HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >

Discussion

Birthday Dinner with Tasting Menu and Wine Pairing

I am celebrating my 26th birthday next weekend and am looking to have a great tasting menu with fabulous wine pairings. I have been to Bazaar for my past two birthdays and although I love it, I want to try something different. I have been considering Melisse (I actually have reservations), but I am not sure if the $350 per person is going to be worth it.

There will be 4 - 6 people in our party. We are good friends with a sushi chef, so other than sushi I am open to anything, but prefer New American, French, or Italian.

Any thoughts?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. In no particular order of preference ....

    Providence

    The Royce

    Valentino

    Spago

    1. ipse gave you 3 great options.

      other considerations:
      XIV
      Valentino
      Scarpetta (i *think* they do personalized tasting menus on request)

      -----
      XIV
      8117 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046

      Scarpetta
      225 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

      1. Providence FOR SURE!!!!

        1. Providence is doing a "rollback" prices on tasting menus. It's either though June or starting in June, so you might want to check. But it's a wonderful restaurant, and at those prices....amazing.

          2 Replies
          1. re: perk

            Providence is the way to go, but make sure to skip the 5 course tasting menu and go with the next one up.
            if not, Hatfields is a decent bargain for their tasting menu (i consider it one of the better "budget" tasting menus)

            1. re: perk

              Discount only applies to the 5 course menu.

              9 course and chef's tasting prices remain unchanged.

            2. I love Melisse. Is the $350 for the carte blanche with wine pairings? I've never done that tasting, but given the quality of food at Melisse, I can't imagine it wouldn't be spectacular. Melisse does have other menus that are less expensive, which I believe can be paired with wines. Most of the other menus allow you to pick and choose items from the different menus (sometimes with supplements). I remember once having the four-course menu (appetizer, fish, meat, dessert) and we wanted to try the lobster bolognese, so they did that as a separate course. (We skipped the cheese course that night.)

              Spago's tasting menu also is fantastic and is less expensive than Melisse's. The last time we went, a friend made a special request that we get one course of the sweet corn agnolotti, which they did. And on a prior visit, we had the best rabbit dish I've ever had. Lee Hefter told us that he only got enough rabbit to use at weekend prix fixe dinners, and I plan on seeing if we can request a rabbit dish on my next visit.

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

              1 Reply
              1. re: Jwsel

                Is the $350 for the carte blanche with wine pairings?

                _________

                Yes, although price varies.

              2. Providence is what you're looking for

                1. Also agree on Providence and re: 5 vs. 9 courses, I'm not the hugest eater so the 9 is way too much food for me. You can do the 5, which has the awesome rollback pricing, then add another course or two if you want. But if you have a big appetite, you might want to go 9.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Robert Thornton

                    For me the difference between the 5 and 9 course is minimal in terms of extra food.

                    The extra courses of the 9 course were the uni in egg shell, sea trout, lemon sorbet I loved the uni but the extra desert was really lackluster and the sea trout was alright.

                    I would rather have added my own courses off the ala carte menu to supplement the 5 course.

                  2. If I had the money, for me, it would be either Providence or Saddle Peak Lodge!

                    -----
                    Saddle Peak Lodge
                    419 Cold Canyon Rd., Calabasas, CA 91302

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Kitchen Queen

                      Really? I'd never put them in the same category. Has Saddle Peak Lodge improved dramatically that past five years? (which is about the last time I went).

                      -----
                      Saddle Peak Lodge
                      419 Cold Canyon Rd., Calabasas, CA 91302

                    2. We just had an incredible chef's tasting menu at The Tasting Kitchen. The cocktails we enjoyed first were sublime. The wine with dinner was a wonderful German pinot noir and when we ordered a white that I thought was a different vintner, it was taken back without pause. Then he opened a second Pinot noir and let us drink that by the glass. The food was outstanding. It was five courses plus dessert, and there was a minimum of two plates per course.

                      -----
                      Tasting Kitchen
                      1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90291