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Unusual Tasting Menus?

Looking for a challenging tasting menu for this coming Monday night (2/18). Have run the gamut of better known restaurants - Providence, Sona, Bistro LQ, even Bastide before the most recent change-over (a 6 1/2 hour event that will be permanently seared in my memory as "life changing") - but seeking something less formal and more unusual. Mo-Chica's Peruvian Tasting menu for example or the Wednesday night Offal tasting menu at Palate are the direction I'm hoping to go... Any suggestions? Wine pairings also a plus!

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  1. I would have suggested you check out the sake tasting menu at Mako in Beverly Hills, but they are closed Sunday - Monday unfortunately. I wonder if Chinois on Main St. in Santa Monica would do a tasting menu? Could be interesting if they were up for it.

    2709 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405

    4 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      Bazaar....have them go wild.............new young somm is great. He worked at WD-50 so he will know how to do some odd pairings also

      1. re: david Haskell

        I second Bazaar. Wonderful!

        Don't know if Animal does a tasting, but that would be great too.

        1. re: Jennalynn

          Already done Bazaar... Fantastic btw, but looking for something off the beaten path this time around, more "ethnic" or "bizarre".

          1. re: FranklinJefferson

            I get what you're saying... and I look forward to seeing if there are any good answers.

            But to me, off the beaten path, ethnic and/or bizarre places are smaller and not of the tasting menu type. The places I've seen with tasting menus tend to be the upscale-ish newer "trend" places... But it will be fun if I'm wrong!

    2. Maybe or maybe not so crazy but try the tempura Omakase at Komatsu.

      1. Have you tried Ursawa??? Not a tasting menu per se but great none the less. No wine pairing.

        1. Go to Totoraku for the beef tasting. Bring good wine.

          1 Reply
          1. I did the tasting menu at Tagine the other night. Not particularly challenging, per se, but wanted to at least throw it out there.

            1. Hmmm, how about Restaurant 561? Culinary school cum restaurant.


              4 Replies
              1. re: ipsedixit

                "seeking something less formal and more unusual"... Appreciate the Bazaar rec, but we did that last year as well as Animal. Totoraku sounds like the ideal, but of course without an "in" is entirely useless ('course, if you have a connection for me, I'd be more than happy to extol your virtues on this post ad infinitum). Urusawa, while a fantastic choice, is the very antithesis of 'less formal'. And 561 is nothing if not "safe"... Good food, but their purpose as a teaching restaurant has nothing to do with being Challenging for the customer...
                Am considering places like The Gorbals or Kokkekoko at this point.
                Any suggestions along those lines would be readily welcomed...

                1. re: FranklinJefferson

                  Have you considered calling a restaurant and asking them to prepare an unusual menu around a theme? I've had friends who have had restaurants do foie gras and truffle tasting menus, or asked to do tasting menus designed around particular wines/champagnes. I know they have done that at Valentino. If you can find a particular restaurant open on Monday with a very good chef, you might be able to ask if they would prepare a special menu around a theme.

                  Of the well-known restaurants, you did not mention Melisse, so I would have recommended it but for you needing a restaurant on Monday. It is my favorite restaurant in the city and has been outstanding every time I've been there. It's tasting menu is a bit unusual because you have a lot of choices and can do a lot of supplementing.

                2. re: ipsedixit

                  if you go to 561 ....it will be an unusual tasting menu...BECAUSE it will be the WORST you've ever had. In 16 years in the restaurant business 561 should be boycotted by anyone in this profession. They need to pay more attention to service, food technique and overall training a crew. Most of the culinary teachers didn't work anywhere except a houston's or cheese cake factory... if you want to go their you can give your money to charity..better served.

                  1. re: david Haskell

                    i would say bistro LQ but ya have been there i see

                    i go to Le Cordon Bleu and i have to say i agree with David but i think its more the students fault not the chefs

                    At wolfgangs catering they say they are willing to cater small affairs maybe they can pack you a weird dinner you can have brought to your house or pick up there , ive seen some weird and beautiful stuff ..... it will probably cost an arm and a leg ....