Hollywood's 25 Top Power Lunch Restaurants
The grande dame of lunch spots has been serving Hollywood notables from Paul Newman to the Kardashians for 57 years. The restaurant has seen more than its share of history, from Robert Wagner proposing to Natalie Wood to JFK sneaking into a specially designed private room (the Secret Service mandated two exits) to get his fix of fettuccine alfredo.
But La Scala’s signature dish -- and still its most popular -- is the chopped salad, which owner Gigi Leon (daughter of founder Jean Leon) calls a “designer salad” for the endless ways the lettuce, salami, mozzarella and garbanzo bean combination can be customized.
“Although by the time you add two ingredients to it, you need to take a second mortgage,” jokes The Ricki Lake Show producer Josh Sabarra. (Regulars often order the off-the-menu unchopped version.)
Music dealmakers and directors favor the 14 booths that wrap around the walls, though one insider advises to “belly up to the bar in the back for more privacy and better service.” Leon says whispering and handshaking peak during the week before the Oscars, but it’s a deal that never happened that she remembers most: a young John Travolta huddling with Orson Welles about a project.