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Are we able to identify a singular "Los Angeles Restaurant of the Decade"?

ipsedixit Dec 30, 2009 12:14 PM

Any price range, any cuisine.

Just one restaurant that somehow epitomizes, defines, symbolizes or just screams "2000-2009"?

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  1. steve h. RE: ipsedixit Dec 30, 2009 12:24 PM

    Osteria Mozza.

    1 Reply
    1. re: steve h.
      steve h. RE: steve h. Dec 30, 2009 07:01 PM

      A simple google search reveals 563,000 results.

    2. m
      mc michael RE: ipsedixit Dec 30, 2009 12:35 PM

      In a good way or a bad way? It's been an odd decade. You've got Kogi and you've got Urasawa--and everything in-between. I'd like to say some place like A.O.C. or Cut but they don't scream. I guess if you want screaming it's Bottega Louie.

      1. Servorg RE: ipsedixit Dec 30, 2009 12:40 PM

        If it screams like it's off it's meds, if it's a flake or it's shaky in the extreme, and the good denizens of the city of the Angels (who change like the wind because they're "foodies") can be said to mirror those qualities then it's gotta be Bastide.... ;-D>

        3 Replies
        1. re: Servorg
          AAQjr RE: Servorg Dec 30, 2009 04:09 PM

          Bingo! Bastide,

          Pytka may be nuts, but there was always serious talent in that kitchen. Along with the soap opera type buzz that place generated. Very L.A.

          1. re: Servorg
            mc michael RE: Servorg Dec 30, 2009 06:23 PM

            How long did it last?

            1. re: mc michael
              Servorg RE: mc michael Dec 30, 2009 07:04 PM

              Which iteration? It's still going. Reinvented (this being LA and all maybe reincarnated is a better term) for the 4th time recently. I always got the feeling that Pytka fancied himself the second coming of Patrick Terrail and the original Ma Maison on Melrose - which like Helen of Troy launched - if not a 1,000 ships at least a score of chefs and restaurant heads (even though he seems to have failed pretty completely if that was his actual intent).

          2. b
            buttermarblepopcorn RE: ipsedixit Dec 30, 2009 01:16 PM

            That'd be like asking if there was a singular LA *anything*.

            1. Professor Salt RE: ipsedixit Dec 30, 2009 01:28 PM

              You can choose to look at "restaurant of the decade" as a concept so strong that it continues to forge mightily into the future as though it sparked an eternal L.A. legacy on the order of Phillippe's or Cole's.

              But I choose to be cynical about it and look for concepts that peaked and turned quickly into dated cliches.

              So my nominees: boutique cupcakeries like Sprinkles. Frozen yogurt shops a la Pinkberry. Boba shops. I realize the last two are clones that originated in Asia. But in the US, they started here in So Cal.

              1. b
                B Minus RE: ipsedixit Dec 30, 2009 01:29 PM


                1. e
                  estone888 RE: ipsedixit Dec 30, 2009 01:30 PM

                  Much as I prefer the XLB elsewhere - J&J for one - I might say Din Tai Fung. In its way it represents the explosion of regional Chinese restaurants that have come in waves from different parts of China throughout the 2000s. It being from Taiwan, the most recent wave seeming to come from Sichuan. I think there's an argument to be made that Asian immigration to L.A. in the past ten years has had the greatest single impact on the city's restaurants and markets.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: estone888
                    mc michael RE: estone888 Dec 30, 2009 06:22 PM

                    Good concept. You might be on to something.

                  2. s
                    silence9 RE: ipsedixit Dec 30, 2009 02:37 PM

                    Hi there... How about (stretching the term 'restaurant', here):
                    1) Wat Thai Foodcourt (R.I.P.)
                    2) Campanile/La Brea Bakery

                    1. s
                      smssms RE: ipsedixit Dec 30, 2009 03:20 PM

                      LA is a burger town. father's office.

                      1. J.L. RE: ipsedixit Dec 30, 2009 03:54 PM

                        No hype in this town lasts that long. So, my answer would be no.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: J.L.
                          groover808 RE: J.L. Dec 30, 2009 07:40 PM

                          Agreed, our attention spans are too short. I read in a blog somewhere (Elmomonster?) that seeking out xiao long bao are so 2006, hahah. Kogi's still strong, but kinda fading. Now burgers are making a comeback, but alas can't put my finger on a single trend or restaurant.

                        2. Ciao Bob RE: ipsedixit Dec 31, 2009 08:08 AM

                          It's a great question. I will go out on a limb and try to add some history as well.
                          60's Chasen's
                          70's Matteo's
                          80's Spago
                          90's Campanile (or Vida)
                          00's Father's Office

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Ciao Bob
                            Servorg RE: Ciao Bob Dec 31, 2009 08:37 AM

                            "70's Matteo's"

                            Without a shadow of a doubt it was Ma Maison on Melrose (which continues to cast its net of influence to this very day).

                            1. re: Servorg
                              Ciao Bob RE: Servorg Dec 31, 2009 09:52 AM

                              Oh yes Servrorg, Ma Maison is what I meant! Thanks for the correction.

                              1. re: Ciao Bob
                                carter RE: Ciao Bob Dec 31, 2009 07:38 PM

                                And thus why has no one yet mentioned Spago - not only the place for the 80s, but it still is the most consistent place for the last ten years.
                                Maybe AOC should be in the mix as well.
                                Matteo's - god, that was NEVER in any mix - dreadful place, even though I realize Ciao Bob corrected himself.
                                Vida was never in the mix in any decade, as it was not successfully around for any ten years.

                            2. re: Ciao Bob
                              mollyomormon RE: Ciao Bob Dec 31, 2009 08:57 AM

                              oh, I like this!

                            3. j
                              jlrobe RE: ipsedixit Dec 31, 2009 09:17 AM

                              I think a restaurant of the decade should be around for at least 5 years, and be very consistent over time.

                              My vote is Providence.
                              It is a home grown haute cuisine restaurant that has been a stable success for years. Unlike Patina and Water Grill, it hasn't faded. Spago was the restaurant of the 90s.

                              AOC, Lucques, and JAR are nothing too fancy, but they serve simple, comforting, quality food in an atmosphere that is representative of LA's more casual nature. Perhaps they more represent the "fancy" LA food movement of the 00s.

                              Finally, some food trends of 00s were
                              small plates, fancy burgers, and quality beer and cocktail lists.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: jlrobe
                                Ciao Bob RE: jlrobe Dec 31, 2009 09:54 AM

                                Providence was, for sure, my other thought for the aught's. Animal is tempting too but awfully new.

                              2. johnnyshungry RE: ipsedixit Dec 31, 2009 12:55 PM

                                Ethnic , celebrity driven, the bar turns into a version of "entourage"
                                A white hot light let's see when it burns out.
                                And my local taco stand.

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