Lunch--fine dining experience, good value (Friday)
It has been my experience that you can often experience a really upscale restaurant, much more reasonably at lunch. I'm lunching with an old friend who is not too adventurous, so the menu needs to have some tasty, but not too spicy, salad type options. I'm a hound, so I'd love some either classic old school favorites or something more original. We are meeting at Union Station, but have the whole day together, so we are not confined to downtown.
With the focus being on good value, as opposed to the best restaurants I can name that are open for lunch, I'd recommend Cafe Pinot downtown. They have a $20 two-course lunch menu.
If you sit at the bar, Pizzeria Mozza has an excellent $20 special. You get a glass of house wine, a pizza of your choice, and a dessert of your choice. http://girl-loves-food.blogspot.com/2... . I don't know that Pizzeria Mozza is "fine dining" or "really upscale" but the food is excellent.
Not worrying so much about value, my favorite place to have lunch is the patio at Spago.
700 West Fifth St., Los Angeles, CA 90071
641 N. Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036
although i don't know of any "fine dining" that also has "good value,"
the "fine dining places that i've liked are:
1) fig restaurant in santa monica located in the hotel at 101 wilshire blvd. they serve lunch until 2 pm, i believe. i LOVE LOVE LOVE this place and the food they serve.
2) michaels restaurant in santa monica serves entree salads that cost about $25/salad.
they definitely offer fine dining in a beautiful environment. generally their food items cost more than the food at Fig.
if you want "good value" and are willing to forego "fine" dining, then get one of the lovely $15 entree salads that are served at 26 Beach restaurant at 3100 washington blvd in the marina.
if you want a steakhouse kind of place, there is always Pacific Dining Car which is downtownish. i've enjoyed many terrific expense-account lunches there. . . .
3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292
Pacific Dining Car
1310 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90017