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What is the most vibrant, exciting high-end restaurant in LA right now?

  • sku Oct 8, 2010 07:02 PM
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What would you say is the most interesting high end restaurant in the LA area right now? What's exciting?

Providence? Bazaar? Rivera? Something new and different?

I haven't been to the latest Bastide incarnation, would it fit in this category?

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Bastide Restaurant
8475 Melrose Place, West Hollywood, CA 90069

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  1. Probably my vote would go to Bazaar, but the Mozza's are still tough reservations. But if I was going to spend my hard earned money it would still be Animal. Even though Bazaar has the cache Animal has the most vibrant tastes I have had in the last year.

    1. Since you seem to be looking for something a little trendy, here ya go: http://la.eater.com/archives/2010/10/...

      1. I would add Bistro LQ and Ludobites 6.0 to your list. I haven't been to Bastide since it first reopened in its current incarnation, but I did not find the food interesting or memorable.

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        Bastide Restaurant
        8475 Melrose Place, West Hollywood, CA 90069

        Bistro LQ
        8009 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048

        6 Replies
        1. re: mollyomormon

          Totally forgot about Bistro LQ and haven't been there yet; great suggestion. Thanks.

          Would people put First & Hope in the category?

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          Bistro LQ
          8009 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048

          1. re: sku

            Bistro LQ isn't quite at that level - Providence is still the one to beat, especially with Sona gone and the restaurant at the Langham on hiatus. But First and Hope, even before it lost its chef, isn't even close to measuring up.

            I find Bazaar loathsome, but that's a different story.

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

            Bistro LQ
            8009 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048

            1. re: condiment

              I agree that Bistro LQ isn't at the level of Providence (at least yet), so I don't think it could be considered THE most interesting restaurant in LA, but I think it belongs on a short list of places where the chef is serving exciting food.

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              Bistro LQ
              8009 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048

              1. re: condiment

                The original request was for most exciting high end restaurant in LA. I think that would have to go to Bistro LQ (mid-high end). Providence may be the best high end restaurant in town, but I don't know if its exactly vibrant or exciting. It's not boring, and its very delicious, but it's not the most cutting edge restaurant out there.

                Hatfield's isn't exciting but is solidly delicious and a very safe pick for an excellent mid-high end dining experience serving progressive american cuisine.

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                Bistro LQ
                8009 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                1. re: Porthos

                  Any thoughts about Ortolon?

                  1. re: Porthos

                    Not sure if Providence is even the best high end place, but vibrant and exciting are words never to be used in describing the place.
                    I can live with high end though.
                    And yes it is boring,, meaning somber when thinking of the atmosphere, the decor, etc.

            2. I would say WP24, downtown, which we haven't been to yet, but I can't wait to go.

              Not high end, but very innovative, would be Lazy Ox Canteen.

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              Lazy Ox Canteen
              241 S San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

              WP24
              900 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

              3 Replies
              1. re: Phurstluv

                Agree on both.

                1. re: Phurstluv

                  When I went to WP24 I liked it okay, but almost every single dish had me thinking that I could find a version of what it was based on that was far better tasting and much much cheaper in the San Gabriel Valley. There was nothing that stood out as being an improvement on, or even all that interesting of a play on the original dishes that were the inspiration. The "fusion" dishes just weren't different enough from what they were fused from to be all that interesting. The more traditional dishes were certainly no better, in most cases worse, than what I can find elsewhere.

                  The view was great, though. And the cocktails were very nice.

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                  WP24
                  900 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

                  1. re: estone888

                    Yes, the view. Can't get that in SGV. And I don't go there at all, since my DH is just not a huge Asian food fan.

                    But he will take me to WP24 ;)).

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                    WP24
                    900 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

                2. Interesting the responses so far, especially given your headline using the words "vibrant" and "exciting".
                  Most of the places mentioned are high enough price-wise, yet I am not sure any would qualify with both the words exciting and vibrant.
                  First & Hope - huh?!
                  Bazaar, maybe
                  LudoBites whenever and whereever, maybe, sort of
                  Hardly Bastide, Providence, Rivera, The Mozzas, Bistro LQ. WP24 or Lazy Ox.
                  Good restaurants, but exciting or vibrant - not really.
                  I consider Hatfield's a better restaurant than some mentioned above, yet would not use the words exciting or vibrant to describe it.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: carter

                    Anything you can think of in SoCA matching both qualifiers?
                    ( Me, none; with the possible exception of Craft, back upon a time when Matthew Accarrino was at the stoves )

                    1. re: RicRios

                      No, that is the problem with the current dining scene.
                      No new moves as the economy has so many future chef-focused places on hold, meaning not even making deals to secure the sites, as there will be many more opportunities next year, so why buy a dead business now when it might be in the hands of the landlord come early 2011. May be a way of saving $500,000 of developmental costs.
                      Why is Ludo keeping his name in front of the public without having a place, ditto Walter Manzke. Think about how many chefs are no longer with the place where they achieved their fame. Do Water Grill and Bin 8945 and Sona and Anisette come to mind, and I am sure many more could be added to the list.
                      How many more?
                      I think Ludo is creating the most interesting buzz these days, yet on a pop-up, bite-sized basis!!!

