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Best Prix Fixe w Wine Pairing - LA or OC

js76wisco Mar 10, 2014 06:20 PM

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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    foodiemahoodie RE: js76wisco Mar 10, 2014 06:30 PM

    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
      ipsedixit RE: foodiemahoodie Mar 10, 2014 06:42 PM

      Another vote for Alma.

      If Alma looks suitable, might also consider Allumette.

      1. re: foodiemahoodie
        revets2 RE: foodiemahoodie Mar 10, 2014 11:28 PM

        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
          BacoMan RE: foodiemahoodie Mar 11, 2014 12:13 AM

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

        2. JAB RE: js76wisco Mar 10, 2014 06:30 PM

          LQ in Pasadena if the timing matches. Maude.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JAB
            revets2 RE: JAB Mar 10, 2014 11:29 PM

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

          2. perk RE: js76wisco Mar 10, 2014 07:28 PM

            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
              revets2 RE: perk Mar 10, 2014 11:27 PM

              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
                perk RE: revets2 Mar 11, 2014 06:41 AM

                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.

            2. i
              Ipso Facto RE: js76wisco Mar 10, 2014 07:45 PM


              2 Replies
              1. re: Ipso Facto
                foodiemahoodie RE: Ipso Facto Mar 10, 2014 08:03 PM

                Good idea too. Keep forgetting about Bashan.

                1. re: Ipso Facto
                  happybaker RE: Ipso Facto Mar 10, 2014 08:59 PM

                  Here's the link for their prix fixe.


                2. b
                  BacoMan RE: js76wisco Mar 10, 2014 09:03 PM

                  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
                    revets2 RE: BacoMan Mar 10, 2014 11:32 PM

                    The pairing at Taco Maria is usually pretty strong.

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                    foodiemahoodie RE: js76wisco Mar 10, 2014 11:17 PM

                    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.

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                      rickym13 RE: js76wisco Mar 10, 2014 11:35 PM

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

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: rickym13
                        foodiemahoodie RE: rickym13 Mar 10, 2014 11:37 PM

                        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
                          JAB RE: rickym13 Mar 11, 2014 06:32 AM

                          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
                            js76wisco RE: JAB Mar 11, 2014 09:18 AM

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

                        2. Porthos RE: js76wisco Mar 11, 2014 08:54 AM


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

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                            js76wisco RE: js76wisco Mar 11, 2014 09:17 AM

                            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
                              Porthos RE: js76wisco Mar 11, 2014 10:23 AM

                              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
                                JAB RE: Porthos Mar 11, 2014 10:35 AM

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

                            2. t
                              TailbackU RE: js76wisco Mar 11, 2014 10:11 AM

                              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
                                Porthos RE: TailbackU Mar 11, 2014 10:21 AM

                                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
                                  TailbackU RE: Porthos Mar 12, 2014 10:49 AM

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

                                  1. re: Porthos
                                    BacoMan RE: Porthos Mar 12, 2014 05:16 PM

                                    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?

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