Friday, January 9, 2009

dineLA Restaurant Week 2009

Ah, it's that magical time of year again--two weeks of prix fixe meals at some of LA's best restaurants. This year, the two weeks will be broken up into January 25th-30th, February 1st-6th. Here's the full list of participating places. So rather than have one set price, dineLA pulled an iTunes and is offering meals divided into three price tiers.
($)Deluxe Dining:$16
($$)Premier Dining:$22
($$$)Fine Dining:$28
($)Deluxe Dining:$26
($$)Premier Dining:$34
($$$)Fine Dining:$44
As you'd imagine, most places are "fine dining," which makes me question that category altogether. Here are some places that piqued my interest:
My picks...

Asia de Cuba ($$)
I wouldn't come here again so soon, but my last visit was rather pleasant. I've had the Alaska miso-cured butterfish that's on the menu this time and I'd easily recommend it. The venue is cozy and the prices are high, so now would be a good time to take advantage of the deal.

Beacon ($)
Besides the fact this is billed as a "fusion" restaurant, I've heard good things about the owners. It might be worth checking out for the lower end.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. ($)
Haha, no.

Chinois on Main ($$$)
I've been meaning to check out Wolfgang Puck's Asian side for awhile. However, they are only offering lunch for Restaurant Week.

Citrus at Social ($$)
From the pictures I've seen, Citrus is a beautiful restaurant. HC seemed to enjoy his trip with a similar menu.

Comme Ca ($$$)
It seems like this place will never cool down.

Gordon Ramsay at the London West Hollywood ($$$)
I was surprised to see Chef Ramsay making an appearance on this list. You would think he'd be above it all. But this might be a good chance to sample some of his dishes for a tighter budget.

Grace ($$$)
I've yet to try Neal Fraser's restaurants, neither Grace nor BLD. Yet, I doubt it would be a crying shame if I left LA without going to either of them.

La Cachette ($$$)
This has been on my try list for some time ever since I noticed it on LA Mag's top 75. It's convenient for me, and given my busy season schedule I don't think I'll be able to go far. So I've made a late Friday reservation here. Will definitely get an additional order of their famous foie gras.

Simon LA ($$)
I've wanted to try Kerry Simon's restaurant across from the Beverly center for some time, but it seems that no one ever wants to go with me. Their desserts are supposedly hardcore comfort food. Although that doesn't seem to be the case with this Restaurant Week menu.

The Bazaar by Jose Andres ($$$)
Usually I like to avoid the overhyped restaurants, but Kevin's dual posts have convinced me to rethink Chef Andres. He just seems like a cool guy. Hopefully his food is as good as his personality.

Water Grill ($$$)
Some bloggers seem to be going here. I like David LeFevre, but I'm not quite feeling Water Grill this time around.

Wolfgang's Steakhouse ($$)
Having been to CUT, there's a part of my palate that yearns to taste the Wolfgangs battle it out in beef. I'm also curious how much filet mignon you can get for $34. I expected a strip steak instead. However, if I did end up here, I'd have to try mighty hard to eschew those lamb chops.

Xiomara on Melrose ($$)
I want to say Xiomara, but the menu doesn't seem fun enough for me.

So here's my list. I'll try to make 3-4 of them this year after only going to Cobras and Matadors last Restaurant Week. Remember to request the Restaurant Week menu when you get to these places.

Let me know where you think you'll end up. Comment if you have some suggestions for me, or if you think these picks are just way off the mark.



Anonymous said...

I ate at Gordon Ramsay at the London for lunch and it was only $29.95 for three courses (and $80 in NYC a week earlier) - not that expensive for such quality. I wonder if it is a special menu?

Anonymous said...

The CEC directors are thinking of doing a dinner during restaurant week. I suggested Beacon and Citrus from your list, as well as Chakra and Taste on Melrose.

Aaron said...

David: I've heard that the lunch is affordable. Also, the afternoon tea is reasonable too. I believe the menu is listed on the dineLA website

H. C. said...

Yep, most, but not all, the participating restaurants posted their menus on the DineLA site, though from previous experiences some restos will pull a last-minute switch-a-roo so it's always best to call and check/confirm the menu the day of.

Xiomara's menu didn't really wow me either, which is a pity since it's a restaurant I had fond memories of (when it had an outpost in Pasadena) but isn't convincing enough for me to trek out to the mid-City area.

Hope you like Beacon, I had a decent DineLA meal there last year.