Despite hard economic times The Downtown Palm rarely lacks a crowd, due to its proximity to Staples Center and the Nokia Center, two of L.A.'s biggest sports and entertainment complexes. When The Downtown Palm was built six years ago, Staples had just been erected, as well, and they weren't sure the restaurant would be successful. Today, with the area in continual development, the place is hopping from 5pm till closing. In fact, on a busy night, the din is palpable from the moment you open the door. For those who prefer a less hectic experience may I suggest an 8pm reservation, when most everyone has left for Staples or Nokia.
The walls at The L.A. Palm, like the original in Manhattan, are covered from ceiling to floor with celebrity caricatures....some original, others reproductions. It all started back in New York when the original owners didn't have enough money to decorate. Instead of singing for their supper, the local newspapermen would draw a cartoon in exchange for a plate of spaghetti. Today you'll see the images of actors, writers, musicians and politicians who frequent the Palm up on the walls. And the name “Palm?” The owners say when their grandfathers originally went down to get a business license they wanted to name it Parma, after the region of Italy from where they migrated, but the way they pronounced it, it translated into “Palm.” And it stuck.
While The Palm has a variety of dishes from fish and chicken to pasta, the best bets are the steaks and lobster. And if you make it over there this summer you can take advantage of their annual Palm Summer Lobster Dinner for Two for $95. It includes a 4-pound Nova Scotia lobster (a size you don't see often on the West Coast), two salads ( a mixed green or Caesar) and one potato or vegetable dish. The lobsters here are the best, broiled to perfection and served with drawn butter. Warning: don't wear anything you need to have dry cleaned, because cracking those claws is a pretty messy affair!
The Palm's most popular steak is the 20-ounce New York Strip, an aged USDA prime cut ($48).
But my favorite is the 24-ounce Bone-In Rib-Eye, also prime, for $45. The steaks and chops are cooked to your specification and served with a choice of sauces: Brandy Peppercorn, Balsamic Tarragon Demi-Glace or Classic Bordelaise.
Everything on the menu is a la carte, but you have to have at least one side dish with your meal. They're scrumptious. There are lots from which to choose, but may I recommend the Creamed Spinach ($9), Asparagus Fritti, lightly breaded and deep fried ($10), or the Three Cheese Potatoes with a blend of gouda, white cheddar and parmesan ($9). The side portions are large enough for two.
Desserts, if you have room, are presented on a tray and include homemade Tiramisu, Key Lime Pie and Crème Brulee. The other selections are Carrot Cake, a 6-Layer Chocolate Cake and Mother's Cheesecake, one of New York's finest imports! The portions are huge, and like the side dishes, are ideal to share. I'm planning on coming back just for dessert one evening: sit in the lounge, savor one of the pastries and watch baseball on TV. Just thinking about it gets me salivating!
1100 South Flower Street
L.A. CA 90015
Lunch Monday-Friday 11:30am-3pm
Dinner Monday-Thursday 3pm-10pm
Friday and Saturday 3pm-11pm