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Someone else is paying, what restaurant would you pick?

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To celebrate the completion of a huge project, my biggest client has offered to take my small team to a dinner at an LA restaurant of my choosing. I don't usually get fancy expense account dinners, so I want to make full use of this opportunity. Providence and Bazaar are already on my list, but I've been to both and would love to try something new. Hoping for more fine cuisine, tasting menu/small plate style, rather than a one-big-entree steak house, and preferably no Latin/Mexican food (not a hit in our group).

Where would you ask to go?

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  1. How many in your "small" team?

    4 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      It will probably be 4-5 of us, total, including the clients.

      1. re: leeniz

        Urasawa immediately comes to mind...especially since you said small plates are of interest.

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

        1. re: Servorg

          Speaking of Kevin Eats: http://www.kevineats.com/2009/03/uras... and Urasawa...and this would be my number one choice over ANY other place in LA...

        2. re: leeniz

          The Royce! Tasting menu is amazing! And the Chef's Table option (w/ wine pairing) is available for $250 pp.

      2. pico teriyaki house

        3 Replies
        1. re: ns1

          Know anyone who can get us a reservation? :P

          1. re: leeniz

            only if you pick him up for a 1 day consulting gig ;)

            1. re: leeniz

              You can always beg Kevin for assistance: http://www.kevineats.com/2008/11/toto...

          2. Since no one else has said it, I will: Urasawa

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

            14 Replies
            1. re: J.L.

              Hey, give me a damn minute! ;-D>

              1. re: J.L.

                It actually was mentioned. I think it a bit over the top price wise if you continue to do business with this client. Il Piccolino is outstanding Italian on Robertson. The patio at Ivy or Spago both are good choices.

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                Spago
                176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                Il Piccolino
                350 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90048

                1. re: BSW6490

                  Check the time stamps.

                  I have business dinners at Urasawa quite a bit. In my line of work, the cost of the meal is but a drop in the bucket of the corporate acct. But of course, every business is different.

                  1. re: J.L.

                    i'm sure someone in accounting still looked at that invoice and said WTF

                    1. re: ns1

                      "...and said WTF...why wasn't I invited!"

                      1. re: Servorg

                        eep. That price tag does make me a little uncomfortable. Up to about $200 pp (not counting wine + tip) would be breezy, but double that is playing with fire!

                        1. re: leeniz

                          I recently had a great closing dinner at Il Piccolino. Fantastic food, service, wine and full bar. The owners, Eddie and Silvio are extremely gracious. Eddie had La Dome on Sunset for years. This is more relaxed and a different menu and in my opinion even better.

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                          Il Piccolino
                          350 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90048

                          1. re: leeniz

                            I'd suggest Melisse. Sounds like it fits the budget. When I've been in the position to "pick any place you want, price is no object" I always went a bit easy. I think it shows more consideration and class. That's just me. You cant go wrong with Melisse.

                            1. re: Baron

                              sounds like a great opportunity for tableside roast chicken.

                              1. re: ns1

                                good choice!

                            2. re: leeniz

                              If Japanese/sushi is okay, there are a few options that are less pricey (at least compared to Urasawa). Those that come to mind for me are n/naka, Kiyokawa, and Sushi Zo.

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

                              Sushi Zo
                              9824 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                          2. re: ns1

                            Luckily, the guy who usually pays for our dinner meetings happens to be the CEO/Founder of the business (I'm just a good client).

                            These monthly business dining budgets can get truly obscene...

                        2. re: BSW6490

                          On MY PTGWSEIP list (Places To Go When Someone Else Is Paying) are Spago, Cut, Craft and Osteria Mozza. If you go to Spago, try the (off menu) spicy tuna cones. They’ll rock your world.

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

                          Osteria Mozza
                          6602 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                          1. re: Steve2 in LA

                            Yes to the Spago tasting menu. Wonderful food. Wonderful patio.

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

                      2. I would hit Patina, I haven't had a chance to check it out since Tony Esnault took over

                        1. Given that they are the client, I would pick someplace reasonable and mainstream (unless the client is Bill Gates or the like), Urasawa isn't in the reasonable category, neither is Patina. If you can get in, Osteria Mozza. The others like The Ivy, Spago, Wolfgang, Bazaar, Jiraffe, Melisse, Cut, Craft are nice ideas too.

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

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

                          Jiraffe Restaurant
                          502 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401

                          Osteria Mozza
                          6602 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                          1. I agree that Urasawa would probably be a huge faux pas. I would choose Spago, myself. It is totally appropriate for a meal like this, and the food is good.

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

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

                            1. Urasawa, Melisse and Providence.

                              Get the elaborate tasting menus at the latter two (Urasawa is only tasting menu). In descending order of price.

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

                              1. I would add Hatfield's to the mix.

                                -----
                                Hatfield's
                                6703 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

                                1. I'm always a flag-waiver for Melisse, so it would top my list along with Urusawa.

                                  Valentino or Spago also have wonderful tasting menus. I haven't tried a tasting menu at Osteria Mozza, but suspect it would be fantastic. I just don't consider the atmosphere as nice for a celebratory dinner.

                                  A bit outside Los Angeles, a few months ago, I attended a celebratory dinner at An Qi in Costa Mesa. The regular restaurant is nothing special, but they do a molecular gastronomy tasting menu in a private dining room that was excellent.

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

                                  Osteria Mozza
                                  6602 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                  1. If you'd like to do something a little bit out of town Saddle Peak Lodge in rustic Malibu Canyon is wonderful. Great game meats ( I love their New Zealand elk tenderloin with brandied cherries, cipollini onions, stuffed crimini mushroom and vanilla butternut squash) wonderful food and service. Only 10 miles away from Santa Monica but at the lodge it feels like you're 200 miles from LA. A truely one of a kind special dining experience.
                                    http://www.saddlepeaklodge.com/

                                    -----
                                    Saddle Peak Lodge
                                    419 Cold Canyon Rd., Calabasas, CA 91302

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: wienermobile

                                      Very good suggestion for the Saddle Peak Lodge. It's a different experience than the in town high end joints. Leeniz is in the best position to know her dinner companions. If any are of the outdoor sportsman type, than this is a good suggestion. And it does feel like you are miles away from Los Angeles / Beverly Hills. and that's a good thing.

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                                      Saddle Peak Lodge
                                      419 Cold Canyon Rd., Calabasas, CA 91302

                                    2. I can't believe no one has suggested Hatfield's. If your decision in choosing a restaurant is driven by food and not your desire to gouge your client, then this is the place. It's consistently delicious from both the kitchen and the bar. Also, it doesn't require Bill Gates's expense account and anyway it would be so tacky to pick an outrageously expensive restaurant just because it's not on your dime.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: matador75

                                        See entry at Jul 21, 2011 12:58AM

                                        1. re: New Trial

                                          i would also pick urasawa and melisse for carte blanche tasting menu.

                                      2. I like Chaya and for a group without seeming like your milking a very expensive meal.

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                                        Chaya
                                        525 S Flower St, Los Angeles, CA 90071