If you’re a hotshot business pro in Los Angeles, you’ve had one. An important meeting at an exclusive restaurant, with a top-shelf cocktail and a dish so beautiful it could be featured at LACMA. It’s called the power lunch, and it’s where deals are made. So place your suit jacket over your chair, put that linen napkin in your lap, and try not to lose focus just because an A-list movie star is sitting two tables over. These are the five best power lunch spots in LA, where your big break could happen at any moment.
The Grill on the Alley
Everything about the Grill is classic, old-school charm. The mahogany wooden decor, the brick-lined walls, the sea of people in suits making deals over steaks the size of loafers. Not a day goes by when power agents aren’t negotiating terms for their movie-star clients here. Start your meal by dipping the jumbo lump crab cake into the deliciously rich beurre blanc sauce, then dip your spoon into the Grill’s famous chicken pot pie like an archaeologist digging up precious artifacts. Finish with a firm handshake and a confident smile – and never break eye contact. This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
The Polo Lounge
Tucked inside the Beverly Hills Hotel in Bel Air, The Polo Lounge has been a magnet for magnates since the ’30s. Stop by any day of the week and you’re bound to spot somebody famous inside one of its dark-green booths, or see well-dressed locals having afternoon tea and sandwiches at its lush outdoor patio. Invite your colleague to meet you for a bite, and chew the fat while chewing a juicy house burger. Before closing a deal, show your colleague this contract is worth its weight in gold by sharing the Polo Lounge’s Calvisius Royal Osetra Caviar. Dotted line, consider yourself signed.
When you step inside this beautiful eatery on Robertson, it feels like a quaint cottage in the country – but the customers here are no bumpkins. It’s no wonder the paparazzi are fixtures on the nearby sidewalk, waiting for glimpses of Hollywood’s most in-demand celebrities. Before getting to business, focus on the delicious lunch items like the lobster pizza or Kobe steak. When it’s time to finally ply some trade – after this satisfying meal – you’ll have your new business associate eating out of the palm of your hand.
Why is Katsuya’s Brentwood location a great spot to hold your next meet and greet? You can make a deal at any joint, but it’s always more fun when you’ve got Jay Z and Beyonce feeding Blue Ivy her first piece of spicy tuna at the adjacent table. And the menu includes some of the best sushi in town. Who could turn down a business proposition as they’re biting into perfectly crispy soft-shell crab or black cod? With seafood like this, your presentation will look like recovered sunken treasure.
When asking your hard-to-please boss for a raise, it probably helps if you do so after an iconic, world-renowned chef comes by your table to see how you’re doing. Wolfgang Puck loves to check on his clientele as they happily dine at his flagship restaurant. Show your supervisor you’re worth every penny while munching on braised beef short rib tortellini. List all your accomplishments as your superior bites into bincho-grilled, Korean-marinated salmon. With flavors, atmosphere, and company like this, it will be impossible for even the stingiest bosses to say no. You’ve worked hard, and you deserve all the spoils. The power lunch is the best way to claim your victory.