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Dine LA: The Palm Downtown

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The sirloin at The Palm was red, tender and juicy -- a vegetarian's nightmare.

After a rocky start, my DineLA restaurant experience last week at The Palm Downtown had a happy ending. (Unlike my fellow LAisters who, unfortunately, didn’t.)

When The Palm was first listed on the restaurant week website, a friend noticed that they only served lunch. Fine. The best restaurants on the list probably didn’t need to entice a dinner crowd. But when we checked the original menu listed, there wasn’t a steak choice. Say whaa? There was a fish dish, a risotto and something else. Maybe chicken? Now when you go to a place like Ruth’s Chris, Morton’s or The Palm, you generally don’t go for the chicken. Hello…it’s a steak place. A red meat-eater’s dream. That was strike one.

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But the restaurant wised up and for some reason – a steak choice appeared on the menu. Perfect. We made an early reservation on Tuesday, and now nothing else could go wrong. Right? Riiight. Nothing but a little ol’ bomb scare. Yeah, strike two.

We found that a few city blocks were closed off right near Staples before our 11:30 lunch. Getting to the valet was impossible (as if navigating Downtown’s one-way streets wasn’t bad enough.). The officers wouldn’t even let pedestrians walk down certain streets, so I pretty much thought all was lost. The DineLA experience didn’t matter as much as my friend’s birthday lunch. But somewhere off Flower, we found a little alley that wasn’t yellow police-taped and made it to the restaurant at 11:57. We didn’t lose the reservation because the place was still empty. A bomb scare will do that, it seems.

But now, let’s get down to business and talk food:

The Palm offered a three-course meal for $22. The appetizer choices were a mixed green salad, a Caesar salad or a clear onion soup. We opted for the mixed green salad, which was served cold, not to heavy on the Italian dressing. I wasn’t crazy about it, but at least it was a step up above the usual wedge salads offered at steak places. (But then again, I’m biased because I think eating iceberg lettuce is a complete waste of time and energy.)