OK, sometimes you just want a place with no hassles: honored reservations, consistently competent service, well spaced tables, chairs with arms, reasonable noise level and lighting. The food/presentation doesn't have to be cutting edge or unique and it doesn't have to be a great bargain but it does have to be consistent. A place where you can shed the stresses of a normal LA day (bars don't count).
High expectations can ruin any restaurant visit, but what about reasonable expectations that are never disappointed?
New York, Chicago, and SF have several such places, but I don't think this type of place exists here outside of private clubs.