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The best haute cuisine restaurants LA has to offer.

q
qli Mar 22, 2011 11:46 AM

In August/September I will visit LA to discover the best haute cuisine restaurants. This is my planning so far:
- Urusawa
- Melisse
- Patina
- Providence

Is this the best I can get or am I missing some interesting restaurants? I would like to hear what you think of this!

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  1. n
    New Trial RE: qli Mar 22, 2011 02:10 PM

    For alta cucina Italian, you might consider Valentino or Vincenti--the wine list at Valentino alone makes it worth it. Cut is probably the haute cuisine equivalent for steakhouses. The tasting menu at Spago makes is worthy of consideration as well.

    -----
    Spago
    176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

    Cut
    9500 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212

    Valentino (Santa Monica)
    3115 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405

    Vincenti Restaurant
    11930 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049

    1. m
      mc michael RE: qli Mar 22, 2011 02:19 PM

      Probably wanna consider Matsuhisa and Bazaar.

      -----
      Matsuhisa
      129 N La Cienega Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

      The Bazaar by José Andrés
      465 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048

      3 Replies
      1. re: mc michael
        J.L. RE: mc michael Mar 22, 2011 04:57 PM

        Caveat emptor: For Matsuhisa, reserve a spot in the private room for the best experience.

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        Matsuhisa
        129 N La Cienega Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

        1. re: mc michael
          f
          foodiemahoodie RE: mc michael Mar 23, 2011 02:41 AM

          I wouldn't consider Matsuhisa or Bazaar haute cuisine.

          The list of four is spot on.

          -----
          Matsuhisa
          129 N La Cienega Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

          1. re: foodiemahoodie
            m
            mc michael RE: foodiemahoodie Mar 23, 2011 09:53 AM

            FWIW, looking at the LA Times site, the only LA spots Virbila has given 4 stars in about 5 years are Patina and The Bazaar.
            That said, I think Water Grill is also worthy of consideration.

            -----
            Water Grill
            544 South Grand, Los Angeles, CA 90071

        2. Phurstluv RE: qli Mar 22, 2011 02:31 PM

          Agree with New Trial's comment of Cut being the haute of steakhouses here, and that the tasting menu at Spago is quintessentially California haute cuisine.

          I would also add the Royce at the Langham in Pasadena to that list. Chef David Feau is doing some phenomenal things there.

          The restaurant scene in Los Angeles, though, is quite different from other big cities, say NY or Chicago, in that it is very fleeting and quite fickle. What used to be considered Haute Cuisine has all but disappeared (RIP L'Orangerie, Ortolan) and in its place has morphed more casual eating concepts with highly driven chefs behind the scenes. You may want to reconsider your definition of haute cuisine and consider places like these, some of which are barely a "scene" at all:
          Animal
          Son of a Gun
          Lazy Ox Canteen
          The Gorbals
          Rivera or Playa
          XIV
          Saam at the Bazaar

          And you should stay tuned because there's a lot of buzz on new places all over the city this spring and summer!

          -----
          Spago
          176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

          XIV
          8117 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

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

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

          3 Replies
          1. re: Phurstluv
            j
            Jack Flash RE: Phurstluv Mar 22, 2011 05:10 PM

            Re The Royce: have you been there yet? Is there anything in particular you recommend? On the strength of the recent LATimes review, I made a reservation there for our anniversary next month. We went to the Dining Room under Michael Voltaggio for our last anniversary (loved it), so it would certainly be interesting to compare the two experiences.

            1. re: Phurstluv
              s
              Sgee RE: Phurstluv Mar 25, 2011 11:26 PM

              Great commentary on LA haute scene or lack thereof.

              Additionally service at 'haute' places in LA typically disappoint if you are accustomed to NYC or European equivalents.

              1. re: Sgee
                Phurstluv RE: Sgee Mar 26, 2011 10:06 AM

                Thank you. And you're spot on about the service. the only service I've ever had in CA that compares to the high end places on the east coast was at the French Laundry, in Yountville.

            2. m
              mlgb RE: qli Mar 22, 2011 03:03 PM

              Patina

              1. ipsedixit RE: qli Mar 22, 2011 03:06 PM

                Bistro LQ

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                Bistro LQ
                8009 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                5 Replies
                1. re: ipsedixit
                  m
                  mc michael RE: ipsedixit Mar 25, 2011 10:03 AM

                  Does Bistro LQ still exist? Last I heard Quenioux was executive chef at Vertical in Pasadena.

                  -----
                  Vertical Wine Bistro
                  70 N. Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103

                  1. re: mc michael
                    honkman RE: mc michael Mar 25, 2011 01:04 PM

                    Bistro LQ still exists. Laurent is at Vertical on his days off at Bistro LQ (Sunday and Monday) and very late after Bistro LQ is closed during the week.

