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TASTING MENU for Bday

We have been doing the TM's (w/pairings - of course!) around town for our birthdays... Dad's was at Spago, Hubby's at Providence and now me...
SONA? Opus? Melisse? what to choose?
My favorite so far was up North at Cyrus in Healdsburg - but both Spago and Providence were exceptional... I was all set on Sona until I started reading a lot of negs recently and am concerned it may be too incosistent...fellow foodies - what do you think? There will be 6 of us and we all LOVE great food and wine.

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  1. I'm saving up for Sona, myself. People seem to like OPus and Grace, though.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Diana

      Had a wonderful tasting menu birthday celebration there last year. I wouldn't hesitate to go back.

      1. re: CynD

        at Sona? Have you eaten any of the others? (Spago,Providence, etc.?) How did Sona compare? It seems the restauarant was getting many more raves last year than rceently...

    2. Well, I know that a lot of people on the board don't like Sona much, but my tasting menu experience there was incredible. We went with the 9 course menu and I got the wine pairing. For almost all the courses we both got a different dish (except for the Fois Gras course!). Not every dish was the best thing I've ever tasted, but it was all very good and added up to a great evening!

      1 Reply
      1. re: CoffeeMonkee

        ^ ditto. I well and truly preferred the TM at Sona over Providence, esp the paired wines, which were outstanding.

      2. If not Melisse then how about La Cachette if you want to the do the French thing.

        Sona is a dangerous place to recommend because it is SO polarizing. Some people will love it; others will simply gack at the mere mention of its name. If you merely take Sona for what it is (e.g. a nouveau, cutting-edge place that oftentimes tries very hard to be different), then you might enjoy the meal. That said, regardless of what you think of the actual food, I consider Sona to be one of the more overpriced places in LA.

        1. Never said not Melisse - definitely a contender... Overpriced relative to quality?? I didn't think Sona was more costly than Spago or Providence - is it?

          2 Replies
          1. re: truefoodie

            Yes, in terms of both quantity and quality, I think Sona is overpriced vis-a-vis places like Spago and Providence.

          2. To be filed under Food-For-Thought - Well here's one more that I almost hesitate to suggest, as I did theirs 4 years ago and wasn't trilled with the food, but they apparently have a new chef and of course the best wine cellar in L.A. at:

            Valentino's - Santa Monica
            http://www.welovewine.com/valentino_s...

            Maybe someone has tried theirs recently and can chime in with a thumbs-up?!?!

            1 Reply
            1. re: JBC

              We had an excellent tasting menu at Valentino for a recent birthday dinner. If you get there a little early, say 6:30, you pretty much get unfettered attention from Piero. We don't go there often enough to get it when they're busy.

              He's a great host, and the food was wonderful. If you do a search, you can find my previous post which goes into detail about it.