Now in its fifth year, dineLA Restaurant Week is expanding to be bigger and better than ever with its first summer season. This time around, it will be taking place over two weeks from July 16-27, 2012. Since its inception, Restaurant Week has become a citywide institution, and includes over 250 of the city’s finest restaurants.
How It Works
As in the past, there are three categories of restaurants from least expensive to most expensive where a prix-fixe three-course meal including appetizer, entrée and dessert will cost you $15, $20 or $25 for lunch, and $25, $35 or $45 for dinner. Some of those prices, including all the lunch ones, are actually lower than they have been in the past, so diners will be getting an even better deal than usual.
Here’s how the breakdown of pricing works based on what category of restaurant you dine at:
$ Deluxe Dining: Lunch $15 Dinner $25
$$ Premier Dining: Lunch $20 Dinner $35
$$$ Fine Dining: Lunch $25 Dinner $45
This season’s participating eateries include a mix of casual eateries such as BLD, Taste, Gladstone’s, Hostaria del Piccolo, Haven Gastropub, Little Next Door and La Sandia, as well as upscale venues such as AOC, Asia de Cuba, Bouchon Beverly Hills, Chaya Brasserie, Craft, Eva, Jar, Josie, Petrossian, Picca and Scarpetta. Of course, you’ll still find charter restaurants who have been participating since Restaurant Week began back in 2008, like BLD, Border Grill, Lawry’s the Prime Rib and Katsuya.
Perhaps most exciting is the list of newcomers participating for the first time, which includes A-Frame, Blue Cow Kitchen & Bar, Farmshop, Mo-chica, Post & Beam, Tortilla Republic and Wirtshaus, among others.
It’s only 12 days long, so in order to make the most out of your Restaurant Week(s), you’ve got to be strategic. Most important, plan ahead and make reservations whenever possible since tables tend to book up quickly across the board and especially in the top-tier Fine Dining category due to the limited time frame and because those tend to be the most sought-after restaurants.
Our chosen method of whittling down the enormous list of potential dining spots is to take a look at the menus most of the restaurants post on the Restaurant Week website to see which have offerings most to our liking.
Another bit of advice is to call up the restaurant and ask if they plan on extending their special menu beyond the two designated weeks, which many have chosen to do in the past, so if you cannot get into one of your top picks during Restaurant Week, you might be able to score a reservation in the weeks after at your leisure.
Don’t get too hung up on the categories, either. Lots of fantastic restaurants are on the Deluxe and Premier Dining lists as well, including a few we’d rate even higher than some of the Fine Dining spots. These include Akasha, Lukshon, Cleo, Comme Ca, Lazy Ox Canteen, Ray’s & Stark Bar, The Foundry on Melrose, Sunny Spot and Waterloo & City.
Our final piece of advice is to use this as an opportunity to go to some new neighborhoods, try restaurants you might have only heard about before, and eat food you wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to try. So get out to Montrose to try Bashan, or down to Manhattan Beach to try The Strand House. It’s all about pushing beyond your comfort zone and discovering sides to the city you might not have experienced before while supporting the local restaurant community.
American Express Credit
American Express will offer a $5 statement credit to diners who register an eligible American Express Card at amexnetwork.com/dineLA between June 22, 2012 and July 27, 2012 and spend $21 or more with the registered card during dineLA Restaurant Week.
To learn more visit DiscoverLosAngeles.com
Eric Rosen lives in Los Angeles and writes about food, wine, travel and adventure... usually in some combination of the four. He regularly contributes to Los Angeles Confidential Magazine, Condé Nast's HotelChatter and Jaunted, TravelAge West, Palate Press, Frontiers, Edge and Wandermelon. His work has also appeared in the L.A. Times. When he is not exploring the Los Angeles dining scene, Eri...(Read More)