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ISO an amazing restaurant with a chef's table.

I have a dear friend visiting from Japan next month. When he visits we always try to have at least one amazing meal. We have done Mistral, Sona, etc. We were disappointed in Sona, mostly because it just didn't live up to the astronomical price we paid, I think about $1200 for the three of us. It was a lovely meal, just not $1200 worth of lovely, and I took him there expecting French. The meal was very Japanese inspired, which would have been fine except for the fact that I would never have taken him for Japanese. He can get that at home! For this trip I would like to up the ante and take him somewhere with a chef's table. I think there is one at Bazaar, but the reviews are so mixed there that I hesitate. Has anyone had an extraordinary, fun meal somewhere in LA at a chef's table? ( Not Japanese.) I really appreciate the help.

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Sona
401 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90048

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  1. Have you done Providence or Melisse?
    Do you really want a separate room chef's table, or would a good tasting menu in a regular dining room work for you?
    If the latter, suggest Hatfield's.

    1 Reply
    1. re: carter

      Providence and Melisse are both amazing experiences, but be prepared to spend lots and lots of $$$$! You can easily spend over $150 per person with wine, tax and tip.

    2. Patina, Providence or Spago.

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      Spago
      176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

      1. Why don’t you take your friend to Disneyland? Seriously, I recommend the Chef’s Table at the Napa Rose in the Grand Californian Hotel at Disneyland’s California Adventure. Under the realm of Executive Chef Andrew Sutton, your senses and palate will be transported to the land of true culinary bliss. Indeed, one of the finest dining experiences of my life. Albeit several years ago, I recall about five courses, each seemingly surpassing the one that preceded it. I was literally taken aback. Pure magic.

        Napa Rose
        1600 S. Disneyland Drive
        Anaheim, CA 92802
        (714) 956-6755

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        Napa Rose Restaurant
        1600 S Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802

        1. I went to Saam recently, the small room at the back of Bazaar that does just the tasting menu. It was 22 very small courses. And I thought it was lovely--really inventive, creative food with wonderful flavors. The only thing I found odd was the wine (non) pairings.
          Since there are so many courses, they serve wine with some of them...and recommend that you "fill in" around those. But the tastes of the food vary quite a bit, and it's difficult to do that. I didn't think they were all that helpful with suggestions on how to "fill in" successfully. But that said, it was a wonderful meal.
          I would also echo the recommendations for Providence and Melisse. Both have fabulous food and service. Not inexpensive, but you won't have the experience you mentioned at Sona--spending a lot of money and being disappointed. Both provide top notch dining experiences.

          1 Reply
          1. re: perk

            I should have mentioned that we have been to Melisse. It was an exquisite meal. I live in Woodland Hills, so that Napa Rose really is to far, but I am intrigued and the next time I am in OC I will have to try it, thank you. Providence looks good, also Saam, and I read that Ortolan has a chef's table. We really do want a true chef's table as it will be a new experience for all of us. We have a nice budget, but I don't want to exceed $200 each inclusive, if possible.

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            Napa Rose Restaurant
            1600 S Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802

          2. I also high recommend Providence, but it'll be tough to get out of there for less than $200pp unless you guys don't do wine.

            1. $1200 for 3 at Sona? Was most of that the food, or the wine? We went recently and I think it was sub $400 for 2 people (including tip) with one bottle of wine, the 6 course tasting menu, and two glasses of champagne. I guess the 9 course tasting menu is a little more, but from what I heard from one of the waiters talking to another customer, this doesn't get you so much more in terms of quantity of food, but that you get more different dishes, split between the parties at the table. Maybe I misheard.

              IIRC, the chef de cuisine at Sona is Japanese, which might be part of the reason for the Japanese influence (I did notice a few dishes with some Japanese mushrooms, and my girlfriend got a sashimi type appetizer, but overall, it wasn't super heavy on the Japanese influence the night we were there). To me, it was similar to other high-end California restaurants - not exactly classical French, but certainly French & Asian influences. I had a vegan tasting menu, but my dining companion had their standard tasting menu. The main disappointment to us was that there were two dessert courses; both were good, but we would both have rather had one more savory course. Overall, really glad I tried it before they close for a while and move locations.

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              Sona
              401 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90048

              3 Replies
              1. re: will47

                We started with two beers and a cocktail, then had the full nine courses paired with wine. And that price included tax and tip, so the bill must have been closer to $800 before, which makes sense I guess if you paid $400 for 2. The chef came out after and sent us home with breakfast, but the really funny thing was that our Japanese guest got hungry and had a bowl of noodles when we got home! The Japanese influence made it a poor choice for us, IE we were served Wagyu, which although a treat for me was just not for our guest. Not that he eats it every day but it just wasn't that special for him. I think I am going to try Saam, Spanish sounds like a perfect choice.

                1. re: dvsndvs

                  We are off to Saam tonight, thanks for all the help fellow chowhounds!

                  1. re: dvsndvs

                    One of the most enjoyable evening's of my life. 23 courses, not every one was perfect, but it was fun fun fun and worth every penny.