                      1. re: carter

                        Well, after last night's overwhelming response to LudoBites 6.0, I feel my last line above may be true. Caused the entire OpenTable system to die.

                      2. re: RicRios

                        I've now been to Craft three times in the past four months; and while I would agree that it's not as exciting as when Accarrino was at the helm, I have to say that chef Zappola has really hit his stride and it's a LOT better than it was in the first couple of months after the change in regime It got a well-deserved 3.5 star review in the Times a couple of weeks ago. I often disagree with S. Irene, but in this case I think she was spot-on. I think you'd be pleasantly surprised if you return.

                    2. Although I haven't been yet, I think Test Kitchen sounds like the most exciting restaurant in LA right now - because the concept is so unique and from the reports, it sounds like the level of food is very high. And I think it would qualify as vibrant, because of all of the different chefs and menus. I can't wait to try it!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: aching

                        Having been to Test Kitchen several times, I can speak to the fact that it is for only the most patient adventurous foodie who reveres food over service and is prepared for the ups and downs comparable to dining in a brand new restaurant on an opening night. Sure, some of the food is vibrant and exciting, but the highs and lows are pretty extreme. You can drop $140 for 2 incl cocktails and walk away wondering why you would ever return. I would prefer to spend my $$ in venues where those chefs know their kitchen and have developed a rhythm with the staff.

                      2. While I've not been, Ilan Hall's downtown restaurant, The Gorbals, is high on my list of "interesting" and "unique" restaurants. I mean, Bacon Wrapped Matzoh Balls, the GBT (Gribenes, lettuce, tomato sandwich) and Roasted half pig's head (to share)? What's not to love.

                        http://thegorbalsla.com/

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                        The Gorbals
                        501 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

                        1. Truth is, unlike most other major metropolitan cities, LA just doesn't seem to do "High End" very well -- certainly not in comparison to SF, NY, Chicago, London, Paris, Tokyo, etc.

                          That's not to say there aren't some amazing restaurants, worthy of being lauded, but to me LA is a town where one can really dig in to an amazing variety of regional/ethnic cuisines, as well as a great collection of Californian/New American/Locavore/etc type of places.

                          9 Replies
                          1. re: a213b

                            Has the Bel Air Hotel reopened yet? That's pretty high end, if not vibrant.

                            1. re: mc michael

                              Far from it. It's not opening until mid-2011. The restaurant itself was beautiful, but I believe it's far from what this thread is looking for.

                            2. re: a213b

                              Agreed. It seems fitting that Chicago has superseded LA has the third U.S. bearer of the Michelin Guide.

                              1. re: ramenbound

                                The US versions of the Guide Michelin are surreal at best. Meanwhile, from Esquire magazine:

                                "They ceased publishing guides in Los Angeles and Las Vegas because sales were poor, and, sniffed Naret, 'the people in Los Angeles are not real foodies. They are not too interested in eating well but just in who goes to which restaurant and where they sit.'"

                                1. re: mc michael

                                  Yikes. Well, one thing's for sure - LA didn't like Michelin, and Michelin didn't like LA.

                                  1. re: ramenbound

                                    The day I enjoy snacking on the Michelin guide I'll care at least one whit. Right now, as it still appears inedible, not even one, itty, bitty whit of caring...

                                    1. re: Servorg

                                      LOL.

                                  2. re: mc michael

                                    It's not just the US version - pretty much anything outside of France is surreal. When I lived and worked in Amsterdam a few years back, it was something of a running bad joke among local foodies which restaurants there had Michelin stars and which didn't. (Rating De Vijff Vliegen above De Kas was, in LA terms, like rating Mr. Chow above Providence...)

                                    1. re: Bradbury

                                      Absolutely correct. Michelin is incompetently out of touch in California along with Italy. These fools have no clue about quality. They seem to rate based on similarity to French cuisine, which explains the fact that they just don't "get" other styles. In Germany, you have to cook French to get more than one star. Several of their SF ratings are just head scratching, ie Gary Danko getting one star! And LaBotte as the highest rated Italian in LA seems to be based on the highest arrogance rating in LA.
                                      Servog has it correct: Outside of France, the Michelin Guide is of use only to paper eating insects and maybe a few arrogant Francophiles whose taste is in the "pre-nouvelle" age.
                                      If their opinion was worth anything, I would buy the book in a heartbeat. If it saved me one poor dinner choice in five years it would pay for itself. Alas, it's not worth it.

                              2. Back to the subject at hand, I'd consider Gjelina vibrant and exciting but not quite high-end.

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                                Gjelina
                                1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, USA