Does anyone ever need to go out of their way for a $16 bowl of soup? If it’s the French onion soup at Lumiere, the answer is yes. The upscale brasserie on the ground floor of the Fairmont Century Plaza is an all-around solid French restaurant and a great spot for a client lunch—a major necessity in an area like Century City—but it’s the soup that’s worth ducking out of your noon meeting early to experience. Thick, luscious clumps of bread are marinating under a gooey, half-inch layer of aged gruyere—plus a light, salty onion-filled broth hiding underneath. A bowl is substantial enough to be a meal, but if you want to balance your lunch with something green, try the surprisingly hefty tuna nicoise.

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