                    1. re: honkman
                      m
                      mc michael RE: honkman Mar 25, 2011 01:12 PM

                      thanks

                      1. re: honkman
                        m
                        mlgb RE: honkman Mar 26, 2011 03:01 PM

                        Apparently not (see below).

                        1. re: mlgb
                          m
                          mc michael RE: mlgb Mar 26, 2011 04:21 PM

                          hey, when i'm right, i'm right. :(

                  2. a
                    AYSConsulting RE: qli Mar 22, 2011 04:17 PM

                    Animal by far.

                    -----
                    Animal
                    435 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                    1. J.L. RE: qli Mar 22, 2011 04:55 PM

                      I have a confession: I love eating in L.A. - It is, despite its sprawl and traffic, a wonderful city for food.

                      I have another confession: L.A. doesn't do haute cuisine well.

                      In terms of haute cuisine (as I define haute), we in L.A. are nowhere near New York or San Francisco in the level of delivery & availability of selection. Sure, we have Providence and Melisse here, but there is nothing like Per Se or Alinea here in L.A. And I feel that Patina currently lacks its former luster. Aside from Magic Castle (which has so-so food) and some members-only clubs (California Club), there is no other restaurant I can think of in L.A. where gents must wear a coat & tie.

                      So why do I love L.A. for food? It does most other things very, very well.

                      Here's what I think L.A. does well:
                      Interesting food? Absolutely. Example: Animal, Bistro LQ
                      Creative food? Absolutely. Example: Bazaar, LudoBites, Scoops Ice Cream
                      Casual but delicious dining? Absolutely. Example: Father's Office, Santouka, Dean Sin World
                      Ethnic food? Absolutely. Example: Sea Harbour, Urasawa, Matsuhisa, Shaherzad, Colori Kitchen, Mariscos Chente, so many more...
                      Street food? Absolutely. Example: Downtown Art Walk, with its 50+ food trucks

                      -----
                      Shaherzad
                      1422 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024

                      Urasawa Restaurant
                      218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                      Matsuhisa
                      129 N La Cienega Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

                      Colori Kitchen
                      429 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

                      Santouka
                      3760 S Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                      Dean Sin World
                      306 N Garfield Ave # 2, Monterey Park, CA

                      Father's Office Bar
                      1618 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA

                      Bistro LQ
                      8009 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                      LudoBites
                      Roving wildly, Los Angeles, CA

                      22 Replies
                      1. re: J.L.
                        f
                        foodiemahoodie RE: J.L. Mar 23, 2011 02:56 AM

                        "I have another confession: L.A. doesn't do haute cuisine well."

                        I have a confession - I strongly disagree with J.L. L.A. does haute cuisine just fine thank you. Even the chefs he thinks are brilliant have far more respect for Melisse and Providence than he does. (assuming J.L. is a he) This is nothing less than sheer east-coast snobbery, or perhaps west-coast insecurity. They are serious, accomplished and well regarded by their peers. (including chefs lauded by you.)

                        And Animal? Not remotely haute cuisine. I enjoy Animal a lot, but really - even the Two Dudes are surprised at the enthusiam of their cooking.

                        Valentino can pull it off. But sometimes it disappoints.

                        1. re: foodiemahoodie
                          J.L. RE: foodiemahoodie Mar 23, 2011 09:45 AM

                          foodiemahoodie, did you read my reply correctly? I think that Providence and Melisse are the two top candidates that the original poster was looking for in our city!

                          If you look at my prior posts and opinions, never have I bashed Providence or Melisse. I have eaten and enjoyed every one of my meals at Providence and Melisse, many times over. What I am lamenting is the fact that aside from those 2 places, that's about it for that level of haute dining. Also, everyone's definition of "haute" may be different.

                          I also mentioned Animal in my example of not haute, but interesting food in L.A.

                          Just trying to convey to the OP that L.A. is not NY, and it's not SF - It's a different city unto itself in terms of our food vibe here, and that the OP should look beyond "haute" when dining in L.A. Sorry if you misinterpreted it as snobbery.

                          1. re: J.L.
                            Servorg RE: J.L. Mar 23, 2011 09:54 AM

                            I can say without much "thought" that we (LA) do "hot" much better than "haute"

                            1. re: J.L.
                              m
                              mc michael RE: J.L. Mar 23, 2011 09:56 AM

                              You may be on to something, JL. Perhaps LA is better at exotic than at haute cuisine.

                              1. re: J.L.
                                f
                                foodiemahoodie RE: J.L. Mar 23, 2011 05:26 PM

                                Then I read it wrong. Mea culpa. I take it back!

