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Client dinner MDR or Venice or LAX convenient

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Looking for a good spot for a business dinner. Clients will be flying in to LAX. Less than 10 people, and I would prefer not to have "family-style". Better for everyone to order their own meal. My first thought were Beechwood, Joe's in Venice. Wanted some feedback on Bistrotek.

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  1. What about Cafe Del Rey in MDR? Should fit your criteria too.

    -----
    Cafe Del Rey
    4451 Admiralty Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

    1. BistroTek is closed. What is your price range?

      2 Replies
      1. re: ElissaInPlaya

        The Custom Hotel web site still shows Bistrotek as open so I called. It is closed for remodeling (i.e. their web site is out of date). Anybody know what is going on (will miss the shrimp sliders)?
        Thanks.

        1. re: bllrdfam

          not looking pretty. per eaterla:
          http://la.eater.com/archives/2009/01/...

      2. cafe del rey is the classic business dinner location in that area.

        1. absolutely, your best bet is cafe del rey.

          imho, no other option comes close.

          1. If you are thinking of other options, you could also check into AK on Abbott Kinney.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mollyomormon

              AK just reviewed by SIV in LAT today. Avoid for the near future.

            2. 26 Beach, great variety, great food! www.26beach.com

              7 Replies
              1. re: Burger Boy

                i love 26 beach, and it's on my regular rotation, but i would NOT go there for a business dinner.

                the tables are cramped and very close together. there is NO privacy, no elegance, and the nose level imho is too high to conduct business. also, the 'shabby chic' style of decor with mismatched chairs and tables definitely does not suggest business in any way; this is especially true if your business is high-end.

                26 beach is the perfect spot for the girls to get together for a reasonably priced dinner with a decent glass of wine. (i'd recommend the raymond chardonnay).

                1. re: westsidegal

                  I was thinking of the dinning room area, not the garden, usually the dinning room is less crowded when the weather is warm like tonight. The inside is a total different feel from the outside. I was there today and they have some new dishes on special at lunch time. I had this carne asada caesar salad with a cilantro dressing that really rocked, they use a rib eye steak on the salad.

                  1. re: Burger Boy

                    it depends on the business, but when i used to wine and dine prospective clients, 26 beach would have been WAY too informal--even the inside dining room. it is a sweet, small, very INFORMAL restaurant. for many businesses, taking a client to 26 beach would be a gaffe.

                    when i was there in the past they were taping a tv show in the dining room. it was a dating show and they were interviewing these 20 somethings who had supposedly just had a dinner date there about their impressions of the date.

                    when takiing a business client out, this lack of formality in the restaurant would kill the purpose of the lunch. try discussing business with tv cameras and interviewers set up at the next table.

                    1. re: westsidegal

                      You are right, i guess it depends on the business. it could be the CEO from B of A and I am sure he would not be impressed. If it was monkey business then I would say sure. j/k. It just depends. By the way, how long ago was this dating thing, I know the used to do that years ago?

                      1. re: Burger Boy

                        the tv show incident did occur some years ago. i go back a long time with 26 beach. i was going there before they even had the 3100 washington location..

                        1. re: westsidegal

                          Me too, I go back to the mid eighties, I remember when it was mom, dad and the 2 sons.

                          1. re: Burger Boy

                            yup, the mom died shortly after they opened the original location

              2. I vote for Beechwood. The dining room is handsome and not too noisy, and the food is very good, and if you're having fun you can move to the bar afterward.

                Or Joe's, but you'd have to have them set up a special table for you. Very good food, classic Venice spot, good place to talk, and you can explore Abbot Kinney before or after.

                1. What about Sapori?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                    imho, not nearly as impressive in terms of ambiance, food, nor service as cafe del rey.

                    it's an ok place for when my next door neighbors and i want to go out on the spur of the moment-- but that's it.
                    not special in any way.

                  2. OK -- Let's compare the top two choices, Cafe Del Rey and Joe's, for a business dinner for about 8 people with most flying into LAX. Proximity -- Cafe Del Rey is slightly closer and easier to find. Valet parking -- Cafe Del Rey is professional, you drop off your car right in front and don't worry, Joe's requires negotiating the shared lot in the back. Ambiance and view -- Joe's is very nice in a Venice-y way, and is a great brunch with the covered patio setting, but tables are close together and the place is a bit cramped. Cafe Del Rey is spread out adjacent to the marina, with a large bar and lounge area where you enter and then the intelligently designed levels in the dining area so even if you are away from the windows, your table can see the boats. Food -- Joe's may actually have it here -- I liked Cafe Del Rey's menu much more years ago before they added the sushi and discarded their very best dish, the kung pao shellfish sausage. But for a business client dinner, the food needs to meet a certain level, after that it is usually not the focus. Overall winner, for me it would be Cafe Del Rey, easy. Joe's second. 26 Beach is great for burgers and salad, but their pillow-strewn dining area and informal vibe would be a joke for a business meeting. Beechwood is a wonderful place for drinks and casual food latenight in Venice, and might be a place to drop into before returning your clients to their hotel or back to LAX for their returns, but not the place for the important dinner.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: nosh

                      completely concur with everything nosh says.

                    2. Thank you for all the thorough responses. I posted a little early in order to help get my husband organized. It is upper level business...insurance industry which is very traditional and "old school". Cafe del Rey sounds perfect...thank you.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: benken

                        26 Beach would not be your best bet for a meeting like that.

                        1. re: Burger Boy

                          Burger Boy,
                          I used to work in the insurance industry.
                          .
                          i know that you are the biggest fan of 26 beach on this board--you never miss a chance to plug them-- and i like them too, but to bring a business client in the insurance industry to such an informal restaurant would be a major lapse in judgement.

                          That said, what can you tell me about the new lunch salads that i hear they're serving at 26 beach? What are they? have you tried them? How much do they cost? Are they different than the salads on the regular menu? Talk to me!
                          .

                          1. re: westsidegal

                            The original post said nothing about what kind of business, that being said, enough said. The salads, it looks like they are changing the specials every couple of weeks or so. 2 weeks ago I had this fried chciken salad, which was very basic but very good. The other day I had a pesto shrimp salad which I also liked. The other salads, ummmm, one was a take off on a pear, goat walnut, if I remember correctly it had carmelixed peaches, goat, blue, candied pecans andpanchetta. The other on I remember was a carne asada with a cilantro dressing, I think they were using rib eye. I know they had one or two more, but I can not remember right now. The also had a grilled cheese tomato soup combo, and these things they called bowls. The teriyaki steak bowl sounded good, snap peas and shitake mushrooms. I know I am missing several things. Like I said, they switched it up about 2 weeks ago from the first special menu I saw.

                            1. re: Burger Boy

                              thanks so much for the 411!
                              maybe i'll run into you there since it's on both of our regular rotations.

                              i truly apologize for misreading your post. i'm getting to be more and more like miss emily litella.

                              1. re: westsidegal

                                In which case, you really ought to have said: "Oh. That's very different. Never mind."

                            2. re: westsidegal

                              I think perhaps you missed the fact that his post said "26 Beach would NOT be your best bet for a meeting like that" (emphasis mine).

                              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                thank you.
                                you are correct.
                                i did miss that and, as a result, had a "miss emily litella" moment, and i apologize for that.