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LA Market at LA Live Downtown

lil mikey Apr 13, 2010 07:18 AM

Valet parking on Olympic is $5, as is the self-underground parking. Go for the valet for now, until they get the operations of the parking complex figured out. The self parking is a maze and I found many of the spaces either reserved or blocked-off. I finally parked under some emergency tape, as others were doing.

The restaurant is in the lobby of the new LA Live Marriott. Make a note of that: it’s in the lobby. Like… you’re eating in the lobby… with windows all around you.

Once past the hostess, there’s a large community table in an open area behind the hostess stand, but generally the tables are 2-4 tops.

Tables are spread out to allow a degree of privacy, but the finishes from the painted resin concrete floor to the metal legs on chairs and tables are cold. So it’s not a romantic distance. It’s actually quite conducive to a business lunch.

Service is outstanding, from the hostess to the server to the food delivery. And the hostess roams the room constantly to ensure everything is in order.

Fresh bread and salted butter are delivered, reminding me of the same at SimonLA. And speaking of SimonLA, the menu has a similar feel, with appetizers, meats, salads, pizzas. Preparations are also similar: Nice execution but nothing terribly remarkable. No surprise I guess, given the same chef.

Wok-grilled edamame has a red-peppery coating, and is good for sharing among a larger group. The uniqueness wears off quickly, so ordering for one is ill-advised.

The soup this day was tomato puree, which lacked necessary tartness. It wasn’t bad, but leaned toward pasta sauce, with the tomato flavor lost in the long-cooking and seasoning. A squeeze of lemon over the top might have helped. Too bad I didn’t think of it during lunch.

Margherita pizza wasn’t bad either, with whole slices of tomato and sliced basil. The crust was fresh and soft; not terribly thin, but certainly not thick. It’s about 4x9 inches and provides six 2-3 bite slices.

The edamame, 2 cups of soup and one pizza, along with 1 sparkling water, 1 iced tea and 1 coffee was $55 for lunch before tip. A little steep considering we shared a pizza and didn’t even have a main course.

Obviously I didn’t try everything on the menu, but given the dozen or so other new restaurants in the complex, this one slips to the bottom based on value alone. Heck, I could have gone to the new Puck restaurant upstairs at the top of the new Ritz Carlton for that price.

LA Market
900 West Olympic Boulevard (In the Marriott at LA Live)
Downtown