LA Examiner - March 2012

"Meat" me at the Palm for the best burger in Los Angeles

By Patti Pietschmann

Beefing it up at the Palm with Cedric and the crowd....

There we were, on a typical Friday, sitting in our favorite booth (No. 7) at The Palm in West Hollywood where your LA Travel Diva Examiner was sipping a glass of Mendocino Pinot Noir while beloved husband Richard nursed a perfect up Sapphire martini slightly "wet" with two drops of vermouth added to the ambrosial gin. He could have floated a small model boat in there, he noted happily. Amiable general manager Cedric Castro was making rounds of the room, stopping to chat with regulars.

“How’s business,” Richard asked? “Great,” Cedric replied, wearing his usual winning smile. As we talked we noticed a tourist bus stopped in front the landmark restaurant. It was one of those TMZ celebrity tour jitneys that take out of town visitors (sometimes even locals) on star hunts and haunts around the city. “What’s that about,” we asked. “They come by all the time,” Cedric said with a shrug. “Saturday they were outside waiting to see the guests for the Oscar party (hosted by Palm owner Bruce Bozzi) for the likes of Scarlett Johansson and George Clooney. “George Clooney,” I gasped, fanning myself and reaching for my wine glass. "He's a regular guy," Cedric said. Judging by his dates, not that regular, I thought to myself.

The Palm has branches throughout the country and is as well known for its celebrity clientele--particularly in Los Angeles and New York--as it is for prime beef, gigantic Atlantic lobsters and upscale take on Italian favorites.

Today we were into burgers and the big 12 ounce baby didn’t let us down. For $14.50 it's the best burger in L.A. ounce for dollar; besides, the Palm is great about letting you substitute for the heap of french fries that usually come with it. I asked for asparagus instead, and Swiss cheese instead of cheddar. No problem.

We often go for the Businessman's Lunch for our frequent Friday lunch ditch sessions—a trencherman three course meal that comes with a starter, main, side orders of potatoes and onion rings or vegetables, and luscious dessert for $24.95. Today we just felt like burgers, one of the best bargains in town.

Whether you’re craving a big juicy steak, burger, lobster or some mighty fine fish, it's easy to find at the Palm. And if you hurry and go by the end of March, you can take advantage of a special prix fixe dinner menu that includes a choice of starters such as Caesars Salad (did I mention it’s also the best in town?), Lobster Bisque, Mixed Green Salad or Wild Mushroom Ravioli. For the second course you have the option of a 9 ounce Filet Mignon with cognac lobster cream sauce, Tamarind Glazed Sea Scallops, or Wasabi and Panko Crusted Jumbo Shrimp. Plus you get a side dish of your choice. Strangely enough it doesn't include dessert. But if you have room, order the cheese cake--it's also the best on the west coast.

The Palm, 9001 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood, www.thepalm.com, 310-550-8811. There’s also a Palm downtown L.A. (213-763-4600).

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