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The Best but Least Expensive Tasting Menu?

JAB Oct 31, 2006 01:50 PM

Are there any hidden gems out there?

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    AquaW RE: JAB Oct 31, 2006 03:01 PM

    If you don't mind putting yourself at the mercy of culinary school students, the 561 Restaurant's 8-course lunch is a steal for $35 on Thurs. & Fri. ( http://la-oc-foodie.blogspot.com/2006... , my review of their tasting menu dinner recently.) Not all the dishes are going to be a hit, but they're all generally good.

    That aside, I also enjoyed Opus' spontaneous 3-course spontaneous tasting for $30 (which usually turns out to have a few extra amuses from the chef.



    5 Replies
    1. re: AquaW
      JAB RE: AquaW Oct 31, 2006 03:42 PM

      Thanks for the reminding me about 561. It appears that the prices change each week. Last weeks dinner price was $100 with lunch at $54. For $40 more, you can do Providence at $140. How much is Spago generally?

      1. re: JAB
        JBC RE: JAB Oct 31, 2006 04:29 PM

        Spago - 8 courses for $120; with wine parings $180.

        1. re: JAB
          AquaW RE: JAB Nov 2, 2006 04:28 PM

          Actually that week was a special event too (they co-partnered with a winery for those meals, so the $54/$100 was a wine-inclusive tasting menu) ~ I was surprised by the price jump so was checking their site.

          But yes, on regular weeks their menu shouldn't be much more than $35 for lunch & $65 for dinner.


          1. re: AquaW
            JAB RE: AquaW Nov 2, 2006 04:30 PM

            Thanks, they don't appear to be having anything this week.?

            1. re: JAB
              AquaW RE: JAB Nov 3, 2006 06:54 AM

              their tasting menu Webbie is partially up (only dinner menu is available) ~ but I notice their Web information lags -- so call them on Wed./Thurs. to check. (they usually serving the tastings on Thurs/Fri for lunch & dinner)


      2. Grog RE: JAB Oct 31, 2006 05:00 PM

        Bistro K has 5 courses for $55 and corkage is free. Highly recommended.

        1. Grog RE: JAB Oct 31, 2006 05:00 PM

          Bistro K has 5 courses for $55 and corkage is free. Highly recommended.

          1. notmartha RE: JAB Oct 31, 2006 08:22 PM

            Lunch omakase at Abe's BlueFin at Newport beach is only $30 and it's very beautifully presented and tasty to boot. I think it's like 5 courses.

            1. JAB RE: JAB Oct 31, 2006 08:25 PM

              How much is it for dinner?

              1. k
                kedar5150 RE: JAB Oct 31, 2006 10:14 PM

                I would recommend Jiraffe. Monday nights, around $35 per person. We've been there twice, and loved it each time.

                1. c
                  carter RE: JAB Oct 31, 2006 11:51 PM

                  Tagine on Robertson just north of Wilshire in Beverly Hills for fabulous Moroccan food. $38 for 7 courses plus wines with a decent list available, pinot noir being my choice with this food.
                  Was there Saturday night, and had a great meal.
                  www.taginecuisine.com will help a bit, although no menu provided.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: carter
                    LoveCulverCity RE: carter Nov 2, 2006 04:49 PM

                    I fervently second the Tagine rec. Love it and the Tasting menu is gotten more sophisticated in the past 3 months.

                  2. w
                    woojink RE: JAB Nov 1, 2006 12:03 AM

                    OK... I'll be the first... Try Opus - 3 course for $30, 6 course for $60, 9 course for $90... generally you get about 2 extra courses or tastes with each menu. Food is really great.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: woojink
                      globalgourmet RE: woojink Nov 1, 2006 01:20 AM

                      Not only that, but Tagine has brochures just inside the door offering 20% off their tasting menu on Tues-Thurs--a real steal!

                      1. re: woojink
                        z man RE: woojink Nov 2, 2006 05:03 PM

                        Can I ask, woojink, why did you like your 3-course spontaneous menu?

                        I went on Monday and found that $30 meal to be very average. I did appreciate the amuse bousch but they were both very similar (two kind of custard things that weren't very good). The first course was a yellow fin tuna sashimi with a lemon oil drizzle and olive tapenade. While the fish was fresh there was not enough of the drizzle and olive overpowered the fish. Unsuccessful dish. The second course was a lobster and pumpkin cream of wheat. The lobster was over-cooked and chewy and the pumpkin cream of wheat was too sweet and was not a nice counterpoint to the overcooked lobster. The last dish was decent. It was a guinea hen leg with sweetbreads and autumn vegetables. The tastes were good but the plating was very mish-mash.

                        Overall I expected much more from this place based on all of the glowing reviews but I won't be going back. Just another over-hyped L.A. restuarant in my opinion.

                        1. re: z man
                          woojink RE: z man Nov 3, 2006 12:21 AM

                          I've never had the 3 course there. Actually was there last night for the 6 course, which is really an 8 course, and food was again terrific. Some memorable items include the braised pork shoulder with veal hangar steak - amazing. Braised short ribs with Monterey bay abalone - WOW. Tempura fried bone marrow with guinea hen - should not be legal, it was so rich. Creamy salt cod soup with diver scallop, grapes and apples - great sweet, creamy, velvety, firm, tart flavor and texture combo. Lots of good stuff.

                          IMO, chef Josef does a lot of inventive combinations, most of them turn out great, but when you try to do new stuff all the time some stuff won't work... sometimes you have to risk losing in order to win. Really like the food there.

                          Oh, and had a new amuse - a ravioli made with some type of liquified tamale and foie gras torchon - wow.

                          1. re: woojink
                            kevin RE: woojink Nov 3, 2006 04:11 AM

                            you're tasting menu, does sound good esp, the liquiefied foie gras torchon ravioli and the fried bone marrow. sounds greated, i just wish i could order it off the regular menu. since of late i haven't been having much luck with tasting menus.

                      2. Eat_Nopal RE: JAB Nov 2, 2006 05:09 PM


                        Best & Cheap

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Eat_Nopal
                          AquaW RE: Eat_Nopal Nov 3, 2006 06:58 AM

                          I also like Josie's Farmer Market prix-fixe - but Wed. dinner only and only limited quantities.

                          Jiraffe's does something similar on Mondays & Violet and Lucques on Sundays.


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                          AquaW RE: JAB Nov 3, 2006 07:00 AM

                          Also, for reference for next September, Pellegrino teams up with a lot of different restaurants in L.A. to do 3-course prix-fixe lunches & dinners for $20 & $35, respectively. Almost everything I've tried thus far in that is good, but nothing that's really WOW! (save for Norman's - which unfortunately is closing soon).


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                            applebob RE: JAB Nov 3, 2006 02:50 PM

                            2117 located at 2117 Sawtelle. Hands down the most impressive value around. Wild game, Fois Gras, etc. An amuse, three courses, AND desert. $35.

                            1. JAB RE: JAB Nov 4, 2006 06:24 AM

                              We went to 561 this evening and the food was definately hit or miss but, the service was outstanding. They couldn't have been more accomodating.

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