I must confess, when I lived in San Francisco I didn’t may much attention to Dine About Town, the annual January promotion designed to lure people from their EnviroLog-brightened living rooms into the city’s restaurants. But now that I dwell in Los Angeles, it’s different, and the reason is simple: Dine LA’s 250-plus restaurants include several of the city’s top-tier A-listers—you know, the restaurants that don’t have to participate because they’re booked solid anyway.
Imagine if State bird Provisions and AQ took part in Dine About Town, offering prix-fixe dinners at 2002 prices. I know, right? Here are the three meals I’m most looking forward to eating between now and Feb. 1, when Dine LA closes.
This rollicking downtown gastropub just made Los Angeles Magazine’s list of the 10 Best New Restaurants. For the first course, I’m ordering the kale salad (thus proving my metamorphosis to Angeleno complete) with pomegranate, parsnip and black rice; then grilled crab with curried potato salad for a main (though you can feel free to order the cassoulet or rotisserie chicken with bread salad); and lastly, olive oil cake for dessert.
Lazy Ox Canteen
This intimate space in Little Tokyo is my go-to recommendation when people ask me where to eat in LA. I was thrilled to see that the prix-fixe dinner menu includes several of my favorites: Caramelized cauliflower with chili flakes, a wondrous little starter that combines sweet and hot; a braised short rib entrée (though you can’t go wrong with the burger or the tagliatelle with oxtail ragu either); and to finish, the most satisfying rice pudding you’ll ever eat, due to the tiny crunch of pine nut in each bite.
This classic French bistro out in the windblown luxury of Pacific Palisades also made it into this year’s Top 10 New Restaurants. The pistou soup comes highly recommended, but I’m going with the pan-roasted scallops to start, then beef bourguignon, and finally, profiteroles. Maybe the LA Tourism & Convention Board should follow up Dine LA with a gym-week promotion.