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nice downtown LA business lunch, but not too fancy

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I'm coming down from SF for a business lunch in downtown LA. I'm looking for a recommendation for nice, but not too fancy (i.e., a price point below the Water Grill), reasonably quiet place for a sit-down lunch. Any suggestions most appreciated.

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  1. Maybe Drago Centro. Or Engine Co. #28.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mc michael

      Drago Centro is on price point with Water Grill and Engine Co (IMO) is way past its prime. Spice Table is good and pretty quiet at lunch.

      1. re: Thor123

        Sadly, Spice Table is no longer offering lunch, though. Morton's at 7th & Fig would probably work or, as others have mentioned, Drago Centro or Engine Co.

    2. Drago Centro would fit what you're looking for.

      2 Replies
      1. re: TailbackU

        How is Drago Centro a price point below Water Grill and not fancy? Its not Cicada fancy, but its as fancy as Water Grill.

        1. re: Thor123

          Drago Centro is indeed an elegant space and I would never call it casual, but its lunch menu is definitely a prince point below Water Grill's (compare on-line menus). The menu offerings are very different, but you can have pasta @ Drago for $16 -18 and fish entrees are in low $20s. Conversely, lunch entrees are high 20s--low 30s @ Water Grill w/ very few lower priced alternatives (apps & a couple of salads). Agree w/ Drago Centro recommendation; good food, likely w/in budget, attractive and conducive to business conversation (i.e. quiet).

            1. re: steve h.

              The best selection, given both location, setting, and quality of food. And you can byo wine with no corkage if that perk might be of interest.
              Adjacent to the Central Library in the Maguire Gardens at 5th & Flower.
              If the day is warm, a patio table is even more enticing.
              And no way do you go to Engine Co. #28, period.

          1. Rivera has been pretty quiet when I've been there for lunch, and the lunch menu is pretty reasonably priced.

            1. Cucina Rustica, , Wilshire and Figueroa. Quieter than Engine Co., (on the same block!) food's better, too...

              1 Reply
              1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

                Cucina Rustica is in a former bank branch. Even though the food is good, the room is not up to par.

              2. Nick & Stef's, Cafe Pinot and Engine Co. 28 are all good ideas. Engine Co. 28 is not past its prime, not even close, they still do a very nice job.

                4 Replies
                1. re: scottca075

                  ECN28 is pretty awful. And it's overpriced.

                    1. re: scottca075

                      I've liked much of what I've eaten at Engine Co. over the years. Solid American food. Some of it not so much, but that is true of most places I dine at. The firehouse chili has always been good, and it's comfortable and relatively quiet inside, so conversation is a pleasure rather than a chore. I don't find it overpriced.

                      1. re: Servorg

                        Thanks for all the very helpful suggestions. Drago Centro was really perfect for what I needed, and good to know about since I am often in downtown LA. (Count me among the Engine Co. 28 haters. )

                2. I have two options. 1. Nick & Stefs. It is a very nice, reasonably priced restaurant ($20 entres). If the weather is sunny and you want to sit outside you can't beat my second choice: 2. Cafe Pinot for a nice, reasonably priced lunch in a beautiful outdoor setting.