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Want to take advantage of an expense account dinner Westside-ish

My brother is in town for the day today and taking us out for dinner on his very generous, old school expense account. I normally don't spend alot of money on dinner out, so have no idea where to go to really take advantage of this opportunity. Need some great recommendations on the Westside-ish - willing to drive a little bit, Century City, Mid-city, but don't want to spend too much time in the car. Something with great, relaxed atmosphere and amazing food would be perfect.

I know I can count on the all knowing chowhounds to help me out. Thanks so much.

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  1. The best non sushi meal (but not most expensive food) is at Animal. The best Japanese sushi and other dishes, and most expensive food is at Urasawa. Other expensive and good places are Providence, Spago, Melisse, Valentino, Ortolan and Bazaar.

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    Providence
    5955 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

    Spago
    176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

    Urasawa Restaurant
    218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

    Melisse Restaurant
    1104 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401

    Ortolan
    8338 W. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048

    Animal
    435 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

    6 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      Servorg pretty much nailed it. Urasawa is the most expensive restaurant in LA,~$500pp. I would go with CUT (Steakhouse - Beverly Hills), Hatfield's (American - Hollywood), Providence (Seafood - Hollywood), or Bazaar (Eclectic - WeHo) in that order. But if you want the best food and it's not that expensive, Animal has the best dishes you'll crave for years to come.

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      Urasawa Restaurant
      218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

      1. re: Servorg

        Might be difficult getting a reservation for tonight at Urasawa ...

        1. re: Servorg

          small, but quality wine list at animal as well.

          1. re: AAQjr

            Capo has excellent food and is definitely for those on expense accounts.

          2. re: Servorg

            Thanks so much for the list. My brother just told me yesterday that he was going to be in town and I went completely blank. I know of some of these (but couldn't think of them). I"m going to check out all the menus now.

            1. re: Servorg

              Best is Animal? Huh? Providence and Melisse are heads and shoulders above Animal (the chefs there would agree and be embarassed anyone would argue otherwise).

              But that might be too expensive for an "expense account" meal. Then again, you don't have to get the tasting menus. Then again, not getting the tasting menus at Melisse or Providence is almost criminal. It's a very special experience.

              Urasawa is more expensive still - and there's not way to avoid that. Terrific, but I prefer the others. Even if someone else is paying. But if someone wants to take me to Urasawa? Who am I to blow against the wind?

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              Urasawa Restaurant
              218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

            2. http://www.jdvhotels.com/pdf/dining/w...

              Had a great meal here last month and the out-of-towners really enjoyed the vibe and the view.

              1. If you're into sushi, I had an incredible meal at Mori last night. Definitely one of the top 10 of my life.

                4 Replies
                1. re: mollyomormon

                  My brother is going to Katsuya for lunch. So no sushi for dinner. Thanks for the rec though, I love sushi and will have to try some time.

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                  Katsuya Hollywood
                  6300 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

                  1. re: farnorthfood

                    Ah, okay. I think I would go to the Bazaar or Cut, in that case.

                  2. re: mollyomormon

                    katsuya for lunch? doesn't that even count as viable sushi???

                    1. re: mollyomormon

                      Hi mollyomormon,

                      Nice! :) I love Mori. :) What were some of the highlights? :)

                    2. I would do Providence, I think. I was initially thinking Craft, but I haven't been in a while and I've heard it's been slipping...

                      1. I 2nd the Capo rec and you can't get more westside. The rigatoni with the truffle meat sauce is one of the best plates of pasta i've ever had.

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                        Capo
                        1810 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401

                        1. I thought this was an invitation by the thread title, heh . . .

                          1. Hmmm, " Something with great, relaxed atmosphere and amazing food would be perfect." Josiah's Cache in Santa Monica should fit the bill perfectly. Great atmosphere, casual almost like you are in a big enclosed patio, lot's of space, and the food is really pretty good.

                            Another good expense acct place might be Chinois on main.

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                            Chinois
                            2709 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405

                            Caché Restaurant & Lounge
                            3110 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: AAQjr

                              i know this thread is a couple of weeks old, but thought you'd want a heads-up...i just read that Caché has closed.

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                I just heard. I really liked the place, especially the burger and fries, but for someplace that was supposed to be more casual than Melisse the the prices were still rather high. At least for my budget.
                                Hopefully the Chef lands someplace good, I thinks she's talented.

                            2. BAZAAR!! It's a fantastic splurge.