Thursday lunch meeting near downtown

So, I’m meeting with a VERY IMPORTANT business associate on Thursday, March 31st, downtown, or near downtown.

I’m not a lunch-meeting-type person, nor do I typically have a lunch-meeting-type job, so this is totally out of the ordinary for me. She’s flying in to meet with a number of people (not just me), and has asked me to pick the destination.

She said “pick a restaurant” and my brain just kinda shut down. I literally almost said Marisco Jalisco, which would have made for a great lunch (for me), but not necessarily a good impression.

My criteria would be:

Within 10 to 15 minutes of downtown.
Quiet enough to discuss business.
Not going to make me look unhinged for recommending it.
Not too extravagant.
Good food.

Pretty much exactly in that order.


Cafe Pinot.

Orsa & Winston

  • Drago Centro - Classy, gorgeous dining room, and sensible Lunch Menu prices. Great homemade pastas.
  • Factory Kitchen - More low-key than Drago. Homemade pastas as well.
  • Redbird - Chef Neal Fraser’s flagship restaurant. Beautiful modern design. American Small Plates. Open for Lunch Tues - Fri. Totally forgot they open for lunch now. :slight_smile:

Personally, I like Factory Kitchen a lot, but its an edgier venue (both location or food). Drago or Chya next door would be better choices (in the cant go wrong vein) in my opinion. I would also consider NicK & Stef’s - which is great for a business lunch - but may be a bit pricy.

+1, better to go with somewhere less edgy … too close to skid row. Depending on where she is coming from, might be a turnoff.

If you are ok with just ok food and want a business setting at a lower price point than Drago, Chya or Nick & Stef’s, you can go to the Grand Cafe in the Omni Hotel. Its very suitable for a business lunch but not memorable in any way food wise.

Great point @Thor @Sgee about Factory Kitchen. I guess being in LA for a while, you get used to that stuff, and Downtown LA redevelopment these days is so “in flux” that you get used to seeing brand-new stylish development mashed up against homeless people.

Given that and @Moomin’s “VERY IMPORTANT” phrase, I’d say go with Drago Centro and Redbird (or Nick & Stef’s). Some classy, gorgeous spaces, and very professional.

just do mortons DTLA and call it a day. you are presumably there for business, not to take pictures of food to post on FTC/IG after.

Thanks everybody… tons of really great suggestions.

Because this deal has literary overtones, I’m probably going to go with Cafe Pinot… right next to the library!

Thanks again!

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The patio is wonderful on a warm spring afternoon.


Nick and Stef’s.

I used to love Cafe Pinot, both for the food and ambiance.

But beware, lately its been on a rather sad precipitous downward spiral.


that’s sad to hear. it was always nice to have a leisurely lunch after a trip to the central library.