Downtown restaurant for business dinner

I rarely venture downtown because I am too damn lazy, but I am looking for a restaurant downtown to have a nice business dinner. Ambiance is important to me – I hate communal seating and/or squashed in tables. (I didn’t like either the food or the ambiance at Bavel, for instance, and I have only been to the bar at Bestia, but found the whole gestalt at Bestia a turnoff).

So far I am considering Majordomo where I like the ambiance and Rossoblu or Bon Temps (both of which I have never been to). Sushi might also be nice, but I don’t know what there is downtown other than Hayato where I won’t be able to get reservations.


The nomad
Orsa & Winston


Drago Centro
Water Grill
Nick & Stef’s

Alas we are going on a Monday night, so no Q which is closed.

I really liked some of the dishes I had at Shibumi when I went, but it just doesn’t feel like a business dinner place to me.

I had breakfast recently at The Nomad because I wanted to see how the omelet compared to the omelet I had at the NYC Nomad in November (which was the best omelet I have had in the last 10 years). The omelet downtown was pretty good, although not quite as good as in NYC, but I didn’t like the table - the chair was awkward vis a vis the table (which is actually true as well at the Nomad NYC). I’m really fussy about stuff like that, especially for expensive dinners. I think they closed off the upstairs space at the Nomad and are doing dinner where they do breakfast or maybe there is another space? In New York, they do breakfast and dinner in the same room.

I ate at Redbird when it opened and it reminded me of hotel food - decently executed but unexciting. Maybe it has changed – that was many years ago.

Have never been to Otium or Orsa & Winston.

By the way, Patina is out because it is closed on Mondays, but no one ever talks about that place anymore and it didn’t land on the L.A. Times’ best 101 list. Went years ago and enjoyed it – has it gotten that bad?

Vespaio is always solid in my experience. On a weeknight, it’s usually quiet enough, as well.

If you don’t like Nomad I’m hard pressed to think of any restaurant that you will like in downtown. most are going for that urban ‘buzzy’ tables close together -too loud music thing you hate

Majordomo -might work but it would have to be the right area (the 3 different areas have a different feel imo) maybe by the big painting in the back. Somehow I can’t picture you loving it if you don’t like bavel or bestia but you never know.

Maybe just do a steak house and call it a day. they tend to do a lot of business dinners quieter. food is usually inoffensive

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I’ve eaten on the patio at Majordomo and thought the ambiance and the tables were fine. To me, by contrast, Bavel seems like it was designed right out of Ikea and maybe it is just me, but I do not like those hanging plants. It doesn’t feel “Garden of Eden” to me – just cheap. I actually didn’t mind the loud music at Bavel – it wasn’t the noise, but just what I found to be the ugliness of the place, in addition to not thinking anything we ate was particularly great despite all the hoo-ha.

Just took a look at the dinner menu at Nomad. Seems quite a bit dumbed down from the opening menu and not terribly inspired. Definitely a different menu than at the New York sister restaurant.

Definitely do not want an inoffensive steak house. Nothing worse than spending big bucks on “inoffensive” food. For instance, the Peninsula Hotel or the Montage or most any steakhouse other than Keens in NYC where ambiance makes up for everything (although yeah the food isn’t all that great).

For a business dinner, I second the Water Grill rec.
The food is familiar and reliable, service and ambiance is classy, and the dining experience will not get in the way of business.
Save Majordomo, Rossoblu, Bon Temps, et al for private, unless your business involves impressing a 20-something or someone that wouldn’t be able to go to one of those places otherwise.

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What is good for a busines dinner definitely depends on what kind of business you are involved in these days and how open-minded your colleagues are about venturing into certain areas.

That said, I would do Otium, Majordomo, or Broken Spanish as my podium top 3 based on what you have ruled out. I adore Orsa & Winston, but you may find the decor a bit simple.

Vespaio is only okay…would go to Drago Centro before that. Shibumi is not a good choice for business dinner at all unless it’s 1:1 with someone who can appreciate it. 71 Above is corporate feeling and not sure how the food is since the change in chef, but it works for certain kinds of business dinners.


I order of preference:

Sushi Zo (sushi bar is great for business meetings)
Brera Ristorante
Water Grill