                                1. re: J.L.
                                  Porthos RE: J.L. Mar 23, 2011 06:53 PM

                                  I don't find a problem with saying that "L.A. doesn't do haute cuisine well". It's no different than saying LA has better asian food than NYC and even SF...which no one seems to have a problem with. I don't understand why people get upset over such comments. Each city is different and excels in different types of cuisines.

                                  Haute cuisine is not LA's forte because we tend to be more casual here and favor casual over formal. As JL mentioned, here we have Providence (of which I'm a big fan) and Meisse, maybe Valentino. NYC has Per Se, Jean Georges, Daniel, Corton, Eleven Madison Park, Le Bernardin, etc. Do we have anything on the level of Alinea, L2O, Manresa, Cyrus, or French Laundry? No. It's a fact, not east coast snobbery.

                                  Back to the OP, I would also recommend Bistro LQ. I can say that the cheese cart is probably the best in the country or at least the best I've had anywhere in the country and the cuisine is as high level as some of the best restaurants in the country, but in a casual and comfortable setting.

                                  -----
                                  Bistro LQ
                                  8009 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                                  1. re: Porthos
                                    u
                                    uwsister RE: Porthos Mar 25, 2011 12:45 AM

                                    Love, love, LOVED Bistro LQ in January - wish I had time to go back this month. Being a NYer I wouldn't say it's on par w/ haute cuisine restaurants in NYC in terms of service or ambiance - but food? I would return to Bistro LQ before Jean Georges or Le Bernadin any day.

                                    1. re: Porthos
                                      hill food RE: Porthos Mar 25, 2011 01:47 AM

                                      just out of curiosity as an ex-CA who has eaten at Minibar (and his other ventures) in DC, how is Jose Andres LA venture being received? I hate to sound either naive or pretentious, but doesn't get more haute IMHO. reading this thread I get the idea LA is not impressed.

                                      1. re: hill food
                                        a
                                        AAQjr RE: hill food Mar 25, 2011 02:54 AM

                                        I think the consensus is that it does live up to the hype but how many times can you eat that kind of food. LA's not a big MG town. Big name out of town Chef's haven't done real well traditionally in LA for the most part (the big exception is Craft).

                                        Then of course there are a lot of anti-hipsters who no matter how good the place won't like it if they see too many skinny jeans and oversized sunglasses and undersized dresses, no matter how good the food.

                                        1. re: AAQjr
                                          Porthos RE: AAQjr Mar 25, 2011 05:50 AM

                                          Big name out of town Chef's haven't done real well traditionally in LA for the most part (the big exception is Craft).
                                          ========================
                                          Batali. I thank The Man everytime I'm in any of the Mozzas...and I'm in them a lot.

                                          1. re: Porthos
                                            Ciao Bob RE: Porthos Mar 25, 2011 11:27 AM

                                            I was thinking that too. Jose Andreas is doing very, very well as well.
                                            Also, it is too early to tell how Scarpetta will do.

                                            -----
                                            Scarpetta
                                            225 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                            1. re: Ciao Bob
                                              u
                                              uwsister RE: Ciao Bob Mar 25, 2011 10:39 PM

                                              Seems like Scarpetta is very well-received so far in L.A. I've only been to a NYC location, but I get the feeling that it gets better reviews in L.A.

                                            2. re: Porthos
                                              a
                                              AAQjr RE: Porthos Mar 25, 2011 01:37 PM

                                              He also has Nancy who people here know, trust and does most of the press, MB has very much stayed in the background

                                              1. re: AAQjr
                                                Porthos RE: AAQjr Mar 25, 2011 02:02 PM

                                                Chalk it up to Batali and Bastianich being savvy enough to anticipate LA's anti-east coast sentiment. I know a lot of people try to spin it as "Nancy's" place but this is B&B through and through. I thank those two for gifting LA with incredible pizza and pasta so good I no longer have to go to NYC and fight for a Babbo reservation 30 days to the day. Of course Silverton gets her due credit for elevating that pizza to such great heights and the excellent mozzerella bar. But realistically, none of this would have been posible without Batali and Bastianich.

