dineLA’s Restaurant Week returns from January 21-February 1, 2013, featuring almost 300 restaurants in the L.A. area. Here are my top 12 picks for lunch and dinner.
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1. Caulfield’s ($25 lunch)
New chef/partner Stephen Kalt goes above and beyond at lunch and dinner, delivering an extra course in both cases. At lunch, think rabbit terrine with tomato jam, mustard and pickled onion; brined and fried chicken with Napa cabbage and jicama slaw, and frozen milk chocolate with dark chocolate pears, orange toffee, coffee caramel and blood orange.
2. The Corner Door ($25 dinner)
This Culver City newcomer features a high value dinner menu, including roasted bone marrow with apple and oregano, sea bass with celery root and caper brown butter, and spiced cheesecake with pistachio and apple.
3. Craft Los Angeles ($45 dinner)
Tom Colicchio’s West Coast restaurant goes above and beyond, including plates for the table like calamari with black garlic and Fresno chilies, assorted winter vegetables, and honey pine put bombe with spiced pear and rosemary, plus a choice of six mains, which could be Gulf white shrimp with saffron risotto or veal sausage with polenta and dates.
4. Cliff’s Edge ($35 dinner)
New executive chef Vartan Abgaryan’s freshly minted menu features the key ingredient in the lead, including charred OCTOPUS with fennel, grapefruit and smoked paprika; roasted CHICKEN with za’atar, Mantequila olives, salsify and sweet potato; and Shelly’s caramel custard.
5. Father’s Office ($25 lunch)
Sang Yoon has created a tempting menu for craft beer lovers, including small plates like salt cod brandade fritters with piquillo gastrique, Pimenton aioli and olive soil; big plates like lamb pot pie (braised neck and shoulder) with root vegetables and Irish stout; and a choice of beer (Lost Abbey Avant Garde, Firestone Walker Walkers Reserve, or Eagle Rock Revolution.
6. Fundamental LA ($15 lunch)
This seasonal Westwood salad emporium includes a choice of sandwich (pork belly banh mi, braised short rib) or salad (proper Cobb), a side (spiced quinoa), dessert and beverage, including their killer vanilla cream soda.
7. Maison Giraud ($20 lunch)
Alain Giraud goes above and beyond with three courses, including a soup au pistou or vegetable salad, pan-roasted Maine scallops or grilled beef tenderloins, or coffee crème caramel or profiteroles with chocolate sauce.
8. Next Door By Josie ($15 lunch)
Josie LeBalch delivers a choice of soup (cauliflower) or salad (quinoa) and a trio of entrees, including one of my favorite in L.A., the sloppy roast pork with fried rapini and aged Provolone.
9. Night + Market ($35 dinner)
Kris Yenbamroong recently took a trip to northern Thailand and returned with a number of new dishes at his street food inspired Sunset Strip restaurant. He’s got a rice course, including crispy rice salad with spicy sour pork (nam kao tod), Isan style duck larb with skin and innards, and a curry of wild ginger and pulverized mudfish.
10. Sotto ($20 lunch)
The menu includes grilled pork meatballs with snap peas, Pecorino, sieved egg, bitter greens; grilled mackerel sandwich or Margherita pizza. Zach Pollack and Steve Samson are even including third course, cannolo Siciliano.
11. The Standard ($35 dinner)
Micah Fields is having a moment thanks to Top Chef and he’s assembled an interesting menu at The Restaurant at The Standard, including braised beef tongue with green goddess and radishes, ahi and charred uni with citrus vinaigrette and bacon waffle with chocolate gelato sandwich.
12. Susan Feniger’s Street ($20 lunch)
Susan Feniger and Kajsa Alger have delivered four courses, including Angry Eggs (deviled eggs with green sriracha), baby beet, arugula and frisee salad, Croatian apple fritters, and a choice of either chilaquiles (spicy or vegan) or Hawaiian French toast.