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The most important spots to lunch in L.A. right now
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THE TOP 25
  • Soho House
    1

    Soho House

    9200 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood
    “You can do a lunch meeting, then back-to-back meetings and then a drinks meeting all in one place — each with a different setting or view, if you like,” says Fifty Shades of Grey producer Dana Brunetti of the high-in-the-sky private club with the long waiting lis ...

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  • The Grill on the Alley
    02

    The Grill on the Alley

    9560 Dayton Way, Beverly Hills
    "The sizzle of steak complements the sizzle of the biz” at this old-school classic in Beverly Hills' Golden Triangle, observes Jarrod Moses, CEO of United Entertainment Group. Beloved maitre d’ Pamela Gonyea “knows how to run a restaurant,” avows Glaser Weil att ...

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  • Bouchon
    03

    Bouchon

    235 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills
    Thomas Keller’s 5-year-old SoCal outpost is beloved for its French fare and the occasional surprise item, like the fried chicken served on biweekly Mondays in the style of Keller’s sister restaurant Ad Hoc. Says Stiefel Entertainment founder Arnold Stiefel: “Tom K ...

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  • Chateau Marmont
    04

    Chateau Marmont

    8221 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood
    The Sunset Boulevard institution’s renown as the town’s undisputed celebrity-sighting hotspot and a “great place to network” and “people-watch” doesn’t mean it won’t afford a relaxing meal in the expansive garden. Says Danielle Gelber, executive vp of D ...

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  • Ammo
    05

    Ammo

    1155 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles
    The unprepossessing decor and plain-and-simple menu lineup don’t explain why this Hollywood spot is an industry go-to for the likes of Fox’s Dana Walden, NBC’s Jennifer Salke, Discovery Channel’s Rich Ross and producers Donald De Line, John Goldwyn and Todd Lieb ...

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  • e. baldi
    06

    e. baldi

    375 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills
    There are days when every single table (there are just 21 indoors) at this “delicious” and “high-energy” Tuscan restaurant seems to be occupied by a recognizable player. One particularly high-powered day saw UTA’s Jim Berkus, AFI’s Bob Daly, producers Steve ...

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  • Cecconi’s
    07

    Cecconi’s

    8764 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood
    Soho House’s sister institution is accessibly priced — most dishes are less than $20 — and serves healthy, creative Italian fare in a central location. “I realize how painfully L.A. this sounds, but, man, does this place have a great kale salad,” says WGN Amer ...

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  • La Scala
    08

    La Scala

    434 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills
    Nobody gets more popular in L.A. as they approach 60 — except this bistro. “We just had our busiest November and December ever,” exults owner Gigi Leon, who adds that unlike most of THR’s top-rated spots, La Scala doesn’t take reservations. WGN America’s Tom ...

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  • AOC
    09

    AOC

    8700 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles
    Whether it’s sitting on the “gorgeous” patio or inside near the “cozy” fireplace, eating at AOC “feels like you’re at someone’s home — and that someone is [chef] Suzanne Goin, and she has a James Beard award hanging on the wall,” says Elekt ...

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  • Mr Chow
    10

    Mr Chow

    344 N. Camden Drive, Beverly Hills
    The black-and-white-tiled Chinese cuisine sanctum, opened in 1974, is one of L.A.’s longest-running hotspots, serving up squab lettuce wraps and Nine Seasons Prawns to regulars, including WME’s Jill Smoller and Dave Wirtschafter, FX’s John Landgraf and I ...

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  • The Palm
    11

    The Palm

    267 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills
    “It’s an improved space and location for a classic spot,” says ICM Partners’ Rick Levy of The Palm’s 3-month-old home in Beverly Hills. The industry-beloved chophouse, which celebrated 40 years in business in 2013, is overseen by Bruce Bozzi Jr. (life partner ...

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  • Joan’s on Third
    12

    Joan’s on Third

    8350 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles
    Survey-takers repeated the word “consistent” in praising this mainstay comfort-food cafe, which chef/owner Joan McNamara (see sidebar, page 76) opened in 1995. She added a second location in Studio City near CBS last fall. “Everything always tastes great ...

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  • Hinoki & the Bird
    13

    Hinoki & the Bird

    10 Century Drive, Los Angeles
    "It’s filled to the brim with CAA and Fox,” notes a top TV exec of the 2-year-old Century City spot located across from CAA. Even though founding chef David Myers has departed, the eatery still gets high marks for the “excellent” Japanese-inspired food and for ...

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  • South Beverly Grill
    14

    South Beverly Grill

    122 S. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills
    With Kate Mantilini’s closing, this unassuming yet similarly by-the-book contemporary American grill (from the folks behind Houston’s) continues to rise in the rankings with straightforward fare, business-friendly seating and a convenient location just bel ...

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  • The Ivy
    15

    The Ivy

    113 N. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles
    “I’ve recently started going back to this classic lunch spot,” says Clique Media’s Katherine Power. “During the cooler months, it’s nice to sit by the fire and eat their famous chili.” Though many see it as a “magnet for paparazzi” — or, as Endemol B ...

