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Best Prix Fixe w Wine Pairing - LA or OC

My friend wants to go to a nice dinner in a few weeks to celebrate. She wants to do a prix fixe w wine pairing. She wants something higher end like Melisse or Providence. I don't want to spend the money or the 3 hours right now.

What are some other lesser priced options? Off the top of my head I'm considering
Taco Mario
Red Medicine
Osteria Mozza

Orsa & Winston and Bestia booked. Anything else I'm missing?

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  1. What's your budget?

    One way to cut the price of Melisse is to share 1 wine pairing. I did that once - and we still both got drunk.

    Alma downtown has a more casual approach to this. A 5 course meal for $65, plus $35 for wine pairing. That might target your objective quite nicely.

    3 Replies
    1. re: foodiemahoodie

      Another vote for Alma.

      If Alma looks suitable, might also consider Allumette.

      1. re: foodiemahoodie

        Good point to share a pairing at Melisse. And Brian is one of the best somms in LA. He does fantastic pairings.

        1. re: foodiemahoodie

          You can split wine pairings? Is that common practice at places that offer them?

        2. LQ in Pasadena if the timing matches. Maude.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JAB

            Though I am a huge fan of DomaineLA and LQ, the pairings have never worked for me. Not last weekend either.

          2. I was at Alma recently. Loved the food, but found the wine pairing really uninspired. Thought they were interesting, somewhat obscure wines....that just didn't go well with the food. Felt that way about every course but one. And I didn't pay, but I don't think it was $35 for the pairing. But I might be wrong about that. I just remember my friend saying the cost was about the same as Trois Mec. And we had the premium wine pairing there.

            2 Replies
            1. re: perk

              Agree. Our last wine pairing there was a bit of miss, though the wines by themselves were quite nice unlike many pairings we've done.

              1. re: revets2

                I thought so too revets2. It's not that I disliked the wines. I just thought they weren't paired with the food very successfully.

              1. re: Ipso Facto

                Good idea too. Keep forgetting about Bashan.

                1. I think you've got it. You should really go to Taco Maria though.

                  There aren't many tasting menu options in LA.

                  Only other place to put on your list is, maybe, Allumette.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: BacoMan

                    The pairing at Taco Maria is usually pretty strong.

                  2. I took a couple people to an informal but still pretty great makeshift tasting menu in the bar at Valentinos. Order 4 or 5 small plates and share them. Casual and elegant at the same time.

                    1. not so sure how good their wine pairing is but do like n/naka

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: rickym13

                        It's great, but it's at least half cold sake. Great stuff and very interesting.

                        But the place is no longer the relative bargain it used to be.

                        1. re: rickym13

                          I deleted n/naka from my initial post because the OP stated " I don't want to spend the money" as Melisse or Providence. I think n/naka is in that territory.

                          1. re: JAB

                            n/naka is a little too pricey for us but its high on our list when budget allows.

                        2. Maude?

                          Haven't been myself yet. May be booked solid.

                          1. We're looking for around $100 per person with wine not including tax and top. Providence smaller prix fixe with wine pairing is $140 so if we open up our budget we'd probably go that route.

                            We're looking at March 29th.
                            I'll try Maude but I'd assume they are booked solid.
                            Alma was booked.
                            Bashan is too far for us - we live in OC.

                            I've been to Taco Maria and loved it. I made a reservation as a placeholder. I think for the value $70 at Taco Maria is one of the best values.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: js76wisco

                              Maude is booked solid in March. I couldn't even get a Saturday in April and this was 2 weeks ago.

                              Tough to beat Taco Mario for cuisine AND wine pairing at $70. Uber and don't drive. Win win.

                              1. re: Porthos

                                Taco Maria $75 and the Spring menu is posted on their site.

                            2. Maude was fantastic and a relative bargain at $75pp. Their wine pairing however was rather lackluster and not something I would recommend. Next time I go, I'll be bringing my own bottles.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: TailbackU

                                Good to know. Hostess kept gushing about the pairing "they really know what they are doing". Almost believed her even though I knew I shouldn't.

                                How was the wine list? Reasonably priced with a good selection or standard 3X-5x markup for young wines at trendy new restaurant?

                                1. re: Porthos

                                  I didn't even look at the wine list because I knew I was going to get the pairing.

                                  1. re: Porthos

                                    Where do you do all this wine pricing research? Just run everything through Google?

                                    Where do you order all the wines restaurants do for cheaper?

                                    And how do you know which are good ones and which are just shit to make them money?