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FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Low Decibels and High Expectations

March 20, 1987|RUTH REICHL

It's hard to believe this massive glass structure, with its soaring plant-filled atrium, is not a hotel. But no, this is the new Filmland Corporate Center, and those aren't bedrooms up there but offices, screening rooms and executive suites. And right down here in the lobby is a sort of supercafeteria called Dailies (offering everything from deli dishes to pizza, pasta and egg rolls), and the super-deluxe Le Montage (10000 Washington Blvd., Culver City, (213) 280-1201).

Le Montage sure feels like a hotel restaurant. The atmosphere is hushed and pretty and the waiters eagerly offer their services ("are you OK?" ours kept asking), while they roll up carts filled with pastries and liqueurs.

The food is sort of California-Continental. We began with a salad of smoked scallops and mussels in a lime ginger sauce (a dish that didn't work) and sweetbread ravioli with capers and port sauce (to my surprise, this one did). Then I had loin of veal stuffed with goat cheese with rosemary and my guest had grilled lamb chops with roasted garlic. They aren't giving this food away--dinner entrees average about $23, appetizers about $8--but it is certainly pleasant to find such a quiet new restaurant.

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