5955 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Dining date: 9/14/15
This year, Providence is celebrating its 10th anniversary. To celebrate the occasion, the restaurant held a three-part guest chef series. The first one was last month featuring Dominique Crenn (Atelier Crenn in San Francisco) and Suzanne Goin (Lucques), while this one brought chefs Michael Tusk (Quince in San Francisco) and Marc Vetri (Vetri in Philadelphia) into the restaurant. Rounding out the series will be a dinner next month featuring David Kinch (Manresa in Los Gatos) and Mauro Colagreco (Mirazur in France).
I’ve been to Michelin two-starred Quince once and casual sister restaurant Cotogna a few times. This would be my first time having Vetri’s food, though. Tusk, Vetri and Providence’s Michael Cimarusti and pastry chef Jessi Liu collaborated on the evening’s menu, eight courses, for $225.
1600 Atlas Peak Rd
Napa, CA 94558
Dining date: 8/30/15
When The French Laundry closed this past winter for a remodel, Thomas Keller partnered with Napa’s Silverado Resort to open up a temporary restaurant on the grounds. The primary reason was to keep the TFL team employed while the restaurant was closed, which was only supposed to be about 3-4 months. The French Laundry did reopen in April, but Ad Lib’s run has been extended through October when the resort will host a PGA Tour event.
While I am a huge Thomas Keller fan, I was a little apprehensive about trying Ad Lib. The restaurant had received somewhat mixed reviews and The French Laundry staff had already departed in April back to their home restaurant. Furthermore, one of the most popular dishes from the original run, a short rib beef wellington, was no longer on the menu. However, I figured I might as well give the restaurant a try during its limited run.
Temporarily situated inside the resort’s Royal Oak restaurant, Ad Lib was one of the dimmest restaurants in recent memory. The focus of the decor was primarily on the large windows peering out onto the resort grounds and its golf course. While it was dark by the time of our reservation, we observed a striking moonrise over the mountains.
6534 Washington St
Yountville, CA 94599
Dining date: 8/31/15
I’ve been to the Beverly Hills and Las Vegas locations of Bouchon numerous times although I had not been to Bouchon’s first location here in Yountville (until now). I’d like to think I’m very familiar with the cuisine here; the menu at all Bouchon locations is pretty much the same serving up Thomas Keller’s interpretation of French bistro food. One thing that does set this location apart is that it’s garnered a Michelin star.
I stopped in for a late Monday lunch after a morning of wine tasting.
6476 Washington St
Yountville, CA 94599
Dining date: 8/30/15
I’ve been to Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc twice before (with the last visit over five years ago) and been to Addendum once, earlier this year. While looking for a brunch spot for a large party, Ad Hoc came up as the popular choice.
This would be my first time having brunch here. Ad Hoc offers one daily menu, 3-4 courses served family style. The restaurant sometimes serves its famous fried chicken in a classic chicken and waffles dish for brunch; I was really hoping for this but it wasn’t in the cards this afternoon.
2121 7th Pl.
Los Angeles, CA 90021
Dining date: 2/7/15, 3/22/15 and 8/26/15
Open almost three years now, Bestia continues to be a restaurant I frequent. I’m not alone; it seems to be as popular as ever. I consider it one of my favorite restaurants in the city and am lucky to have it in close proximity to me downtown.
The menu at Bestia changes often, rotating based on the seasons and ingredient availability. However, there’s always a handful of menu staples as well; every time I visit, I get some of these old favorites as well as some new ones. This post recaps three previous visits. Continue reading
7313 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Dining date: 8/7/15
Gino Angelini has been cooking his popular Italian fare in this small spot on Beverly for almost 15 years now. It’s been a crowd favorite ever since opening and certainly was a full house on this Friday evening. It’s hard to pinpoint why it took me three and a half years to return here since my first visit in 2012. I think part of it is due to the restaurant’s lack of OpenTable accessibility (it’s a real thing!) and part of it is due to the emergence of Bestia downtown. Whatever the reasons, I really enjoyed the meal (especially the pastas) during that first visit so a return trip was way overdue.