It’s that time of year again… (and for the most observant among you, I apologise for the blatant self-plagiarism of most of this post) …Restaurant Week is already underway in Los Angeles, giving diners the opportunity to eat a special offer prix fixe menu – usually up to three courses – at an impressively large number of participating venues. And it gets even better. Restaurant Week actually runs from Monday 15th – Friday 26th July, spreading its gastric delights over what is actually nearer a fortnight.
It’s a very happy coincidence that I’ll be back in LA for almost all of this time, and I was delighted to find an email this morning from a friend inviting me for lunch at The Rooftop, Gordon Ramsay’s West Hollywood restaurant at the London Hotel. I said yes. Not least as we’re going to be taking advantage of the lunch time menu there, which during Restaurant Week offers a three course lunch for what is a rather reasonable $25.00.
For anyone not familiar with Restaurant Week, it’s an event that is said to showcase the diversity of culinary experiences available across the city. It can certainly be a very good deal, with lunch menus available for $15-25 (plus tax and tip). And while dinner is generally more expensive, a price tag of $25-45 can be great motivation to try somewhere completely new, or the perfect incentive to venture into one of the (usually) more expensive Los Angeles venues – including restaurants associated with a celebrated chef (including Gordon Ramsay of course, but also Wolfgang Puck, Nobu Matshuisa…), or just with a reputation for celebrities.
You could try a new neighbourhood, choosing a location anywhere from Alhambra to Woodland Hills, via Beverley Hills, Downtown, Manhattan Beach or Sherman Oaks (for example). Or discover a new cuisine. If you’re already familiar with Brazilian, Moroccan or sushi, then you might fancy fondue, Latin fusion or vegan. It seems like another great way to explore the city.
If you’re lucky enough to have some flexibility with your schedule then do check what’s being offered for both lunch and dinner – some places offer exactly the same menu, with a substantial increase in price for the latter. It’s also highly recommended that you make a reservation, and it’s important to note that some of the restaurants (not surprisingly) do get fully booked some time in advance. And once again, if you can’t get the reservation that you want this time, then start making a wish list for January 2014…