R+D is part of a restaurant chain (Hillstone), but you wouldn’t know it from the crowd here. Everyone waiting for a spot is either attempting to be, is currently, or was formerly famous. Maybe because of that fact, it’s also always busy, so don’t expect to get seated within 45 minutes, even at off-peak hours (when you’ll have to compete for a table with every senior living north of Montana). Still, there’s plenty to do while you wait: you can watch divorcees flirt aggressively, drink cocktails, and try to figure out which TV show you know that guy from. But the wait isn’t just worth it to people watch - the casual American food at R+D is consistently good, and they serve one of the best burgers on the Westside. The service is also super fast, so this is where you let that “friend” who’s trying to get ahold of your industry contacts buy you dinner.
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Cha Cha Chicken
An outdoor, island-like Caribbean BYOB that’s a great time. In Santa Monica, no less.
Uplifters Kitchen is an unassuming coffee shop on Ocean Park with a very good breakfast biscuit sandwich.
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The Restaurant At The NoMad Hotel
The Restaurant at The NoMad in DTLA is a uniquely LA casual-feeling fancy restaurant.
Malibu Farm Cafe has simple, crowd-pleasing food at the end of Malibu pier, and is perfect for entertaining your third cousin when he’s in town.
Hinoki & The Bird
Hinoki & the Bird is cooler than most options in Century City, and an ideal spot for your next power lunch. Even if you won’t remember the food.
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