With so many amazing restaurants across this sprawled-out city, it can be tough to find just the right dining experience at just the right location. It can be even more of a challenge when looking for a multi-course meal created by an artistic chef who shows a progression and sources only the freshest, in-season ingredients. Here are 20 of the most impressive tasting menus, omakase and kaiseki meals in Los Angeles. Please proceed with caution; reading this will cause you to become hungry.
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Numbered establishments on the map correspond to information below for easy reference. Establishments also appear in alphabetical order instead of in order of preference.
1. Alma [CLOSED]
Number of Courses: 2 options; one for five courses and a longer tasting menu
Cost: $65 for five, and $110 for the longer menu
Representative Dishes: Chef Ari Taymor’s new options went into effect on November 29, so we’ll have to wait and see about standout dishes.
Summary: Alma, Bon Appetit’s Best New Restaurant in America for 2013, located in downtown’s Fashion District, implemented a prix-fixe only option where they’ll highlight produce from their very own Venice garden. There are also beverage pairings. This place is so popular, you’ll have to make a reservation weeks in advance.
2. Allumette [CLOSED]
(Photo courtesy of Allumette)
Number of Courses: five: four savory + one sweet; there’s also a five-course vegetarian menu (advance reservation required for veg option)
Cost: Varies depending on what is being served. Usually, it’s $55-$65 and the alcohol pairing is $40; vegetarian menu runs $55-65 depending on the night.
Representative Dish: crab custard; however, the menu is seasonal, so always expect deliciously fresh food
Summary: Allumette, located in Echo Park, draws heavily on sustainable, local and organic food. It’s the product of Chef Miles Thompson and owners Charles Kelly and Bill DiDonna. Please note that the entire party must partake in the tasting menu.
Number of Courses: seven (including cheese and dessert)
Cost: $125 a person + $65 a person for wine pairings
Representative Dishes: duck sausage with apple and Brussels sprouts + Wagyu ribeye with sunchoke and Tuscan kale
Summary: Tom Colicchio’s Craft has such a refined wait staff, impeccable attention to detail, beautiful plating, and phenomenally prepared food that eating at this Century City outpost always feels like a treat. The menu gives a nod to each of the farms that supply their produce, so diners always know the source of their food.
Number of Courses: three savory courses + one sweet
Cost: $35 with an additional $15 wine pairing
Representative Dishes: carrot risotto + striped bass
Summary: This sleek restaurant is so fundamentally a product of its city. Here, you’ll find communal dining tables, natural wines, and a seasonally-inspired menu expertly conceived and executed by Woogene Lee and Jeff Faust. Come here for an amazing dinner in a relaxing environment.
5. Hatfield’s [CLOSED]
Number of Courses: seven-course Chef’s spontaneous tasting menu; four-course seasonal prix fixe; four-course vegetarian
Cost: $98 for tasting menu, $67 for prix fixe, $56 for vegetarian
Representative Dishes: croque madame + scallops
Summary: One of Bon Appetit’s Best New Restaurants in 2010 has been one of L.A.’s shining stars. The owners are a husband and wife team, with Karen Hatfield as the pastry chef and Quinn Hatfield as executive chef. Hatfield’s helps anchor a hot stretch in Hollywood and should be on your list of places to eat at in LA.