                                                1. re: Porthos
                                                  e
                                                  Ernie RE: Porthos Mar 25, 2011 02:44 PM

                                                  I think Pizzeria Mozza is incredibly overhyped. It is good, but I prefer the pizza at Pavich's in San Pedro. Fantastic stuff and much more reasonably priced than Mozza

                                                  -----
                                                  Pizzeria Mozza
                                                  641 N. Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                                  1. re: Porthos
                                                    a
                                                    AAQjr RE: Porthos Mar 26, 2011 02:23 AM

                                                    I think because LA doesnt have a reputation as a great fine dining city every Todd English of the world thinks they can come in with a great scene and little work and do well..
                                                    I've always thought LA eater are very knowledgeable but price sensitive because of the great selection of mid and low price eates in a variety of cuisines. The ones that do well aren't dumbing their food down

                                                2. re: Porthos
                                                  d
                                                  david t. RE: Porthos Mar 26, 2011 02:39 PM

                                                  Disagree with Porthos. My opinion is that people try to spin it as a Batali restaurant (he being the more famous of the two) but the involvement of Silverton is more than a small credit. She was indispensable for the success of the restaurant. And it doesn't seem logical, as powerful in LA as she is with her sale of La Brea Bakery, to be simply "working" in a Batali restaurant. The fact that Batali keeps correcting people by saying that it's her restaurant, gives no reason to doubt.

                                                  1. re: david t.
                                                    Porthos RE: david t. Mar 26, 2011 06:22 PM

                                                    If you've ever been to Batali's restaurants, you'll recognize it as another Batali restaurant.

                                                    1. re: Porthos
                                                      e
                                                      Ernie RE: Porthos Mar 27, 2011 07:45 AM

                                                      I have been to Batali's Pó in NYC's West Village since the early days. I don't see much resemblance to Pizzeria Mozza

                                                      -----
                                                      Pizzeria Mozza
                                                      641 N. Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                                      1. re: Ernie
                                                        Porthos RE: Ernie Mar 27, 2011 09:22 AM

                                                        You're absolutely right. Mozza bears no resemblance to Po. But you will see many similarities between the Mozzas and Lupa, Babbo, Otto, and B&B Ristorante. The decor, the music, the wine list, the wine format (quartinos, wine list all under $50), pretty much all the pastas, that famous budino, the olive oil gelato, the cured meats...all very much part of the highly successful B&B formula. Give full credit to Silverton for the dough and mozerrella bar and you have at most 25-33% contribution on her part foodwise. Management-wise I'm betting is pretty much deferred to the B&B machine.

                                                    2. re: david t.
                                                      a
                                                      AAQjr RE: david t. Mar 27, 2011 08:53 AM

                                                      I think Mark Peel and Campanille really get overlooked in Nancy's success. My take is that B&B brought in their 'empire building' experience eg management, restaurant design, wine list and they collaborated on the menu's.

                                              2. re: Porthos
                                                Porthos RE: Porthos Mar 26, 2011 10:45 AM

                                                Case in point. LA just lost Bistro LQ.

                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/774499

                                                -----
                                                Bistro LQ
                                                8009 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                                        2. r
                                          running pig RE: qli Mar 22, 2011 05:07 PM

                                          I know you aren't exactly looking for a review....but I've been pretty disappointed by my last 2 dinners at Patina (I loved it when I went 6-7 years ago).

                                          How about Craft?

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: running pig
                                            m
                                            mlgb RE: running pig Mar 22, 2011 06:12 PM

                                            How recently have you been at Patina? Since Tony Esnault took over?

                                            OP may want to look at some recent reviews here, if there are any.

                                          2. g
                                            gdodgerfan RE: qli Mar 23, 2011 05:47 PM

                                            And there is Hatfield's

                                            1. sarahbeths RE: qli Mar 26, 2011 05:54 PM

                                              didn't read all of the replies- I wonder what you mean by haute, I have an idea but could be wrong. You mean creative, innovative, modern? If so, definitely do not miss the Bazaar. My last meal there was crazy fun/exciting. They have a private tasting room Saam that is a pretty great deal.

                                              Melisse was maybe the best meal I've been to in the LA area. I would strongly recommend it.

                                              I went to Cut for my 30th birthday and I found it to be tremendously disappointing. I would say NO to cut.

                                              I really liked XIV by Michael Mina. Also love the way you can custom design your tasting menu.

                                              Also JiRaffe in Santa Monica. Had a fabulous meal there.

                                              I think by the time you come Michael Voltaggio's (Top chef winner etc) new restaurant will be open and will be all the rage in that haute category. If i were you I'd try to keep tabs on it and make a reservation far ahead in case.

                                              Valentino does some amazing food. Small portions, though, and not super modern. I am exceedingly picky about italian food. My other favorites (though again, not so modern or necessarily 'haute' include Angelini Osteria, La Botte in Santa Monica, and Madeo. My heart swells just typing their names. Went to Scarpetta, liked it but not as much as I wanted to.

                                              -----
                                              Angelini Osteria
                                              7313 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                              Madeo Restaurant
                                              8897 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                                              XIV
                                              8117 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

                                              Scarpetta
                                              225 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

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