Category Archives: Fine Dining

5 Star Dining Los Angeles

Basketball season, Los Angeles-2010 is when I first realized that I had this love affair with fine dining. There I was sitting in the restaurant at the Staples Center with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon and a plate of stuffed artichoke hearts, waiting on my main course. To the left of me, a prominent friend much my elder, yet a very established CEO with a well-known prominent law firm and an inventor of a product the he later sold to 3M for a crazy chunk of change. To my right “Dr. Mcguillroy”, prestigious heart surgeon and USC graduate with deep connections with the elite of California’s healthcare industry. Across from me sat another doctor,  whom I learned was a nephrologist out of USC as well, and his young an attractive acquaintance who wore that smashing Yves St. Laurent number.  It was normal for us to gather as such, as we bore season tickets to the Los Angeles Clippers ( L.A.’s under-dog stepchild basketball team) that we loved dearly. We sat 3 rows behind the players and on nights when the alcoholic beverages flowed, they could hear us as we yelled out some pretty interesting dialogue during these intense and highly entertaining games. Now certainly the simple yet acceptable restaurant at the staples center did not strike my 5 star dining fire, no no…however, it was a pre-cursor if I may, to what would soon to be an expensive habit of gather, eat, drink and debate on a regular basis for us well-dressed academics. 

 

344 N. Camden Beverly Hills California…

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Ok so Mr. Chow’s in Beverly Hills. The wealthy, the pretty, and of course the celeb’s love this place. My first visit here was with a very good friend of mine, a shy accountant with a very fine palate who actually took my fine dining experiences to another level. For starters we had shark fin soup. The story goes that shark fin soup was created by an emperor in the Sung Dynasty (AD 968) who wanted to show how powerful, wealthy and generous he was to his banquet guests. Serving the expensive dish came to be seen as a sign of respect. Shark Fining is very controversial, according to the Huffington post “China has banned shark-fin soup from official government banquets and receptions, according to a report from the state-run Xinhua news agency”. The battle goes on between restaurateurs and private consumers and activist groups around the world with regards to this intriguing dish. The main course was something to definitely write home about, super fine dining with an unparalleled experience. The lychee martinis were crazy delish.

 

930 Hilgard West LA…

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STK West LA, apparently so cool that I couldn’t get an image of the interior; but here’s a photo of  Daymond John and Kevin O’Leary (aka Mr.Wonderful) from shark tank, with a combined estimated net worth of over $550 million dollars, basking in the ambiance!

Can you say wagyu? STK known for their Australian wagyu. According to Wikipedia” The Australian Wagyu Association is the largest breed association outside Japan. Both full-blooded and Wagyu-cross cattle are farmed in Australia for domestic and overseas markets, including Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, the U.K., France, Germany, Denmark and the U.S. Australian Wagyu cattle are grain fed for the last 300–500 days of production. Wagyu bred in Western Australia’s Margaret River region often have red wine added to their feed as well.

Sorry, had to get that fact out there, I love my wagyu! Ok so back to the restaurant. Super sexy, swanky with superb service. Truffle fries and the highly coveted table-side caesar salad, which is prepared table-side for your viewing pleasure are two of my favorites. My water-glass will never be empty here as the servers are hyper attentive and well versed with regards to the menu and surprisingly- if you’d like, a brief history of certain dishes that are offered and why that dish is so important to the STK brand. You must have the tuna tartar when visiting this swaggy and sophisticated spot. Ask about the cocktail with the egg foam on top (a cool surprise for your palate). Lastly, I love that the staff greet me by my first name when I call to make a reservation. For the guests that frequent STK, your phone number is saved in their system so when you phone in, your call is answered with an immediate and warm personal greet. STK has my vote any day all day.

 

9200 Sunset West Hollywood…

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BOA Steakhouse… Celebrity hot-spot, BOA Steakhouse is a contemporary American steakhouse. A place for the new “Rat Pack” to hang your hats. Great steaks and seafood, something for everyone with an award-winning wine list. And I know what you’re thinking; what if a “celebrity hot-spot” is not your cup of tea, you just want a decent steak and a kick-ass glass of wine. My subtle answer to that concern would be IT’s HOLLYWOOD BABY! Sorry, but that’s the way it goes in those neck of the woods. If the food is excellent, the decor is sexy, the wine list superb and the champagne on point; nine times out of ten it will be a celeb hot-spot with paparazzi outside the door, the whole enchilada honey. If you can get past all of that then your reward is an extraordinary dining experience. Lobster mashed potatoes and that mac n cheese are two of my favorites at BOA. The steak, outstanding and the wine list is definitely A list worthy. Check out Katana, a sister restaurant where you can order filet mignon and foie gras skewers!

 

7963 Melrose Los Angeles…

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Carlito’s Gardel Argentine steakhouse, one of my personal favorites. Very early on in my fine dining chronicles I was lucky enough to stumble across this honeycomb hide-out on melrose. It started one night while I was online looking for a swanky and intimate spot to dine that offered a killer steak and the best bottle of rosé  west of the 5 freeway. Carlito’s is hidden in plain sight and it is quite a sight to see. At night the crisp white table cloths and soft lighting, compliment the expensive wine glasses and fine china, that compliment the flawless menu that is offered at this Argentine gem. The walls are decorated with some of Carlito’s  most famous guests and although a little tight inside, this fine restaurant made my list purely on quality. They serve a lobster bisque that will take your breath away. If in case you were wondering, the rosé is excellent and worth every penny. Moreover, what stands out here is the service.  As soon as you are seated you are greeted by the waiter and the sommelier. The sommelier Max has curated an impressive 18-page tome of unique and boutique wines with one of the finest and most extensive selections of wines by the glass I’ve seen anywhere. This is one of the few places I can confidently order a $72 bottle of wine that drinks like it costs well over $100. There’s even an entire page dedicated to the rare wines of Giacomo Conterno. Now, that’s a serious wine program. Everyone was friendly and attentive. Someone in my party dropped a utensil on the ground, and within seconds, our waiter magically appeared with a replacement. I will admit that the steak at Carlito’s is as good or better than some of the more well noted spots in the area. Once you feast your eyes on the menu and indulge in the fine experience that Carlito’s Gardel offers, you too will be an instant fan.

 

 

 

 

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