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Michael Mina's XIV - Full Gamut Report

Perceptor Dec 15, 2008 02:55 PM

What an amazing dining experience my wife and I had last thursday...... as my wife and I were going over their 35 item menu and trying to choose which ones to order, I noticed the $250 "Gamut" option... thinking that it was a per person cost, i overlooked that option... i asked our waitress what is the $250 Gamut option... she then told us it was eating all 35 items on the menu for $250 TOTAL for the both of us... i then yelled.. "bring it on"... after i ordered it, we were very excited that we will get to taste all 35 items on the menu but were scared because we didnt wear stretchy pants :-) My picture link below will take you through our 4 hour journey....

To summarize our experience at XIV:
All 36 items (we had 1 extra for the birthday girl) were perfectly executed..
Cheese plates are levels beyond any other restaurants
Desserts are from outer space... so creative and delicious
The most food passionate wait staff we have EVER experienced... they are all foodies and their excitement of the food really shows

We did it. My wife and I finished every single dish with no leftover on any of the 36 courses. We are insane. It was one of most memorable dining experience ever. I can finally say "I ate the entire menu!!!"

Here is our 36 course 4 Hour Journey:

ps - thank you Kevin H for your awesome report in October...

- Perceptor

  1. j
    jkao1817 Dec 15, 2008 02:58 PM

    Wow what a pictorial/report! As always. My gout is flairing up just looking at the pictures. :o)

    So where are some places you go when you just feel like something light?

    1 Reply
    1. re: jkao1817
      Perceptor Dec 15, 2008 03:01 PM

      haha jkao1817.... something light = stay home

    2. JAB Dec 15, 2008 03:02 PM

      This place has me so confused. You both shared a plate of each course or you were both served your own plate of each course?

      2 Replies
      1. re: JAB
        Perceptor Dec 15, 2008 03:08 PM

        the gamut option = we shared each course..
        any other options would = own plate of each course...
        yes we were very confused as well before the gamut option was considered

        1. re: Perceptor
          JAB Dec 15, 2008 03:12 PM

          Well then, the gauntlet has been thrown down for the Gamut. Thank you and happy belated to your wife.

      2. Ruth Lafler Dec 15, 2008 03:29 PM

        Fabulous, Perceptor! Everything looked delicious and interesting without seeming like experimentation for experimentation's sake.

        1. BombayUpWithaTwist Dec 15, 2008 06:16 PM

          Thanks for the great report...I've missed your posts Perceptor!

          We will be going tomorrow night for my husband's b-day, unfortunately, some of our guests are picky eaters and I'm afraid I won't be able to try a lot of the food because of them. ie. no shellfish, no raw fish, probably no foie gras etc. Your pictures gave me a good idea of what we will be able to order. Thanks...I was salivating watching your slideshow.

          1 Reply
          1. re: BombayUpWithaTwist
            Jack Flash Dec 16, 2008 01:42 PM

            I really am turned off by the "prepared for the whole table" thing, because there are several items I'd want to try that I know my wife would not enjoy (the two items with foie gras, things with any kind of mushroom), and there are items I'd have to avoid (anything w/lobster - allergic). I wonder if/when they will change this policy. If they do, I'm so there!

          2. kevin h Dec 15, 2008 06:30 PM

            What's interesting is that I think the restaurant added the "gamut" option due to my party's ordering of the entire menu on opening night.

            In any case, good job. It looks like they added a few new items, and updated many of the others, at least with regard to presentation and plating. Now you just need to run the gamut by yourself. ;)

            2 Replies
            1. re: kevin h
              tykapfh Dec 16, 2008 03:40 PM

              Sure seems that way. We went 5 days after you posted and it was already on the menu.

              1. re: kevin h
                Perceptor Dec 16, 2008 04:14 PM

                kevin_h....then im sure glad you guys ordered the way you guys did..... from your meal, the gamut was born.... and i benefited

              2. t
                The Old Man Dec 16, 2008 07:51 AM

                So do we think that the Full Gamut option is $125 per person, ie $375 for three etc?

                4 Replies
                1. re: The Old Man
                  Adsvino Dec 16, 2008 08:03 AM

                  Probably what the menu said, $250 minimum...

                  1. re: The Old Man
                    Perceptor Dec 16, 2008 08:58 AM

                    The gamut is $250 period. You can eat it by yourself (waitress claims 2 men have done it) and it will be $250. If you do what my wife and I did which is to share the gamut, it is still $250 total. I think it is a great value and quite an experience for 2 people...

