Colette at Beverly Pavilion Hotel, 9360 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. (213) 273-1151. Style: The Franco-American food here might not leave you crying for an encore, but it does merit a bit of applause. Setting: Pastels, light woods. Recommended dishes: Menu changes every two weeks but might include gumbo; mussels and saffron soup; New York strip steak. Cost per person: $25-$45.
Julienne, 2649 Mission St., San Marino. (818) 441-2299. Style: Where San Marino matrons meet for lunch. Setting: Cheerful bistro. Recommended: Rosemary-raisin bread; chicken apricot salad. Cost per person: $12-$18.
Loretta's Szechwan and Peking Cuisine, 163 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills. (213) 659-7896. Style: A Chinese restaurant with delectable desserts. Setting: '60s steakhouse. Recommended: Spiced cabbage; braised lobster; chocolate cake. Cost per person: $12-$35.
Millie's, 3524 Sunset Blvd., Silverlake. (213) 661-5292. Style: Offbeat diner where waitress is queen. Setting: Greasy-spoon squalor. Recommended: Magic loaf; trout and eggs; chicken fried steak. Cost per person: $8-$12.
Norah's Place, 5667 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. (818) 980-6900. Style: This Argentine/Italian/Bolivian restaurant has the honor of being the quinoa capital of Southern California. Setting: Restaurant/nightclub/dance studio. Recommended: Empanada (meat pie); sopa de quinoa; lapping, marinated steak. Cost per person: $10-$20.