that I see requests with a "I'll report back later..." and never get any feedback. I think it really helps for people to follow up like you so thoughtfully have. Thanks!
I love the mention of Valentino... still famous overseas and they do service better than anybody... Mori Sushi... the best and most expensive. Tre Venezie, maybe some of the best Regional Italian food in the country and very very expensive... they also have great back vintages of San Leonardo and Wines from Daniele Moschioni
Easy; Melisse for the Carte Blanche menu (around 10 courses, sometimes more) with the wine pairings. He'll be impressed.
My second choice is the chef's tasting menu at Providence.
You can certainly get a very good meal at Spago - but the tasting menus above are far more elaborate, and the food more complex, more interesting and a bit tastier. (just ate at Melisse a couple days ago - that Dover Sole just haunts me.
I was in New York this summer and ate at Jean George - Melisse is easily, EASILY the superior of the two. (the sommelier at Jean George that night must have been an imposter - he served me a wine and couldn't tell me the name of the grape. You're not going to get that from Brian at Melisse.)