The hotel staff was wonderful. Even though we arrived at the hotel early in the morning (10 AM), they had our room ready and let us go ahead and check in. There is a free shuttle bus that will take you from the hotel to Universal Studios or the light rail station. The light rail station is walkable from the hotel (maybe a little more than half a mile). Universal Studios is walkable also, but there is a very steep uphill hike to get to the actual entrance to the park. I believe there is a free tram run by Universal that will take you up the hill, but we typically just did the hotel shuttle bus.
We ate in the hotel restaurant once; it was OK. Decent food, a little on the expensive side. There is a grocery store about 1/3 mile from the hotel (very walkable) with an excellent salad bar and deli area. We got salads, hot soups, wine, etc. to take back to our room most nights. There is also a sandwich place, a Jamba Juice, and several other fast-food type restaurants near by. For finer cuisine, just take the shuttle up to Universal Citywalk - they have any type of restaurant you can imagine.
If you want to do the Hollywood-tourist thing, I highly recommend getting a light rail pass and taking the Red Line to the Chinese theater/Hollywood Mall/Walk of Fame, etc. Much cheaper than getting a cab or paying for parking.