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Oct 5, 2012 01:23 PM

A Magical Mystery Lunch (roll out) -- Have you had one?

My better half and I have the opportunity to venture out to lunch on weekdays -- something we were barely been able to do while we were enslaved to desks for the last 30-something years. (I feel so old I remember "thirty-something"!) I am not talking about everyday of course, but say once a week, maybe twice. So I'm wondering -- where have you had wonderful lunches? Not quick Olive Graden style lunches that get you back to your cubicle in 30 minutes or less. We are looking for magical, mystery, memory-making experiences!

It does not have to be glitzy or expensive; it does not have to be near where we live (the valley). Even though one person strongly recommended The Palm (maybe knowing that I like Musso Franks for its Hollywood history) and my cousin adores Mozza, we've also been to Taix in L.A., Talleyrand in Burbank, Taste in Pacific Palisades (when it was 105 in the valley!), a renovated train called Vintage Restaurant in San Juan Capistrano, Taylors in both locations,L'Affair Cafe in Mission Hills and Ernie's in North Hollywood. We also like the known upscale places, but are really looking for The Fun (maybe even dorky) Experience.

Any special L.A. lunch experiences you'd like to share? We'd love to hear about the your experience -- the restaurant AND the back story!

Many thanks -


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  1. Son Of A Gun does a great lunch Monday-Fridays.

    Gjelina in Venice and ask for their back patio.

    and for a casual lunch you can't go wrong with a wonderful heavenly hand cut pastrami on rye sandwich at Langer's Deli.

    2 Replies
    1. re: wienermobile

      if you end up at gjelina, i'd recommend that you time your arrival to occur at around 2ish.
      from about 3 to 5:30 they serve an abbreviated "late afternoon menu" that only offers charcuterie and pizza.

      1. re: wienermobile

        +1 for Son of a Gun. I was there about a month ago, and they were not very busy at lunch at all. I do the same thing, as I want to visit all the great, new places at lunchtime, since I still have young kids and need to be back home to pick them up after school.

        Bouchon does a very nice lunch.
        If you want to come out to the beach, Gladstones has a great setting and is actually decent at lunchtime.
        Sotto has a very nice lunch.

      2. Went. Ate in my car. Had a sublime experience. Repeat.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Servorg

          I will second Ricky's Fish Taco for that in the car sublime fish taco experience. They are open for lunch Thursday- Sundays only.

        2. Lukshon, Culver City

          1. Sounds like you've happily retired. A few places come to mind that are frequented by folks who have the time to actually enjoy lunch. Joe's on Abbot Kinney is known for their upscale lunches at very reasonable prices. Joe Miller was one of the driving forces in elevating Westside dining starting back in the early 90s.

            The Getty off the 405 has a restaurant that fits nicely with the museum for a wonderful afternoon. Since you're based in the SFV, this should be an easy do for you folks.

            Maison Giraud in Pacific Palisades is located in the calm casual Downtown area. We usually end up here after taking a hike up Temescal Canyon. Alain Giraud does a great job in the cafe, but the bakery is what really shines. The croissants are probably some of the best to be found in SoCal.

            2 Replies
            1. re: bulavinaka

              Downtown is a little too grand for the Palisades; we refer to it as the Village ;-)). And Maison G is really one of the only gems we have. And yes, the croissants really are that good, though now I will probably never get any.....

              1. re: bulavinaka

                You have all been so nice! Great suggestions! Alain Giraud is a great chef so his place must be good. (We went to Bastide when he ran it -- that was him, wasn't it?) Thank you all -- hope to see even more great ideas pour in!!

              2. I am also in the Valley, and have had some great lunches. I recommend Bistro Orient, in a strip mall in Woodland Hills but some of the best, freshest Vietnamese seafood I have ever eaten, Itzik Hagadol in Encino, skip the food and order ten-15 of their assorted salads for a cheap and amazing meal, the Neiman Marcus Cafe in Woodland Hills for the ladies who lunch atmosphere, and Paradise Cove, because nothing feels better than sand between your toes and a glass of wine at noon, food quality be damned!