As an actor, you deal with a lot of necessary evils. Weird casting directors. Overpriced headshot photographers. Acting classes that turn into (very bad) therapy sessions. And possibly worst of all, lunch with your agent.
Even though you resent giving 10% of everything you make to Charles, he does help you get in the room, and at some point you’re going to have to go to a meal with him. Whether he’s taking you to lunch to celebrate the three zeros in his most recent commission check, or you’re thanking him for convincing a casting director you absolutely could pass for a high schooler, these are the restaurants that will get you through it.
It’s hard to eat well when you’re waiting for your big break. Get the rest of The Actor’s Guide To Eating & Drinking In LA here.
Your agent is at Spago so often that she probably splits her commission check with the people running this Beverly Hills classic. And while she keeps putting you up for roles as a dead body, at least she gets this thing right - Spago is fantastic. It feels a bit like a hotel restaurant, one with great service, excellent food (get the salmon pizza), and Lily Tomlin drinking martinis on the patio. The tables are nicely spread out through the huge space, so you’ll be able to talk about that dead body thing without anyone overhearing.
Asanebo is a strip mall sushi spot with a warm, wooden interior, and an omakase we’ve dreamt about more than once. They have unique rolls, extremely fresh fish, and a fantastic sake selection, with a high price tag to match. When your agent is taking you out to show his appreciation after you agreed to play Armie Hammer’s bare butt-double, choose this Studio City classic.
Your agent also happens to be your best friend from college, and he’s decided it’s time for a “work lunch” where you can drink a lot of wine, eat fantastic pasta, and put it all on his corporate card. Cento is open Wednesday through Saturday in a Downtown wine bar, with a small menu of really excellent pasta. It’ll be like when you first moved to LA together, except the wine isn’t coming out of a bag and the pasta isn’t Chef Boyardee.
When you want to avoid having to talk too much to your agent, this parking spot-sized spot in Hollywood is a good option. Order the endive salad and an omelette for you, a bottle of cab for your agent, and make sure you’re sitting at the bar so you can chat with the extremely friendly staff instead.
You spent the better part of the morning driving down Melrose for a three-minute audition in Beverly Hills, but now that you’re in the area, you might as well take your agent to a late lunch at Sugarfish. You probably know the drill here - good-quality fish and an efficient menu setup that gets you in and out in under an hour. Just enough time to see if your agent has made any inroads yet for that Buffy reboot you’re perfect for.
Cecconi’s is the power lunch capital of LA, so you’ll find plenty of people trying to get their commercial reps to sign them for theatrical, plus people that don’t appear to have a job but are somehow wearing $6000 suits. Despite the fact that everyone is here to be seen, the food is actually decent - get the lobster spaghetti.
It’s entirely possible that Avra was created precisely for the purpose of a meal with your agent. And they’ve certainly succeeded - Janet likes it because her office is directly above the restaurant, and also eating here signals which tax bracket she’s in. This place is showy and overpriced considering the mostly mediocre (and sometimes terrible) food, but focus on the salads and you should be OK.
The Front Yard is in a hotel in North Hollywood, but it’s not just another boring lobby restaurant. This place is a party, so it’s a great spot to bring your agent, get her drunk, and listen to her complain about everyone in the industry. The food is fine, but it’s the stories about her former clients you’re really here for.
There’s a 50-50 chance that no matter where you suggest, your agent is just going to take you to Zinque. This West Hollywood spot has everything he’s looking for: very few carbs, a fine patio, and a roomful of people hoping someone will want to sign them. Almost everyone will be eating the Le Bowl and drinking a glass of white wine, even at 12pm on a Tuesday, and pretty soon you’ll be doing both too.
Your agent wants to meet near the Beverly Hills office, so you’re pretty sure there’s a $24 salad in your future. Take control, and go eat at Nate ’N Al, because instead of overdressed greens, you’ll be eating some fantastic stuffed cabbage and matzo ball soup. This Jewish deli has been open since the ’40s, and at lunch it’s likely to be filled with agent trainees who get a lot quieter when you walk in with their boss.
The crowd at this rooftop restaurant that’s really more of a club is mostly Real Housewives husbands and their adult children. So it makes sense you’re here with your agent - he could easily pass for either. After he asks you to take some #mood photos in front of the ocean views, order the soppressata pizza or the crab gemelli - the food here is surprisingly edible.