131 N St
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Dining date: 6/22/18
SingleThread is one of the up-and-coming fine dining restaurants in the greater Bay Area. Opened at the end of 2016, it has garnered two Michelin stars, 4 stars from the SF Chronicle and was recently named a ‘One to Watch’ by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants team. Chef Kyle Connaughton and wife Katina run this restaurant, which is part of the inn and farm that they also operate. The cuisine here is a blend of Japanese and Californian; tickets were $295 each, gratuity-inclusive.
We spent some time at the rooftop garden terrace as our table was getting set up.
8385 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Dining date: 12/13/18
Naruki Matsumoto was the longtime chef of Hirozen which served sushi on this mid-city corner for two decades. In 2016 the ownership of the restaurant changed hands to Matsumoto, who renamed the restaurant. The restaurant is small with just a few tables and a sushi bar seating about ten.
We went with a sushi omakase offering.
11301 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Dining date: 8/4/17
Kiriko has been a mainstay on the corner of Olympic and Sawtelle for almost two decades. I’ve been to the restaurant once many years ago for lunch. I don’t really remember anything from that visit, but came back for a sushi-focused dinner. We did a sushi omakase which priced out to be about $80 per diner before tax/tip/drinks.
The Cosmopolitan Hotel
3708 S Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Dining date: 4/29/17
Momofuku Las Vegas opened earlier this year, sure to be one of the most notable openings of 2017. This is David Chang’s first foray west of the Mississippi, a huge restaurant at the Cosmopolitan Hotel. The restaurant doesn’t duplicate any singular concept in his empire; rather, it’s a mash-up of a few of his concepts, particularly Momofuku Noodle Bar and Ssam Bar. The famous Milk Bar has also opened next door and provides the desserts for the restaurant.
We dined here for lunch, which has a very similar menu to the restaurant’s dinner service.
Orsa & Winston
122 W 4th St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Dining date: 4/15/17
It’s been some time since I’ve been to Orsa & Winston. This was my third visit here and it seems like the restaurant hasn’t changed too much. The food is still very much Italian and Japanese-influenced, although the menu does appear to feature vegetables more prominently. This isn’t surprising, reflective of chef Jose Centeno’s latest desire to cook/eat (his latest concept, P.Y.T., is almost vegetarian).
$85 buys six courses here with a couple of optional supplements that change often. Some of the ‘extras’ – an amuse bouche, a pre-dessert, and mignardises kind of makes it feel like a nine courser before supplements. If that’s still not enough, there’s still a 20-course super omakase is still available at the bar with advance reservation.
On this evening we opted for the regular tasting menu, adding both supplements.
Shunji Japanese Cuisine
12244 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Dining date: 1/21/17
Shunji Nakao’s eponymous restaurant has been a sushi staple on the west side since opening in 2012. Nakao has been at the forefront of sushi in Los Angeles for decades since being one of the opening chefs of Matsuhisa. After Matsuhisa, Nakao has also been chef at notable restaurants Asanebo and The Hump.
I’ve been to Shunji once, for lunch, and had an enjoyable meal (it was a great value too). I was excited to come in for dinner and try a little more. We went with a sushi omakase, adding a few cooked dishes to begin with.