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  • Spago
    16

    Spago

    176 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills
    “If you have the time and calories to spare, it’s great cuisine in a graceful, elegant space,” says ICM Partners board member Rick Levy of Wolfgang Puck’s first restaurant, which unveiled a handsome redesign in 2012. Survey respondents adore the “perfect f ...

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  • Sugarfish
    17

    Sugarfish

    212 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills
    “No need to ever even look at a menu, just sit down and start your lunch meeting,” says one fan of the utilitarian appeal of the prix fixe sushi offerings of Kazunori Nozawa’s sleek sushi spot. There are no reservations, so beat the 1 p.m. rush. TOP DISH: UTA’s ...

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  • Toscana
    18

    Toscana

    11633 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles
    While it’s not in the center of the Beverly Hills action, Toscana can still pull in the heavyweights. On a recent day, Peter Chernin, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Barry Diller were all at different tables at the popular and venerable (25 years and counting) Brentwood e ...

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  • Kiwami
    19

    Kiwami

    11920 Ventura Blvd., Los Angeles
    “People will drive to you in the Valley to eat here” — it’s that good — insist partisans of this sushi row staple, which might as well be called the “CBS Radford commissary” because it’s so full of patrons from the adjacent lot. Celebrity visitors to thi ...

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  • Farmshop
    20

    Farmshop

    225 26th St., Santa Monica
    “It’s quiet, so you can chat,” says producer Bruna Papandrea of the anchor restaurant and take-out spot at the Brentwood Country Mart. “And I also always take the opportunity to do a little shopping for home.” The artisanally minded casual spot sits at a good ...

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  • Freds
    21

    Freds

    9570 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills
    “Tired old Barney Greengrass has been revitalized and reimagined as the perfect breakfast/lunch oasis,” says Arnold Stiefel of the space that the classic New York deli previously occupied at Barneys New York. Following a total renovation that introduced terrazzo flo ...

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  • The Polo Lounge
    22

    The Polo Lounge

    9641 Sunset Blvd., Beverly Hills
    “Why is this on the list? What are you thinking?” Those are the questions producer David Permut passionately wanted answered about the inclusion of the legendary lunch spot on THR’s survey. Fair question. Last year, no one would have dared ponder why the Polo Loun ...

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  • Westside Tavern
    23

    Westside Tavern

    10850 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles
    “It’s a great meeting spot for people coming from different parts of town,” says Corey Moss, senior vp production and development at Hearst Digital Studios, of this sleek yet homey spot featuring market-driven New American cuisine in the Westside Pavilion mall. Fa ...

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  • Pizzeria Mozza
    24

    Pizzeria Mozza

    641 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles
    “Everyone eating there is always happy,” says Jeffrey Godsick, president of Fox Consumer Products, of the vibe at the acclaimed haute-pie joint owned by Nancy Silverton and Mario Batali. TOP DISH: The fennel sausage pizza ...

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  • Katsu-ya
    25

    Katsu-ya

    11680 Ventura Blvd., Los Angeles
    Now that bare-bones Valley sushi joint Nozawa is gone, chef Katsuya Uechi’s charmingly low-key spot — which spawned the Philippe Starck-ified Katsuyas in Brentwood and Hollywood — is the industry’s old-school 818 standby. “The original is the best,” pronounc ...

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NEW & UPCOMING
  • Night + Market Song
    new1

    Night + Market Song

    3322 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles
    When Westside suits head east (or just a few minutes down the 101 from the Valley) to court scruffy creatives, in-the-know assistants garner credit for their bosses by arranging meet-ups at this hipster-haven offshoot to the Sunset Strip foodie sensation. There are a nu ...

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  • Petit Trois
    new2

    Petit Trois

    718 Highland Ave. Los Angeles
    This ultra-Frenchy spinoff from the chef super group behind the tasting-menu-only adjacent Trois Mec — Animal’s Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, plus Ludovic Lefebvre of ABC’s The Taste — is all about applying five-star finesse to bistro basics. Diners are flipping o ...

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  • Republique
    new3

    Republique

    624 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles
    This counter-service lunch spot dominated by communal tables occupies the grand skylit space that  once was home to Campanile. Opened a little over a year ago by husband and wife Walter and Margarita Manzke, it serves Mediterranean-influenced sandwiches and salads, inc ...

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More than 100 elite industry insiders, from executives to CEOs, weighed in on THR's first annual ranking -- was it The Polo Lounge, e.baldi or Soho House that grabbed the top spot?
Forget Starbucks: L.A.'s ever-expanding artisanal caffeine dens are the hot laptop spots for a slew of scribes for both TV ("Modern Family") and film ("(500) Days of Summer," "The last Stand").
The first-ever list spotlights the culinary icons and rising influencers of L.A., from the vegan chef loved by Ginnifer Goodwin to Carl Reiner's favorite Austrian sausage-maker.
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