California’s most talented chef, Wolfgang Puck, and acclaimed architect-designer Richard Meier have created an airy dining room that looks more like a modern art gallery than the steak house in a grand hotel that it is. Nobody in America imports superior (or pricier) Japanese beef, and the dry-aged American steaks are perhaps even better. And who can resist the fried egg on top of the creamed spinach? DETAILS The Beverly Wilshire Hotel, 9500 Wilshire Blvd.; 310-276-8500.
For much of the past decade, Katsuya Uechi has been the San Fernando Valley’s reigning sushi king. Now he’s launched one of the most exciting restaurants to open in Los Angeles in years. Besides searing pristine yellowtail collar, wagyu tenderloin and tender rice balls over a 1,700 Japanese-style robata grill, Uechi’s serving longtime signatures such as albacore sashimi with frizzled onions, and crispy rice topped with spicy tuna—a dish that’s been copied all over town. Designer Philippe Starck used bento boxes as inspiration for the white-on-white dining room, paneling the floors, walls and ceilings with lacquered wood; he’s also designed a Hollywood outpost, which is set to open in early summer. DETAILS 11777 San Vicente Blvd.; 310-207-8744.
A mere $30 buys one of the city’s best three-course dinners. Chef Josef Centeno (who cooked at Aubergine) prepares an internationally influenced menu, pairing items like octopus with crispy warm pork belly and turning Cream of Wheat into a divine polenta-like base for braised beef short ribs. Instead of white linen, tables are topped with chic black leather covers, and everyone wants to sit at one of the tables framed by oversize leather love seats. DETAILS 3760 Wilshire Blvd.; 213-738-1600.