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Best tasting menu under $100 per person

My girlfriend's birthday present to me is a tasting menu experience in LA, but her budget is $200 for us as a couple (food only). I want at least 5 courses. Are there any suggestions?

My only tasting menu experiences are at Charles Nob Hill and Le Poisson Japonais in Northern California, and (if you look at the size of their portions you would agree with me) at Yong Su San in K-Town Los Angeles. All have been great experiences.

Thank you in advance for your suggestions.

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  1. The 5 course tasting menu at Providence is $85/person. My girlfriend and I had the vegetarian version last weekend and both enjoyed it very much; I've heard at least as good reviews about the meaty/fishy version.

    4 Replies
    1. re: nick_r

      I had the fish version a few weeks ago. Decor is great, service is great. Food was visually beautiful, but somehow was not as moving as a degustation should be.

      1. re: nick_r

        nick r - can you give more info about the vegetarian testing menu at Providence? I have friends who have been wanting to go to Providence but hesitant because of lack of veggie options. Or have I missed a report you wrote on it on another thread?


        1. re: ks in la

          I never got around to writing it up officially, but I did the five-course a few weeks ago. Yes, they do have a vegetarian tasting menu as an alternative to the regular tasting menu -- it's not written on the menu, but they'll do one on command and you don't even have to call ahead. (This is for the five-course tasting; I'm not sure if you'd need to give advance notice if you wanted to do it for the full tasting or the chef's menu.)

          I really enjoyed it; there was a great mix of interesting veggie dishes, and while it was definitely low on protein (no tofu, tempeh, or cheese) we didn't leave hungry by any means. With the wine pairings it was an outstanding meal and I highly recommend it.

          1. re: nick_r

            Thanks! That's very encouraging news (and may mean I get a return trip to Providence sooner than I thought...).

      2. Opus
        Jer-Ne at the Ritz
        Maison Akira
        Joe's and Hatfield's still have em right?
        Il Grano

        2 Replies
        1. re: Emme

          Opus no longer offer tasting menu - we went there two days ago and was told that chef is busy working on a new, Oaxaca inspired menu.

          1. re: keepon

            What a let down! I LOVED the tasting menu.

        2. Cafe Pinot in downtown has a wonderful 5 course tasting menu which runs between $75 and $85 last time I had it.

          1. melisse $95

            valentino $85
            from website, i remember to be higher

            angelini osteria $85
            off menu, must request

            osteria mozza <$100
            create own tasting menu by splitting dishes. kitchen is very accomodating with this and most items are easily shareable, especially if dining at mozza bar.

            2 Replies
            1. re: zack

              Is the menu at the Nancy Bar the same as the entire establishment?

              1. re: Diana

                Yes, you get the full menu at the Nancy Bar (and the regular bar) at Osteria Mozza.

            2. The 5-course tasting at Bin 8945 is $78. A seven course tasting is $88. 10-course tasting is only $105. (This is without the paired wine.)

              Bin 8945
              8945 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

              1 Reply
              1. re: SauceSupreme

                i certainly LOVE this place and didn't think to add it because of the cost w/ wine pairing.

              2. Get a $200 banquet table at Ocean Star.

                It's 10 courses for 10 people. The 2 of you can go to town.

                After dinner follow-up with a post on the Home Cooking board on how to make creative dishes from leftover Chinese.

                4 Replies
                1. re: ipsedixit

                  does anyone know if the tasting menu at the bar is still discounted? i remember reading that it was, then i just called them and she said she didnt think so, but didn't sound too sure...

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Please tell us more about this banquet. I have BIG birthday coming up and this might be just the thing.

                    1. re: ellink

                      Chinese / Hong Kong type banquet restaurants (e.g. 888, Ocean Star, Sea Harbour, etc.) have set banquet menus, ranging anywhere from 200/table to 800+/table. Each table seats 10 people.

                      Regardless of the price, you will get 10 courses, including a dessert item.

                      The items that you will get for the 10 courses vary with the price. The higher the price the more seafood items (e.g. lobster, geoduck, crab, fish, etc.) and less of the pedestrian dishes (e.g. fried rice, etc.).

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Chinese banquet set menus are an incredible bargain for what you get and are a little-shared secret for non-Chinese. You will have to put up with limited English skills, but the food will usually blow you away if you are not used to this type of dinner.

                  2. K-ZO
                    has an amazing tasting menu and the price can't be beat..$48
                    I like to sit at the bar and enjoy a sake flight with my meal...yum.
                    The wine list is lovely.
                    The service is wonderfully pleasant.
                    The place is not stuffy.
                    The place is pretty and relaxed but the food is fresh, high quality, beautiful, I'd go as far as saying that each dish is elegant.
                    Can't wait till Thursday when I'll be there again.

                    1. If Omakase counts -- I'd throw in Azami Sushi. Starts at $40/pp (you can set the limit beforehand) -- you'd get really good stuff from the chefs @ that place.


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: AquaW

                        wonder how Bastide's tasting menu compares? feedback anyone?

                      2. Gonpachi has a $58 tasting menu....beautiful presentation and very delicious food!

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: fdb

                          Thanks for the posts. I am Japanese-American, so I eat sashimi a lot, and I go to Chinese banquets many times as well. I'm allergic to shellfish, so I don't get to eat many dishes in the Chinese banquet. Looking for something different. Was wondering if anyone has gone to any of the Bistros in Pasadena. How are the tasting menus there? The only one I've been to is Firefly Bistro. Love the food, but there is no tasting menu, to my knowledge.

                          1. re: nomo_fan

                            in South Pasadena is incredible, Japanese-French cuisine, and they will be happy to creat a tasting menu for your group. Call and ask to speak with Sheryl, and see waht she can arrange for you...mention the "shellfish issue" too so there is a "heads up" to the chef.
                            They have plenty of shelfish-less options on the menu and I've nver had a bad meal there.

                            1. re: nomo_fan

                              Firefly Bistro is having a 5 Course Wine Dinner for $75 per person on Nov. 7th.

                              1. re: dette

                                Thanks, Have been to Firefly Bistro and loved it.
                                Have been to Shiro with all of my Okinawan relatives and did not like it at all.
                                Also, went to Shiro's Sawtelle restaurant and didn't like it either.
                                For my birthday, we ended up going to Dal Rae and having a good but not great meal.
                                We are going to have our next dinner at Coccole Laboratorio del Gusto. Hoping for a wow experience there.

                          2. For something different, I would second the recommendation for the tasting menu at Tagine. I had my birthday party there earlier this year, and it was really good. 7-8 courses, priced around $42 per person. The menu changes seasonally, but here's a link to Perceptor's photo report from last year for an idea of the menu:


                            Tagine's webpage: