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Day One of DineLA: Ford's Filling Station

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It was an inauspicious start for L.A.'s first Restaurant Week: when first we arrived at Ford's Filling Station for lunch (the first stop on our two-week tour of the event's featured restaurants), the rain was falling, the wind was blowing, and tables were not being filled. But thanks to a brief respite from the storm, and to a hearty, delicious prix-fixe menu, the day redeemed itself.

Ford's Filling Station is offering a $22 lunch menu and a $34 dinner menu to Restaurant Week participants; you can check out both menus here and get info on reservations through the DineLA website. Going with three or more people is your best bet, since you can sample each option on the menu (most restaurants are offering diners a choice between three dishes for each course).

The highlight of the Ford's lunch menu was definitely the Manila clam chowder, a rustic preparation with whole clams floating in the creamiest, most fragrant leek broth you've ever tasted. It was a lucky break that the soup was so darn good, because the first course took ages to arrive -- we were sitting with our drinks for well over a half-hour after ordering, watching diners around us arrive and begin to eat before we got our plates.