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In Urgent Need of Reco for Client Dinner

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I'm trying to help out a coworker with a recommendation for a business dinner in the LA area. The dinner would be Wednesday night. Here are the guidelines:

Within 20-30 minutes of El Segundo
Must take reservations (for a bigger party - 12 people)
Trendy
Good reputation (at least 3 stars, relatively speaking)

Please help!

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  1. Paul Martins, Houston's, Il Fornaio, Chez Soi, Strand House (with ocean views) Zinc at the Shade Hotel, Mccormick and Schmick's (private rooms but food is just ok) & Petros (my first choice from this list) are all in the area. For trendy check with MB Post but I don't know if they can do a party of 12.

    2 Replies
    1. re: wienermobile

      Agree with wienermobile (and another vote for Petros) and would add Salt Creek Grille and Flemings. The food is not amazing at either (in line with Paul Martin's and Houston's), but I have been to many a business dinner at Salt Creek Grille, it's actually in El Segundo, and the space is huge.

      Also consider Zane's in Hermosa Beach.

      1. re: wienermobile

        For large business dinner, hard to beat the Strand House. Or Chez Soi as well since they have a very large dinning room.

      2. I would consider "Chez Melange" in Redondo Beach.

        Beautiful location (maybe a block from the ocean), beautiful restaurant, "trendy" food, excellent service, etc. They are really nice there too!! (We drive from Burbank to go there!) Outstanding ambiance.

        It's an impressive place (seriously!!) And yet, it's not super pricey. (WITH drinks & desserts, maybe $50/pp.)

        www.chezmelange.com

        1. Chez Soi or Cafe Del Rey. MB Post is superb but would not work for your purposes.

          1. Just about anything is within 20 minutes of El Segundo - IF you don't hit traffic.

            Venice is 15-20 minutes away. Santa Monica is right next door. (5 minutes).

            West Hollywood? Pushing that 30 minute limit.

            But Venice and Santa Monica are rife with great restaurants. If you want trendy, then it would have to Gjelina on Abbott Kinney. Tasting Kitchen up the street is also a good choice. But really, the amount of choices are wide and vast. What kind of food are you looking for?

            8 Replies
            1. re: foodiemahoodie

              You must have one of those flying cars I have read about in science fiction books if you can make if from El Segundo to Santa Monica in 5 minutes. ;-D>

              1. re: foodiemahoodie

                I love Gjelina but don't think it would work for a party of 12, their private room is pretty small.

                Also a warning about traffic, it can vary greatly day to day. On a weekday it sometimes can take me 45 minutes from El Segundo to Santa Monica and forget about West Hollywood.

                1. re: wienermobile

                  even if gjelina took the reservation, you could still find your party holding up the wall while WAITING for the table that they reserved to become available.
                  there is no bar area in which to wait.

                  1. re: wienermobile

                    I did a party of 12 at Gjelina and found it very tight and lousy service. No bar either. Not a fan. One of the few.

                  2. re: foodiemahoodie

                    foodiemahoodie: dunno how you drive, but every time i drive to venice AT DINNER TIME from playa del rey, it takes more than 20 minutes not including parking time.
                    from el segundo, it will undoubtable take longer considering the airport traffic that will need to be negotiated.

                    maybe by helicopter. . . .

                    i do agree, though, that the kind of restaurant that the OP is seeking is much more easily found in Santa Monica.

                    1. re: foodiemahoodie

                      Thank you! No specific type of food, just a crowd pleaser that will also impress. Reservations are looking hard to come by so I think we may have to settle with Paul Martins. I've heard great things about Gjelina's though.

                      1. re: chow_heel

                        I really do recommend Petros in Manhattan Beach. Wonderful upscale Greek. Fresh seafood. tasty lamb dishes and wonderful homemade desserts. Nice patio and service also.
                        http://www.petrosrestaurant.com

                      2. re: foodiemahoodie

                        you cant even get out of santa monica in 5 mins...even with a corvette

                      3. You may want to consider Ricardo Zarate's Paiche in Marina del Rey. Not sure if Top Chef, Season 11 runner-up Brooke Williamson's The Tripel can accommodate a party of 12, but her Playa del Rey gastropub is quite the happening spot.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: TripleAxel

                          TripleAxel: The Tripel cannot nearly accomodate this party.
                          The Tripel is a tiny, neighborhood bar that serves great small plates. They only have a beer and wine license. they do not have any well-known wines available. It is jammed most nights after 6. They only have two tables in the entire place and they are both small communal tables that are normally full. they have NO parking and there is really no legal place to park near the place.

                          i found my DineLA meal at Paiche to be disappointing.
                          also, at Paiche, many traditional drinks are simply unavailable-- (martini dirty with extra olives? they don't have olives. traditional margarita? they don't have triple sec. they offer their own artisanal version of a margarita, but for the martini, you better be prepared to be happy with a twist.)