For those of us who love to shop, finding a decent cafe inside a department store is akin to finding shoes you love on sale. Bloomingdale’s has 59th & Lex as their in store food stop. The name refers back to their original location in New York City, but the food here in the Century City location is definitely Californian (all cafe menus vary slightly according to region).
Since most of the clientele for both the restaurant and the cafe are women, the choices skew towards lighter fare like salads and wraps. The chicken wrap, with grilled chicken, chopped mixed greens, feta cheese, tomatoes, kalamata olives and red onions, dressed with lemon shallot vinaigrette, wrapped in a warm flour tortilla for $10 is a decent repast for those who want something better than food court food.
Of course most women order salads and they have a daily special along with their eight regular menu choices. All the salads are between $12-$15 and are quite large portions. This was my choice and I was happy to find it was made with fresh ingredients, but I found it boring and bland.
Since we came on a Friday, the special of the day was fish and chips for $13.75 and it seemed as if every other person ordered this, so I had to try it. The fish was great, light and freshly made, with a a beer or tempura batter, rather than fish stick bread crumbs. A squeeze of lemon really highlighted the fish and I finished it all, however, I did not eat more than one bite of my french fries because they were absolutely bland and definitely made from frozen potatoes. The coleslaw was a good enough version to warrant several bites, but the heavy mayonnaise made my stomach upset afterwards :(
Some people come here just to drink Champagne (half bottles of Veuve Clicquot for $42), but since my friends don’t drink, and I wasn’t going to splurge on restaurant champagne prices in a cafe, we ordered dessert, the lemon meringue cake. It is much too big for one person (unless it was the only thing you eat for lunch), but the moist cake and light filling was a nice way to leave with a sweet taste.
Would I make this a regular stop for lunch? No, but if I was tired and hungry after shopping until I was ready to drop at Bloomingdale’s, I might stop in for a bowl of soup or a sandwich. There are better places to eat in Century City, but sometimes convenience is priceless, especially if you are wearing high heels:)