Vegas Uncork’d Preview @ Border Grill (Los Angeles, CA)

Vegas Uncork’d @ Border Grill
445 S Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Dining date: 1/27/15

signage

This past week, Bon Appetit and Las Vegas hosted a Vegas Uncork’d preview at downtown’s Border Grill. It was a fitting location, given Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger’s restaurant has two locations in Las Vegas and has been a consistent participant in the annual food event. This evening’s event served to garner attention to the April fest, as well as celebrate Border Grill’s 30th anniversary.

Now in its 9th year, Vegas Uncork’d has moved up a little earlier this year to the last weekend of April. As usual, it will amass dozens of big-name chefs cooking their way through various different seminars, tastings, classes and sit-down meals. The 20+ event, 4-day Uncork’d has been a tradition in my family for many years now and I’m looking forward to what 2015 has to offer (see 2014 here and here).

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Redbird (Los Angeles, CA)

Redbird
114 E 2nd St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Dining date: 1/15/15

exterior

Neal & Amy Fraser’s Grace seems like so long ago; it’s been 4.5 years since the doors closed for good (I was at their final night). Two restaurant concepts (Playa and Petty Cash) have since replaced Grace on Beverly Blvd while Fraser’s Redbird faced delay after delay after delay. I remember years ago when this concept at the Vibiana was first announced in the “up-and-coming” downtown restaurant scene. Since then, downtown has certainly arrived and I think Redbird will make a great addition to the neighborhood.

Redbird is serving new American cuisine in a beautiful space at the Vibiana. Large windows, a live tree, and an open-air “ceiling” make for a spot that almost feels outdoors; I think it’ll be particularly nice to dine here during summer evenings.

ceiling

interior

I stopped in the previous week after an Art Walk stroll to get some of Julian Cox’s cocktails and a couple of snacks from the menu (chicken pot pie!). However, a full meal was definitely in order on this evening.

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Faith & Flower (Los Angeles, CA) [2]

Faith & Flower
705 W 9th St
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Dining date: 12/31/14

menu

Faith & Flower was one of my favorite restaurant openings in 2013 with its Asian-accented modern American cuisine and excellent cocktails. It’s conveniently (for me!) located downtown and has quickly become a go-to for me for a spontaneous spot for bites and drinks. While I’ve actually only had one full dinner in the dining room here, each of times I’ve dined in the bar/lounge area has been good as well.

When looking for a local dining experience on NYE, Faith & Flower was the choice. Special tasting menus were offered on this night with this one being $125pp inclusive of a champagne toast at midnight. All images on this post were taken with a point-and-shoot camera instead of my usual DSLR to stay mobile this evening.

interior

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Bestia (Los Angeles, CA) [3]

Bestia
2121 7th Pl.
Los Angeles, CA 90021
Dining date: 6/21/14, 8/1/14 and 10/10/14

bestia

Bestia continues to be one of my favorite restaurants in the city. The food’s as good as ever and the restaurant continues to pack the house nightly. I’ve visited regularly, once every month and a half or so; this post recaps three of my most recent meals.

bestia interior

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Q Sushi (Los Angeles, CA) [2]

Q Sushi
521 W 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Dining date: 10/2/14

q exterior

I first dined at Q two months ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. This return visit came quicker than expected as Q was the last-minute choice for a special occasion meal in the downtown area.

Sushi Zo still gets the majority of buzz of high-end downtown sushi options, though Q is right up there and deserves strong consideration. The quality of the fish is superb and the precision is exacting, plus I think Q has one of the most beautiful sushi bars in town (I love the lightbulbs). It’s very quiet and rather tranquil, transporting one away from the busy downtown streets just outside the doors.

q interior

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b.o.s. (Los Angeles, CA) [2]

b.o.s.
424 E 2nd St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Dining date: 9/13/14

bos

A couple of weeks ago, b.o.s. announced it would close its doors on Sept. 27th. I was very disappointed to hear the news, but knew it wasn’t exactly packing the tables despite mostly positive reviews. Its nose-to-tail concept seemed like it could be a good fit in the area, but I’m not sure it ever caught on with the local crowd. Its closure just seems way too soon. I visited almost a year ago, soon after the restaurant opened, and enjoyed my meal there. I wanted to stop in at least one more time to see what’s changed.

chef

During my first visit, we dined at the omakase-only bar. On this subsequent one, we sat in the dining room and had the full a la carte menu to choose from. To me, the menu is just as interesting as before with a mix of “exotic” like tongue, heart, brain, and intestines but also some more typical beefy items like oxtails, short ribs, and a handful of steak options.

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