Scarpetta (Beverly Hills, CA) [3]

Montage Beverly Hills
225 North Canon Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Dining date: 7/7/15


I’ve had some great meals at Scarpetta since it opened in 2010. It had been almost two years since I stopped in, so a return visit was long overdue. In my opinion, the restaurant’s best seats are the six at the kitchen counter; this would be my third time sitting here. We had a custom tasting menu built for the evening, picking a few old favorites and letting chef Freddy Vargas fill in the rest.


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CUT (Beverly Hills, CA) [2]

Beverly Wilshire Hotel
9500 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Dining date: 7/15/15

CutI haven’t been to CUT since 2011 but have generally regarded it as probably the best true steakhouse in the city. I recently put that to the test during a revisit for a birthday dinner.

CUT is Wolfgang Puck’s modern interpretation of an American steakhouse. Their steak offerings are top-notch in breadth and quality featuring multiple cuts of Japanese wagyu, American wagyu, and aged USDA Prime varieties (distinguished between corn and grass fed). 


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Matsuhisa (Beverly Hills, CA)

129 N La Cienega Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Dining date: 8/7/14


Nobu Matsuhisa’s massive empire currently stretches 5 continents with over 30 restaurants; he’s easily one of the most successful high-end chef/restaurateurs today. However, it all began here in 1987, where Matsuhisa would establish a name for himself and where he met some powerful partners that helped him expand the brand worldwide. Almost thirty years later, Matsuhisa is still going strong on La Cienega’s restaurant row.

I was first introduced to Matsuhisa’s food at the original Nobu in New York many years ago and loved it. I’d frequented his restaurants in LA when I first moved here (and Las Vegas too), but it’d been many years since this latest visit.



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Scarpetta (Beverly Hills, CA) [2]

Montage Beverly Hills
225 North Canon Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Dining date: 10/19/13

scarpetta exterior

It’s been two years since my last visit to Scarpetta (it really doesn’t seem that long ago at all) and three years since my first opening night visit – still one of the more memorable dining experiences of my life. Scott Conant is still the face of the restaurant, but day-to-day oversight of the kitchen has transitioned to new executive chef Freddy Vargas as of May (who took over from the short tenure of Alex Stratta). This past weekend, I was invited back into the restaurant to get a taste of what’s new. This would be my fourth visit overall.


The dining room is huge but the best seats in the house are the five at the end of the kitchen. Dubbed the ‘Chef’s Counter,’ it offers a front row seat in the kitchen and interaction with the chefs. As one can assume, it’s a completely different type of experience. My understand is that this isn’t tasting menu-only; a la carte is possible…but some sort of tasting would seem to be the best way to get the full experience.

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Nozawa Bar at SUGARFISH (Beverly Hills, CA)

Nozawa Bar
SUGARFISH Beverly Hills
212 North Canon Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Dining date: 5/18/13

nozawa bar menu

SUGARFISH, the streamlined sushi concept from Nozawa, has been rapidly expanding across LA since opening its first location in Marina Del Rey five years ago. This Beverly Hills location is the 6th in the chain (a 7th in Calabasas is already planned with rumors of a NYC project next year), though this one’s not quite like the others. This location is home to something called the Nozawa Bar, a reservation-only 10-seat sushi bar in the back of the restaurant serving an omakase-only menu of various sushi/sashimi. Whereas SUGARFISH focuses on more of the “typical” cuts of fish, the Nozawa Bar promises a more adventurous foray into sushi with its ~20 course meal. Another big difference is that the sushi is prepared right in front of the diner (like a typical sushi bar) rather than in the back (something all SUGARFISH locations share).

sugarfish exterior

Lunch and dinner reservations are taken online only (here), at $130 and $150 per meal, respectively. Having never been to Nozawa I was excited to dine here, which seems like the closest thing still in existence (though, a completely different concept). This would also be my first true omakase sushi experience since returning from Japan late last year.

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Red Medicine (Los Angeles, CA)

Red Medicine
8400 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Dining date: 3/30/13

red medicine exterior

Red Medicine is easily one of the city’s most controversial restaurants and it doesn’t really have anything to do with the food. Indeed, I think the outing of LA Times food critic S. Irene Virbila and the public admonishing of no-show diners has brought the restaurant nationwide attention, but it has likely overshadowed the food. More quietly, I’ve heard that the food coming out of Red Medicine’s kitchens are some of the more interesting, beautiful and delicious in the city, finding an ideal balance between Vietnamese influences and more modern American cuisine.


I first sampled Red Medicine at the debut of revolving pop-up Test Kitchen in 2010, just before its opening in November of that year. Soon after the opening I stopped in for lunch, but it took me just over two years after that last visit to stop in for a proper dinner meal. I’ve been many times for dessert, but a full dinner was long overdue.

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