Go for chef tastings at Hatfield's, urges Porthos. They are flawless—even more sophisticated and high-end than the normal menu.
At a recent dinner, Porthos paid $98 for seven savory courses and three dessert courses: "a tremendous bargain for this caliber of cooking." Porthos's most recent tasting started with a wonderfully refreshing cured mackerel salad. There was "amazingly tender, sweet, and slightly briny" cuttlefish ribbons over artichoke purée. Plus corn custard soup with fried oysters; hamachi collar with black-eyed peas; and braised pork belly with lentils and Meyer lemon compote.
Perhaps the highlight of the meal: buttermilk steamed chicken with foie gras, sautéed pea shoots, and pea purée. "This dish was very French in appearance but very Asian in taste," says Porthos.
Hatfield's [West Hollywood]
6703 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles