Here are things that people do during a recession: save their money, eat at home, NOT go out to expensive dinners. Here are things people like me do: ignore the recession, buy new boots, eat dinner at Osteria Mozza, the famed Batali restaurant (an offshoot of the next door Mozza Pizzeria).
My friend and I visited there last week, despite their reputation for a month long wait for reservations. Apparently the recession has hit Batali's business as well, as we waited only 20 minutes for a table. Each of us ordered the Pomodoro Gnocchi. Let me translate this for those of you who might visit as well: child's size portion. Now, I understand that nicer restaurants focus on the quality and presentation of their food over heaping portions. But in economic times like these, I prefer the increased portion sizes of chain outlets like Pizza Hut--currently touting their Panormous pie, the 'BIGGEST pan pizza ever' to servings that should come with a microscope. Lesson learned, I'll take processed cheese over fresh burrata until my 401 k comes back to life.
Speaking of eating on a budget, I recently read about Nobu West Hollywood's 'Recovery Menu.' Though I'm not a seafood eater, I thought I'd share what sounds like a decent deal with you.
Score Nobu staples inlcuding rock shrimp tempura and the miso cod at a [relatively] decent price (most items are under 10 bucks), along with [relatively] reduced-price cocktails.
As for me, I'll be sticking with rice and beans for the next month or so. May I recommend my favorite: Zatarain's Red Beans and Rice. It may not be 5 star, but it's less than 5 dollars.