Red meat rules at this beloved eatery dating to 1938. And now you can enjoy Lawry's like the football players do. (Rose Bowl-bound players have a tradition of coming here before the big game.) The "beef bowl" cut is a 24-ounce, bone-in cut of prime rib. It comes with the signature spinning bowl salad (better than any dinner show), mashed potatoes and Yorkshire pudding.
* Beef bowl cut $41. 100 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills, (310) 652-2827.
The spot-on service, central flower arrangement that is bigger than some apartments, and Christophe Bellanca's contemporary French cooking conspire for an altogether luxe experience. Not to be missed: the faux risotto starter made with tender vegetables and, we suspect, a fair amount of butter and cream. Sommelier Emmanuel Faure makes the wine selection process a joy.
* Vegetable risotto $20. 903 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, (310) 652-9770.
The do-it-yourself barbecue is delicious and fun at this, the second L.A. location for the rapidly expanding Japanese outfit. We like the many beef options and the delicate enoki mushrooms, which you cook in a foil pack. The bimbim bap, a hearty Korean rice dish, is excellent too.
* Bimbim bap $7.45. 163 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills, (310) 659-5760.
Le Petit Bistro
Straight out of the Left Bank, Le Petit Bistro is an ideal place for a first date. It oozes charm. But it's not too chi-chi. And it's affordable. But what if you need a fix of escargot or mussels midday? You're in luck. Lunch service debuted earlier this week.
* Escargot $8.50; mussels $10.50. 631 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, (310) 289-9797.
If you're a good home cook and find it hard to justify the cost of going out because you can generally do it better yourself, Sona, the restaurant equivalent of an Armani suit, is a good place to spend your money. Chef David Myers comes up with stuff that is simply beyond. Have a couple of hours (at least) to spare? The tasting menus are the way to go.
* Six-course tasting menu $89 per person. 401 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, (310) 659-7708.
-- Leslee Komaiko