Food Fight Of The Century

Creative Artists Agency and ICM are going head-to-head in Los Angeles, fighting over territory to claim dominance.

The property at stake is the Westfield mall, where agents are fighting for tables at the local food court. CAA moved into its new Century City headquarters in January and ICM came soon after, making the food court common ground.

A recent Los Angeles Times report detailed the phenomenon that’s found agency giants jostling not only with each other, but soccer moms and mall rats as well for lunchtime seats.

But even if they’re able to find a spot, the food court doesn’t necessarily scream power lunch to certain agents.

"You can’t really talk business because you’ve got CAA right there. And they’ve got us," an anonymous ICM agent told the paper. "I’ve heard people at CAA having their conversations – you can hear everything."

Other professionals and power shoppers who frequent the court apparently have to deal with the same problems.

"When I come with a group, we usually post one person to find a seat," lawyer Susan Amsden told the paper.

And while there are a handful of restaurants at the mall, none of them quite compare to the schmooze-worthy Grill, Mr. Chow, Ago or Morton’s, the Times said, where agents were shielded from the likes of the mall crowd.

Century City is set to get an offshoot of the popular New York restaurant Craft, but in the meantime agents must book tables aggressively or head back to their old stomping grounds in Beverly Hills.

Michael Goddard, maitre d’ and manager for The Grill, told the Times the restaurant considered starting a shuttle service to and from Century City when the agencies moved, but hasn’t lost any clientele so far.

"We still have more agents than tables," he said. "I talked about it with [CAA agent] Fred Spector and said, ‘If you have any problems, let us know how we can help you out.’"