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Forget the Entree, Give Me the Appetizers.

Every now and then I find myself at a restauarnt where I end up building a meal out of several appetizers and ignoring the entrees altogether. Are there any restaurants where you find yourself doing this?

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  1. I think any izakaya , yakitori place or Japanese restaurant with a wide menu will make you happy in this category. Izakaya Bincho, Musha, Torihei, I-naba and Sanuki no Sato are definitely places that either focus on small plates that seem appetizer-ish or offer them along with full entrees. And then there's dim sum - I get weak-kneed thinking about Sea Harbour and Elite...

    2 Replies
    1. re: bulavinaka

      I should have been clearer. I didn't mean izakaya places, tapas bars or dim sum restaurants, I was asking about regular restuarants with regular menus, where the appetizers outshine the entrees.

      1. re: creamfinger

        Church and State, and sometimes Water Grill.

    2. I am not saying anything negative about the main courses I've had, but the first place I would do this at would be Animal (by a mile). And their appetizers are quite generous (and even more than generous in many cases) at very fair prices. If you like to do this and haven't been to Animal I say you really need to rectify that void in your dining resume.

      435 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

      3 Replies
      1. re: Servorg

        I'll co-sign this. The first time my wife and I went we did just this, and ended up ordering something like 7 apps and had them staggered. Of course, I'm not shy about my love for Animal, but that's not going to stop me from recommending you try it.

        Also, as someone else said, Church & State is a great spot to do this as well.

        1. re: Servorg

          I did the exact thing at Animal as well. My friend and I created our own tasting menu of apps. It worked great.

          1. re: Servorg

            Yes, I immediately thought of Animal as well. When I was there a couple of weeks ago, I saw two apps I wanted and was tempted to just go with those. I changed my mind and added an entree too (along with their yummy panna cotta for dessert). But Animal is one of those places where the appetizers sound so incredible, it's hard to get past them when you're looking at the menu.

          2. Though the entrees are good, some even excellent, I prefer the early part of the menu and the mozzarella bar at Osteria Mozza

            1. I agree that often the appetizers are more interesting than the so called main dish. Mako in BH specializes in small plates. www.makorestaurant.com. I enjoyed the food and the service last time I was there.

              You might also check out K-Zo in Culver City.

              1. border grill, campinile, westside tavern

                1. I absolutely love to graze. Whenever I go to any of the following restaurants, I am hard-pressed not to do so:

                  Black Sheep Bistro
                  Cat & the Custard Cup
                  Church & State
                  Le Saint Amour
                  Marche Moderne
                  Osteria Mozza
                  Pizzeria Ortica
                  Tradition by Pascal
                  Water Grill

                  1. I could be exceptionally happy just sampling different regional appetizers at little hole in the wall places in the SGV...and I have done so.

                    So many restaurants, it's truly hard to single any out off the top of my head.

                    1. Craft in Century City. Particualrly the Craftbar menu. Noche heaven!

                      1. I felt that way while eating at Pizzeria Mozza. Could totally have done without the pizza and dove right into the apps. The olives were to die for. I could have had 4 orders of those alone not to mention the pate and the zucchini blossoms.

                        1. just had lunch at cafe del rey.
                          my meal consisted of the truffle pizza appetizer, and the poached/smoked salmon salad.
                          both dishes were terrific

                          1. Jar -- the Wedge salad, Crab Deviled Eggs and an order of Fried Ipswich Belly Clams. I love the entrees as well, but often as not I find myself ordering this trio. Also at Comme Ca, a salad along with the Marrow Bones & Oxtail Jam is a satisfying meal given how rich the latter combo is.

                            1. Incidentally, one other thing I've done - quite often, in fact - is, when I've seen an appetizer on a menu and I know it's something I'll really love, I'll ask for a double portion served as a main course. I've found that any restaurant is happy to oblige.