                    1. re: Perceptor
                      nosh Dec 16, 2008 01:02 PM

                      That is really interesting and informative, Perceptor. As I was watching the slide show, I kept noticing that a lot of the plating was in threes -- three mounds of tuna tartar, three slices of beef, three slices of lamb. Other dishes, like the salad, I was assuming they were sized according to the party. I really wonder whether there is any accommodation, even unconsciously, for smaller or larger parties. Could a table of three or four order the gamut for $250, and then maybe supplement certain courses? I'm so overwhelmed by the reviews and blogs lately -- is this the place where all courses are $8 or is that The Bazaar?

                      1. re: nosh
                        Perceptor Dec 16, 2008 01:14 PM

                        Yes this is the $8 per item restaurant. I'm not sure if a table of 3 or 4 can order 1 gamut.... i would just call ahead and ask.

                  2. l
                    lumpiagirl Dec 16, 2008 09:23 AM

                    Wow I really enjoyed your pictures. My mouth was watering I'm looking forward to tryin the Gamut thanks for putting this up. I always wanted to go to a restaurant and order everything on the menu! Lucky Gal, what a great birthday dinner!

                    1. maxzook Dec 16, 2008 09:33 AM

                      Linking ...

                      8117 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

                      1. t
                        TailbackU Dec 16, 2008 01:54 PM

                        Wow, that is insane!!! The pictures look awesome and everything looked amazing. I can't believe the two of you managed to finish all that food. And at $250, that is a GREAT price! I can't wait to try this out myself.

                        1. n
                          nosh Dec 16, 2008 02:05 PM

                          Perceptor, what's been going on? I love and miss your reviews -- very simple with the photos and the minimal comments underneath. You paved the way for a lot of the Chowhound SoCal blogs -- great to see your take on a new hot restaurant!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: nosh
                            Perceptor Dec 16, 2008 02:12 PM

                            Nothing much Nosh.... been just eating and working (more on the eating)... it is so awesome that there are soooo many fantastic food lovers nowadays that take their time to photography/document and share their experience with everyone.. i definitely don't post as much as when i first started chowhound because last few years been just eating at a solid rotation of favs and the new spots all seem to do the same ol thing (i call it the AOC bandwagon)... but XIV definitely was awesome and glad that it is in LA...


                            1. re: Perceptor
                              kjs Dec 16, 2008 04:30 PM

                              My favorite review of 2008 !! thanks !

                              It appears to be a great value - it's my next meal in so cal !

                          2. e
                            exilekiss Dec 16, 2008 05:09 PM

                            Hi Perceptor,

                            Great pics and review as usual. :) Thanks for the update (and it's good to see they've changed their menu around a bit since October).

                            1. lotta_cox Dec 16, 2008 06:48 PM

                              I am blown away by your slideshow and so impressed with both the composition and the lighting. well done. i am happy you has as wonderful experience as I did.

                              1. c
                                croquembouche Dec 23, 2008 06:22 AM

                                New to posting, but this restaurant really made me mad. The place looks and feels great. But the food...Ill concived and badly executed. We had the 11 plates menu and not one dish was memorable, but there were so many bad ones that I don't even know where to start. Lobster salad that was served so cold all flavor was gone, and it had obviously been cooked ages ago. Sashimi without any flavor. Charcuterie that tasted like cardboard, but I guess the mustard was tasty. Risotto that was oversalted and had a weird citrusy aftertaste that overpowered it. Though even that was not consistant, some bites were okay some were dreadful. Spicy squid that was tasty but overpowered any wine. The beef was nicely cooked but again overly spiced. And I like strong tasting dishes and salt. I did not like the concept of serving the same dish in a small portion to the whole table. What does that accomplish? I just don't see how this place is going to survive. Watch for radical changes coming soon is my best guess. A pity, the space is nice, service is a tad too pushy and in love with the concept.

                                1. m
                                  mikester Dec 23, 2008 09:27 AM

                                  Great job, it all looks amazingly good !

                                  I admire your stamina - 36 dishes, I don't know if I could handle it...

                                  1. aliceyoo Jan 15, 2009 08:58 PM

                                    Thanks for the amazing pictures! I didn't take any when I went so I got to relive the whole experience with you! My favorite restaurant in LA hands down.

                                    1. A5 KOBE Jan 15, 2009 10:58 PM

                                      Great pictures, everything looked amazing!!!

                                      The desserts looked crazy good.

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