Hollywood's 25 Top Power Lunch Restaurants
In an L.A. restaurant landscape filled with old faithfuls, this private club has quickly ascended to the top of the food chain -- mostly for its exclusivity. Sure, its location at the nexus of Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and the Hollywood Hills is key, and some laud the decadent 14th-story views ("The most beautiful in West Hollywood," says Cinedigm CEO Chris McGurk), but it's the "members only" atmosphere that especially draws industry elite.
Like at an A-list commissary of Hollywood where table-hopping is the main course, everyone who is anyone is here -- from Jim Gianopulos to Julie Bowen, Dana Walden to David Stapf, Leonardo DiCaprio to Lea Michele -- plus, nobody present ever need wonder if the next table holds a somebody or an out-of-town nobody (the answer always is: a somebody). The club bowed in spring 2010 with a following of heavyweights such as Harvey Weinstein (who routinely rents out the venue for private parties during awards weekends), writer-director Paul Haggis (who makes one of the bar's four highly coveted velvet booths his office when in town) and producer Avi Lerner (who much prefers the garden restaurant).
While it's true no one goes there just for the food, notables including Jennifer Meyer (daughter of Universal Studios president and COO Ron and wife of Tobey Maguire) and Nicole Kidman can be spotted munching on popular offerings from executive chef Matthew Armistead such as guacamole and taro chips, kale salad and, of course, that warm chocolate-chip cookie. "You always run into someone -- always," says producer Jane Cha Cutler of the lunch rush. But remember, the admission process is notoriously strict, opaque and pricey (membership begins at $1,800). Rubbernecks need not apply.