6221 Franklin Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Dining date: 11/19/16
I really like Papilles’ concept. A $38 three course menu is served daily with multiple options for each course. The menu, influenced by the French bistronomy movement, changes constantly. This evening’s menu featured a squash salad with an optional upgrade to foie gras torchon and a main course of prawns, hangar steak or duck breast.
155 W 51st St
New York, NY 10019
Dining date: 9/26/16
I’ve been to Le Bernardin once, dining on the chefs tasting menu in the main dining room. This time, I came to try more of Eric Ripert’s seafood-centric cuisine in the bar/lounge area.
The restaurant serves the full menu in the lounge, as well as a ‘City Harvest menu’ for lunch. This fixed menu offers three courses (two options for each) for $49, with $5 of that going to a local organization called City Harvest (which helps feed the city’s underprivileged). Given that $49 could be the price of just one entree in the main dining room, this seemed like a great price point to drop in for lunch on a few courses.
10 Columbus Circle
New York, NY 10019
Dining date: 9/25/16
I’ve dined in Per Se’s dining room once, but this was my first time dining at the restaurant’s lounge, called the Salon. In the Salon, right outside the main dining room, the restaurant offers an a la carte version of that day’s tasting menu. Desserts are also offered a la carte, as well as a dessert tasting menu priced at $70 for 5 courses. I picked out a few items from the evening’s menu – one appetizer, a fish, a meat and a dessert.
The Salon offers the same view as the main dining room.
9 W 53rd St
New York, NY 10019
Dining date: 9/24/16
This was my first time dining at The Modern, which just re-opened a day prior after a full kitchen remodel. The restaurant’s been abuzz in the last year, as one of the most prominent NYC restaurants to move away from tipping (they call it “hospitality-included”), a pricing model that many others are contemplating. The restaurant also garnered two Michelin stars in the 2016 guide, an elevation from its previous one-star status over the past few years.
The current dining room menu offers four courses for $158 and a $208 eight-course tasting (the bar serves a more casual a la carte menu). I went with the four-courser after having a late lunch at Xi’an Famous Foods earlier in the day.
257 S Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Dining date: 7/9/16
Spring opened at the corner of Third and Spring in February after a long, long, wait. The restaurant is from the team behind the Arts District’s Church & State with a fairly similar concept. Whereas Church & State is traditional French bistro, Spring expands its scope to a little more of the Mediterranean.
The space is beautiful essentially a large open atrium with a tree at its center. Plenty of natural light shines through while an expansive open kitchen greets patrons as they walk in.
L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon
15 Queen’s Road Central
Dining date: 3/12/16
I’ve enjoyed dining at Joel Robuchon’s various locations around the world and was happy to make a lunch stop here. Hong Kong’s version of L’Atelier is rated three Michelin stars, the only restaurant in the chain to hold this distinction. This restaurant is actually split into two parts – the signature wraparound bar surrounding the kitchen (L’Atelier) and a more formal dining room with tables (Le Jardin). Same menu, same kitchen, just a different type of atmosphere. We dined at the bar for a view of the action.
Lunch is composed of a 3-5 course prix fixe; between my parents and I ordering the 5-course ($858 HKD), we were able to try quite a bit of the menu.