Where To Have A Power Lunch In LA17 great restaurants to do business (and hopefully eat something, too).
Maybe you’re an important business person and all of your meal times have been taken over by work. Maybe you’re an out-of-work actor/tech person/freelance writer who’s constantly taking meetings. Maybe you just need to not talk about budgets in the office anymore and want to talk about them while you eat food instead.
Whatever the reason, you’ve planned a lunch meeting, and we’re here to help you pick the spot for it. The places on this guide have tables large enough to accommodate all your important business person folders and food that will please any picky client.
Century City is the lunch meeting capital of Los Angeles, and Craft is basically a national monument. Agents, lawyers, and people who want to be agents and lawyers are all here doing deals in a well-soundproofed room and eating expensive salads while they’re at it. Craft, though, isn’t just an extension of the WME boardroom—the food here is legitimately good, and the service is fantastic.
It’s your turn to treat the sun-deprived Chicago team to lunch, and they can’t shut up about the perfect LA weather. Your best option: Superba Hollywood, a.k.a. one of LA’s sexiest outdoor patios with enough citrus trees to make Sunset Blvd. feel like an orange grove. It also helps that the food here is much more interesting than Superba’s Venice location—prioritize their vegetable-y brunch items, albacore sandwiches on ciabatta, and a raw bar that should be explored for midday oysters.
This breezy Italian rooftop restaurant in Beverly Hills is as expensive and gaudily branded as the luxury brand that owns it, but still has redeeming qualities as an over-the-top lunch spot. The palm tree-lined views of Rodeo Drive make LA look like a movie, the service is fantastic, and some dishes are quite nice, such as the panko-crusted cod “milanese” hiding a bold punch of ginger and the risotto “camouflaged as a pizza” that looks like abstract art. Expect to swipe that company card because you’re not getting out of here without spending at least $300 for two.
If your client works in showbiz, they probably have Tower Bar on their Rolodex. But you can woo anyone here with a taste of Hollywood glamor (even though this Weho rooftop technically opened in 2005.) You'll see agents screaming obscenities into their phones, your favorite pop star posing for an Instagram picture with a martini, and PR teams stress-eating shrimp cocktail during a crisis management meeting. Whoever you bring here will surely get a thrill being in the midst of it all, and the food happens to be pretty decent, from standard cobb salads and burgers with thick-cut truffle fries to a build-your-own-sundae bar.
If you’re in the business of appearances—fashion, beauty, or luxury brands that cater to overseas oil money—you probably work with people who salivate at aesthetically pleasing things. Juliet in Culver City is the perfect lunch spot for these posh types, with a gorgeous brown-toned interior and a tasty French menu where everything is a feast for the eyes. Expect a well-dressed crowd having wine with lunch, soft French house music, and tasty small plates, like deconstructed endive salads with big crumbles of roquefort and funky chicken liver tartlets topped with flower petals.
Stanley’s is a daytime spot in Sherman Oaks that’s refreshingly unpretentious. Its proximity to major studios and talent agencies makes it a reliable option for a Hollywood power lunch, but not the kind that requires schmoozing. You come here with coworkers you actually like—maybe ones you even consider friends—for a relaxed, rolled-up-sleeve meal full of things you haven’t thought about since 2004: turkey burgers, pizzas topped with sun-dried tomatoes, and one of LA's best Chinese chicken salads tossed tableside.
The food at Destroyer looks like it was designed by an edgy graphic designer from the future, which usually provides a good conversation starter for when you invite a new coworker to lunch. More importantly, everything on the menu at this modernist Culver City cafe is very delicious. Order the flaky smoked cod covered in salty yogurt that’s disguised as a muesli parfait, or beef tartare hidden under a pile of crispy potatoes that look like kettle chips, while your lunch mate discusses the new exhibit at The Broad that a friend of a friend’s ex-boyfriend curated.
The Arts District is firmly a dinner destination, but Manuela is a daytime option that’s enjoyable enough to extend lunch an extra 30 minutes. This charming Southern restaurant sits inside Hauser & Wirth’s lush courtyard, where you can stretch your legs, feel the breeze, and talk shop over oyster platters, smoky trout dip, and scrumptious cream biscuits with ribbons of country ham that are nothing short of a euphoric experience.
Right across the street from Grand Central Market, Maccheroni Republic is a centrally located spot that’s ideal for a fairly casual pasta-filled meal. You won’t be the only person having a business lunch here, but the crowd tends to be nearby office workers rather than C-suite executives getting sloshed. They’ve got a nice little courtyard, a wide selection of pasta made daily (the agnoloti are excellent), and prices that are so affordable you won’t sweat it when your boss conveniently “forgets” the corporate card at their desk.
You’ve been introduced to someone “in town for the summer” whose actual job is vague, but who is “taking meetings” and has decided they want to take one with you. They’ve already made Cecconi’s their unofficial HQ (the Chateau is their official one), so you might as well meet them there. The waiters are wearing waistcoats, there’s marble on almost every surface, and everyone is drinking wine at 11:30am on a Wednesday. Including you.
Farmshop in the Brentwood Country Mart is about as Brentwood as a restaurant can get. Almost every lunch here will involve chicken salads, someone ordering white wine with ice cubes in it, and a movie star in the corner having a meeting with her stylist. And when you’re trying to convince someone you’re the next movie star who will definitely one day have a stylist, all that works in your favor.
Spago in Beverly Hills is Wolfgang Puck’s flagship restaurant, and has been one of the most popular places to eat lunch with drunk celebrities since the 1980s. But this iconic restaurant is also much more than witnessing Faye Dunaway guzzle pinot grigio—the food is still very good. There’s also a great patio, and the interior has plenty of quiet corners for you to scream into your napkin because the deal still hasn’t closed.
Your walking-cats-with-leashes app is almost ready and an investor is showing interest. Go seal the deal at Gjelina. The Abbot Kinney staple is still nearly impossible to get into at night, but at lunch, you can easily get a reservation or even just walk in. The menu is largely the same as dinner, filled with every vegetable, salad, or pizza you and your soon-to-be investor could want. Also, the back patio is even better during the day.
You’ve probably been to this casual Italian restaurant in Hollywood for a few birthdays and maybe some early-in-the-game dates, but Osteria La Buca might actually be best at lunch. The Melrose and Wiltern location is super central, and the menu is full of pizza (the guanciale is a must), pasta, and not-sad salads. Oh, and the most expensive item is $19.
Not every Beverly Hills lunch has to mean $19 martinis and $28 salads. Nate n’ Al is a Los Angeles classic, and its traditional Jewish deli menu is exactly what you need when you and your co-worker want to take out your emotions on a pastrami sandwich and stuffed cabbage. Its downtown Beverly Hills location is certainly in the thick of all the Rodeo traffic, so it’s important to remember that most BH parking structures are free for the first two hours.
Avra’s massive dining room in Beverly Hills is absolutely beautiful to look at, and that alone makes it a power lunch superstar in this part of town. Yes, it’s gaudy and over-the-top, and the upscale Greek menu is filled entirely with dishes you’ll forget about in two hours, but if you’re looking to impress an out-of-town client or absolutely humiliate a workplace enemy in public, keep Avra on your shortlist.
Warning: do not take anyone here who is actually interested in eating. Everything at this very pink, very sceney restaurant in the Beverly Hills Hotel is so bad it borders on offensive. But if your boss doesn’t believe in eating lunch or just wants to sit in a pretty space with people who look important, then the Polo Lounge might be the perfect spot. Prepare in advance and keep a sandwich in your car because their signature McCarthy salad is a bland pile of romaine that costs $40.