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Laguna Beach; Vincenti and fixed menus

Peter Binkow | Feb 16, 2000 07:39 PM

Will be visiting a friend in Laguna Beach this weekend. We are considering going to Five Feet for the first time. Some years ago, we went to China 88. The first time, we loved it. A repeat visit was very disappointing.

Does anyone know the current status of Five Feet? What to order there? Any particular Laguna Beach recs in general?

We went to Vincenti for Valentines Day. Though a bit uneven, everything was good to excellent. The best dish, and only "revelation", according to my girlfriend was the scallops wrapped in radicchio and guanciale (if I remember correctly) -- unfortunately, my shellfish allergy prevented me from enjoying it. The Rotisserie pigeon was very good and not dry at all. Perhaps this was because Vincenti was serving only a limited special menu that night.

I always jump at the chance to partake in a limited menu. One of our favorite restaurants in Paris is Au Camelot, well documented by others on the international board, where the chef, who trained at a three star restaurant, prepares one menu each night: choice of dessert and wine only. Historically, I'm told, this more approximates classic French cooking from when the best chefs worked for the aristocracy and chose the best and freshest ingredients and prepared one meal all day, thereby giving them time to properly infuse flavors and create textures.

Is anyone aware of similar restaurants in LA (or NY) that create the one, changing menu, even if on a limited basis?

Finally made it out to Quanjude for Beijing duck per Jonathan Gold's longstanding recommendation in the LA Weekly. It's worth the trip if you're not out there already -- try Sat or Sun for less traffic.

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