One notch down from Providence/Melisse - recommendation sought
Any help would be appreciated. Places with an option to order a la carte would be great.
We have one non-seafooder so a place with great food, but not an emphasis on seafood would be preferable.
New American/French/Cal Ital would all be fine.
I thought of Hatfield's because they have a traditional tasting menu. But their one chance at a first impression left me a bit disappointed. Just didn't tweak my culinary monkeybone.
You've got a great place right there in Century City at Craft. They have a traditional tasting menu (or didn't when I was there last), but you could assemble one with wine pairings if you wanted. Or go a la carte. . I've never been remotely disappointed there. Contemporary, creative and delicious. Much prefer it to Hatfield's. And you can order a la carte. (BTW - Melisse and Providence are my favs.)
Foundry is notches below Providence. La Cachette is in an uninviting office building. Fraiche... has severe chef retention problems.
New Trial's list seems more fitting.
I'd add Ray's & Stark Bar to that list. The diamond chairs are as delicious as the food. Of course, if you're already in Century City, Craft just makes sense.
9411 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
La Cachette Bistro
1733 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401
Foundry is of course not the dining experience of Providence, but it has a beautiful, inviting patio, carefully prepared, very well-priced food (as well as no or very low corkage) and entertaining jazz in bar to enjoy w/ a post-dinner drink.
Also agree w/ Ray's recommendation--particularly nice if you tie it to a LACMA visit
To the recommendations already made (though I think Fraiche has lost some of its creme.), I would add:
Craft, Eva, Hatfield's and Tavern for American/Cal
Bouchon or Le Saint Amour for French
Drago Centro, Valentino's, Villetta or Vincenti for Italian
10100 Constellation Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90067
6703 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038
11930 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049
525 S. Flower St., Suite 120, Los Angeles, CA 90071
Le Saint Amour
9725 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
11648 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049
235 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
7458 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
246 26th St, Santa Monica, CA 90402