Archive for the 'Fine Dining' Category

Otium – Los Angeles (Downtown)

Otium - Broad Museum - Los Angeles (Downtown)

Every Friday afternoon on his unenviable commute from El Segundo to Pasadena, The Astronomer tunes in to KCRW’s Good Food to hear Jonathan Gold’s restaurant pick of the week. He usually comes home totally pumped to explore whatever hot spot Mr. Gold dished about—from cotton candy in Koreatown to swanky new openings in Downtown.

Otium - Broad Museum - Los Angeles (Downtown)

We were inspired to finally make reservations at Otium following one particularly memorable segment. According to Mr. Gold, Otium is possibly “the most spectacular new restaurant to open in Los Angeles in years.” 

Otium - Broad Museum - Los Angeles (Downtown)

In the glow of The Broad Museum, Timothy Hollingsworth, the former chef de cuisine at the French Laundry, serves an eclectic menu of large and small plates. There are a number of raw seafood preparations, handmade pastas, and larger format proteins. 

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L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon – Las Vegas (MGM Grand)

L'Atelier De Joël Robuchon - Las Vegas

I was in the mood to be spoiled while in Las Vegas, so dinner at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon was an absolute must. We’ve dined here twice prior (here and here) and the hospitality is always exceptional.

Hardly famished due to our sizable Shake Shack lunch, The Astronomer and I both selected the “create your own menu” option for $98, which included an amuse bouche, three menu items, and dessert.

L'Atelier De Joël Robuchon - Las Vegas

Dinner began with three varieties of bread—mini baguettes, crusty rolls, and flaky croissant-like rolls—and plenty of salted butter. 

L'Atelier De Joël Robuchon - Las Vegas

Next to arrive was the amuse bouche: a foie gras parfait with port wine and Parmesan foam. Even though we’ve been served this same starter twice, it never seems to get old, foam included. 

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Highlands Bar & Grill – Birmingham

Highlands Bar and Grill - Birmingham

I hope it’s not too late to share with you my favorite meal of 2015? I mean, it’s only April 2016. The Astronomer’s parents, two of the most thoughtful people ever, gifted us dinner at Birmingham’s best restaurant while we were visiting for the holidays. Evenings out on the town are a rare treat for new parents, so we savored this one like you wouldn’t believe.

Highlands Bar and Grill - Birmingham

It had been far too long since we last dined at Chef Frank Stitt’s beloved and respected Highland’s Bar and Grill. In fact, our last meal here was back in 2009.

This evening’s feast began as it did in the past, with a trio of breads (country, white, and corn) served with butter.

Highlands Bar and Grill - Birmingham

To start, “Fried Chicken Livers” ($10) served on a black peppercorn biscuit with a celery root and kale slaw and sorghum dressing. While every element on the plate was perfectly executed, it was the golden-crisp livers that we loved most.

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n/naka – Los Angeles

N/Naka - Los Angeles

I try not to throw around the word “perfect” too often, but there’s no way around it when it comes to Chef Niki Nakayama’s n/naka. From food to service and ambiance, this place is as perfect as they come. There, I said it.

N/Naka - Los Angeles

Chef Niki serves a 13-course “Modern Kaiseki” nightly ($185). The menu changes with the seasons, and with the chef’s whims, while the flow of the meal adheres to Japanese traditions. The three hour experience is beautifully orchestrated and paced  just so, leaving diners pampered, satisfied, and feeling thoroughly justified for indulging in something so extravagant.

n/naka - Los Angeles

Our meal began with Saki Zuke, “a pairing of something common and something unique,” grilled Japanese scallop with ikura (salmon eggs) and English pea soup. Continue reading ‘n/naka – Los Angeles’

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