Jiraffe, R-23, or Shiro?
I know these restaurants are worlds apart in terms of the types of cusine that they serve, but can anyone recommend one over the others? My friends and I have narrowed it down to these 3 and would like to know which one has better food.
Well, take Shiro out of the running: That place is a one-trick pony (the sizzling catfish).
But R23 and Jiraffe couldn't be more different: Surely you have some idea as to whether you might enjoy sushi downtown more or less than casual French food in Santa Monica? Anyway, quality is roughly the same.
Sorry Pepper, but I disagree about Shiro. The food at Shiro is far above the other 2 choices. Yes the Cat Fish is infamous but, the rest of the menu is truely sublime as well. The chef owns Shiro and cooks the food he believes in and has been doing so, very successfully and ever present for quite some time. Everything I have ever had there without exception has been close to perfection. Everyone I have ever brought there returns again and again. The room is weird and the crowd is NOT "fabulous" or remotely Hollywood. Shiro is about the food and excellent service. If you really appreciate the craft of cooking you must go to Shiro to experience a fully realized food experience that transforms a craft to an artform. This kind of Chef is rare and should be supported.
I absolutely agree with Sarah's comments.
I've had the signature catfish the first few times at Shiro, but the other items on the menu are even better. Shiro has some of the best and most consistent seafood in town. Everything from the shrimp dumplings or lobster salad to the snapper scallops are superb.
And, when they have the passionfruit cheesecake -- wow.
That said, on the Westside, Jiraffe is also one of my favorites - the seared foie gras when they have it is fantastic and better than most (even Shiro's). And, Jiraffe has a better wine list.
My recommendation would be if you're looking for seafood - Shiro. If instead you'd like a broader selection of meat dishes (though Shiro does make some great lamb chops), then try Jiraffe.
You're right, this is a very misguided question. They are all some of the best at what they do, but you definitely cannot compare them at all with one another. R-23 is one of the best sushi places in L.A. but is lacking in decor. Jiraffe is much more posh with great food, but it is French-Cal And shiro leans toward pan-asian and is known for their sizzling whole catfish and has many other great things on the menu. Go with which you prefer. They all do justice to their specialty but cannot be compared with one another.
I think the originator of this question stated that he knew all 3 restuarants were all very different. He simply wanted to know which one was the overall best in people's opinion. I think R-23 wins. It is amazing. The sushi is top notch and the decor is utra-cool, tasteful and minimalist, not "lacking in decor" as one person replied. I imagine this person did not really "get" the decor. Anyway, this is my pick. It's downtown which is neat. The food is so yummy. Such a cool restaurant and it leaves the yucky industry crowd in Beverly Hills where they belong! Enjoy!
This is no contest in my opinion.
R-23 is a very nice sushi bar in the loft district downtown. It's also very hard to find, so you might want to call for directions. It's a good low-key place to go if you're doing something downtown.
Shiro is a nice neighborhood restaurant in South Pasadena. Nothing more. I was astounded a few years ago when it was ranked #1 in Los Angeles in the Zagat Guide. I called a friend in Chicago who was from South Pas and told her and she was as flabbergasted as me. A nice neighborhood place, sure, but the best in LA? C'mon! It isn't a place worth driving to unless you happen to be in the neighborhood.
Jiraffe is a fantastic restaurant and in my opinion, one of the ten best (if not more) in LA. I can't say enough good things about the place.