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Los Angeles Area Tasting Menu

Help me break down the LA tasting menu scene (I promise to be specific!)

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Help me break down the LA tasting menu scene (I promise to be specific!)

Pei | Dec 14, 2006 07:35 PM

I know you all get a lot of questions about tasting menus, but scouring the past posts hasn't been very helpful because each query simply results in a slew of votes for: Spago, Opus, Patina, Providence, Sona, Melisse, Bastide, and a motley assortment of others.

And no, I can't afford Urasawa!

So, I'm wondering if breaking it down would help me decide. What, do you think, is the best in terms of the following:

BEST FOOD: I'm going to predict this will be a wash. I know the food's going to be fantastic at all of these places, so I'll do the legwork and check out all the websites. Reading the menu and looking at photos should help me decide what I want to eat.

BEST AMBIANCE: do all of these places have gorgeous dining rooms, either modern or old-fashioned? Is one especially more breathtaking than the others?

VARIETY: if two people go for tasting menus, which of these places will serve the two people different courses, and which will serve the two identical courses?

WINE: who has the most impressive wine pairings?

VALUE: I know we're talking about a $20 difference between all these menus, but who has the best value in your opinion?

CHAIRS: it sounds silly, but ipsedixit just complained that her behind fell asleep after three hours at Providence. Who has the the most well-cushioned chairs? I know Opus has big comfortable armchairs.

My one and only tasting menu experience was at The Ritz in San Francisco (Ron Siegel), and I'm hoping to top that.

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