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Century City New Year's Eve Dinner - Is there anything that's NOT a chain?

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A Chicago hound staying at Century City for the Rose Bowl. Looking for an bustling/delicious/not-so-fancy-I-need-to-wear-a-dress-and-get-my-hair-did dining option for New Year's Eve. Would love to be able to walk...so Century City vicinity would be first choice. HOWEVER, our group of 5 isn't into the whole chain restaurant thing - so I may be crazy thinking that we'll find something at CC. Read some reviews, and Craft seems appealing - but the Bazaar a little further away is making my mouth water! Guess I'm trying to say, we'd be willing to drive a short distance if the quality of food and atmosphere grows exponentially with miles travelled :)
Suggestions would be great.

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  1. Craft is fantastic on food and service. Bazaar is a cool space, but food wise is massively overhyped

    5 Replies
    1. re: Ernie

      Really glad to hear that Craft is a good option. I think I'm overly hung-up on the chain thing. Atmosphere-wise, does it feel generic and chainy? Guess that's my only concern. Love the menu, and all the positive reviews!

      1. re: snick99

        You might also look into the new Scarpetta http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7484... at the Montage Hotel and newish Culina at the Four Season's on Doheny - both in Beverly Hills.

        -----
        Culina
        300 S Doheny Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90048

        Scarpetta
        225 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

        1. re: Servorg

          You have received some very good suggestions so far. While all places mentioned are from operators with more than one location, and you could say they are then part of a chain, but they are all worth your money. Bouchon might also be added to the list, as would Spago on Canon in Beverly Hills across the street and east of the Montage Hotel, home to both Scarpetta & Bouchon. In fact, maybe you should stay at the Montage!

          -----
          Spago
          176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

          Scarpetta
          225 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

          1. re: carter

            A Great suggestion - Unfortunately, the Montage is completed booked (they said) New Years Eve weekend.

        2. re: snick99

          Craft has a wonderful luxurious modern feel to it. It doesn't feel generic or chainy in the least

      2. We just love Craft. It's friggin' expensive, and I don't know yet what their NYE deal will be, but considering that so many places around town jack up their prices for the occasion as well, Craft becomes a decidedly more viable option. The food and service are guaranteed to be top notch, and it doesn't for a moment feel anything like a chain restaurant.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Jack Flash

          Craft NYE - 3 seatings.
          first two 85pp
          third 105pp (with champagne toast)

          menu...

          amuse
          Quail Egg & American Caviar

          first course
          (for the table)
          Chicory Salad, Goat Cheese and Pear
          Maine Lobster & Sunchoke
          Foie Gras Mousse & Kumquat

          main course
          (choose one)
          Roasted & Braised New Jersey Pheasant & Chestnuts
          Ellensburg Lamb, Piquillo Pepper & Oregano
          American Wagyu Beef, Confit of Wild Mushrooms & Bone Marrow
          Poached Buffalo Tenderloin, Citrus & Hazelnuts
          Braised Wild Striped Bass & Black Garlic
          Columbia River Salmon & King Richard Leeks
          Diver Sea Scallop, Celery Root & Black Truffle
          Squash Ravioli, Cranberry & Fried Sage

          side dishes
          (for the table)
          Winter Vegetables
          Parsnip and Spigarello Gratin
          Red Wine Braised Fingerling Potato

          pre-dessert
          Cranberry Prosecco Sorbet

          dessert
          (for the table)
          Maple Pecan Semifreddo & Apple Fritters
          Chocolate Soufflé Tart & Tangerine Ice Cream
          Ice Cream & Sorbet

          1. re: NYCnowLA

            I just got the e-mail and was about to post this. I'll add that $85 is a downright bargain, really, for NYE at Craft. Lots of lesser places will be chargng as much or more.

            1. re: NYCnowLA

              That really seems like a good deal for Craft, or, for that matter, any NYE at a high-end restaurant

              1. re: carter

                I was in a similar situation as the original poster and went with Craft for NYE after reading these comments.

                The food wasn’t mind blowing…but it was all tasty and well prepared for sure. The standouts for me were the lamb and scallop entrees, the squash gratin, and the pecan maple semifreddo. (The menu did vary slightly from what was posted.) I almost forgot the delicious crab legs—great way to start things off. We went with a group of typically casual eaters, so while I thought the price tag seemed v. reasonable given the offerings, I think there may have been a little skepticism--BUT not after the meal. There was so much food! We felt very well taken care of and the muffins for the morning were delicious! I also wanted to add that our food was not over salted at all (could have added a pinch more to a few items actually)…I saw that in some reviews, but it was not an issue on NYE for us.