When an ordinary degustation just won’t do… when you demand the best personal service… when you are as fascinated by the process as the final product in a restaurant… when you want to have an experience you’ll never forget… you want to dine at a Chef’s Table. Here are Los Angeles’ Haute 5:
Foodies rave about their experiences with Executive Chef Michael Cimarusti (above) and Chef du Cuisine Yu Min Lin at this Michelin-starred Modern French destination. Dishes such as Foie gras, glazed carrots, green onion Szechwan peppercorn, mizuna… Tenderloin of lamb, purée of petit pois, pearl onions, adjuvant… Milk chocolate-whiskey panna cotta, Bailey’s ice cream, coconut ravioli… reveal the level of artistry on display for the private banquette which opens on to the kitchen.
Providence is located at 5955 Melrose Avenue, 323.460.4170
Saam at The Bazaar by José Andrés
While not an in-the-kitchen chef’s table experience, Saam is a sedate dining space hidden behind the more raucous Bazaar, designed by Phillippe Starck specifically to serve Chef José Andrés’ (above, on CBS’ 60 Minutes) twenty course tasting menu. Classic ingredients done in uncommon, unpredictable ways.
The Bazaar by José Andrés is located at SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, 465 South La Cienega Boulevard, 310.246.5545
Ex-Alain Ducasse Chef Tony Esnault (above) runs Joachim Splichal’s kitchen in this Michelin-starred crown jewel of his restaurant group. The secluded chefs’ table here seats up to nine, with a window directly into the kitchen where you can see dishes like wild halibut “a la plancha,” roasted monkfish tail with manila clams, milk-fed veal tenderloin and squab “en cocotte” come together.
Patina is located at Walt Disney Concert Hall, 141 South Grand Avenue, 213.972.3331
Owned by director Joe Pytka, Bastide has gone through many changes over the years. Newest chef Joseph Mahon (above) presents French-inspired California cuisine like a friseé salad with beets and asparagus; leek risotto with poached egg and proscuitto; black cod with shitake, fava beans, arugula and a coconut-mussel broth. That sounds like the work of a chef worth joining.
Bastide is located at 8475 Melrose Place, 323.651.5950
For a real foodie experience with a chef on the way up, see Top Chef Ilan Hall work his alchemy in this funky spot inside downtown’s historic Alexandria hotel. Bacon-wrapped Matzoh balls (you read that right), octopus with gizzards, toffee pudding are certainly not the ingredients of a dull evening.
The Gorbals is located at The Alexandria Hotel, 501 South Spring Street, 213.488.3408