7 Restaurants Worth The Splurge
Los Angeles is home to some of our country's best high-end dining, from delectable haute Japanese cuisine reminiscent to the poetic styling of Jiro Dreams of Sushi to our two-Michelin-star French cuisine. If you're planning on splurging to celebrate an anniversary or birthday or just feeling a little extravagant, check out our list of the best fine-dining restaurants (ranging from the relatively pricey to deeper-pocketed spending) to dole out your hard-earned cash on.
Photo by Zen Sekizawa courtesy of n/naka
n/nakaYou probably wouldn't even notice n/naka if you drove past it in Palms, but inside the no-frills gray building is a high-end kaiseki restaurant that serves nontraditional Japanese fare in nine-and-13-course meal options (at $165 a pop). Although chef Niki Nakayama does serve sushi, don't think that's the only thing you'll get. Think more contemporary takes like spaghettini with black abalone and truffles, rib-eye steak, and grilled dishes.
n/naka is located at 3455 Overland Ave. in Palms, (310) 836-6252
If you want to swim in the lap of luxury of caviar and truffles, Mélisse is just the place. Josiah Citrin's two-Michelin-star French restaurant is the epitome of formal dining for when you have a hunkering to be treated like royalty. Admit it: It's fun to be fancy and dress up. If you want a taste, but can't quite commit to the high prices, they offer tasting menus that begin at $125. Even the non-carnivores get their own vegetarian menu treatment. It's the type of place where you can get Wagyu Beef Tartare and Lobster Bolognese topped with truffle froth. Get your truffle on.
Mélisse is located at 1104 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica, (310) 395-0881
Egg Caviar (Photo by Matthew Kiefer courtesy of Mélisse)
Burrata-lovers rejoice; Osteria Mozza has an extensive in-house fresh mozzarella bar. The Italian joint offers a hip and lively environment, and melds together the talented trio of Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali, and Joseph Bastianich (yes, you might have seen him on a little show called MasterChef). This fixture in L.A. has decadent pasta dishes like tagliolini with lobster and roasted sea urchin, and a wide-selection of wines. (But don't feel intimidated by the list—that's what sommeliers are for!)
Osteria Mozza is located at 6602 Melrose Ave. in Hollywood, (323) 297-0100
The Ugly Bunch (Photo by Noé Montes courtesy of Providence)
ProvidenceChef Michael Cimarusti knows his stuff when it comes to seafood. His Providence restaurant (located in the old Patina edifice) has been around for over seven years and his dishes ring of of French, American, and Asian touches. Even plates like "The Ugly Bunch" are actually beautiful with its gorgeous arrangement of abalone, geoduck, sea urchin, with smoked crème fraîche panna cotta that's fit to serve as artwork. If you want flowers and gold leaves to adorn your dishes, this place is perfect for your Instagram foodie feed. The restaurant is open for both lunch and dinner, a prix fixe menu option is given, and the dessert is not to be skipped.
Providence is located at 5955 Melrose Ave. in Mid-Wilshire, (323) 460-4170
Urasawa is a splurge to say the least, so much so that The Daily Meal tagged the restaurant as being the second most expensive in the country in 2012. The tiny sushi bar centered in the one of our richest towns serves kaiseki-style dishes. Despite being so pricey (in which a couple could run up a check to over a whopping $1,000), the celebrated chef Hiroyuki Urasawa is known to be down-to-earth and unpretentious when he prepares your dishes in front of you. With a large amount of his seafood from Japan, you can't help but feel you're transported to that country. The arrangements are beautiful, with fresh fish placed on hand-carved blocks of ice to items garnished with Russian caviar and 24 carat gold. Save up for this baby, and if you're one of the lucky ones to sample his dishes, try to go during blowfish season.
Urasawa is located at 218 N Rodeo Dr. in Beverly Hills, (310) 247-8939
Wolfgang Puck's Spago received not only a facelift in 2012, but rather a complete reinvention of itself with a new menu. Enjoy the now larger skylight that runs across the entire ceiling, and also the celeb-sightings along the way. If you're looking for some fusion in your life, Puck mixes Italian cuisine with Japanese influences. Items like veal tartare topped with smoked marscarpone and chirashi sushi highlight the menu, and the restaurant's tempura squash blossoms combines the best of two worlds.
Spago is located at 176 N Canon Dr. in Beverly Hills, (310) 385-0880
Uova da Raviolo, Pancetta, “Carbonara” Style (Photo by Andrea Bricco courtesy of Spago)
Patina is the perfect joint for foodies to get their grub on after a concert at the Walt Disney Hall. It's nestled on the first floor of the Frank Gehry-designed venue. The restaurant serves up its Californian-meet-French dishes in a fine-dining environment with stellar service. They offer seasonal tasting menus and even a paleo-centric one for those CrossFit lovers. Plus, there's a glorious gourmet cheese cart. Braised veal cheeks accompanied with butternut squash and Tahitian vanilla are one of the dishes that highlight the creative menu.
Patina is located at 141 S. Grand Ave. in Downtown, (213) 972-3331
Braised pork belly (Photo by Andrea Bricco courtesy of Patina)