Where to eat during dineL.A. Summer Restaurant Week
If you’re looking for a change of pace, Blackship’s Japanese-meets-Italian menu could do the trick—and, just in time for summer dineL.A., it’s got a great patio for enjoying a three-course $49 dinner alfresco. You’ll start with either heirloom tomato salad with whipped tofu or the hamachi crudo with daikon, then move on to your choice of hamachi bolognese over soba noodles or a summer-squash farrotto with slow-cooked egg and pickled wasabi. To finish? A miso butterscotch budino or a castella cake with stone fruit and whipped mascarpone, each dish a blend of both cultures.
We never need an excuse to eat Josiah Citrin's cuisine, so let's just say his dineL.A. menus make it all the more appealing. The chef's live-fire restaurant always includes some mouth-watering dishes, but especially during the event's two-week run whether it's via the $25 two-course brunch (charred-vegetable hash; crab Benedict; charcoal cheeseburger with grilled onions) or the four-course dinner for $59 (wagyu sirloin; cedar-smoked hibiscus salmon; cabbage baked in the embers; coal-roasted carrots with ricotta; smoky chicken wings with chili and vinegar).
Not that there’s ever a terrible time for seafood, but summer is perfect for cool crab, oysters and lobster with a bright squirt of lemon on a hot day, so leave it to Michael Cimarusti and his dineL.A. menus. On the $25 lunch prix fixe, grab a non-alcoholic drink, an app such as clam chowder, salad or oysters, then an entrée like a tuna melt, burger or a fried cod sandwich, and end with a whoopie pie or cookie. At dinner, the $39 menu nets you an appetizer—hey, grilled calamari with San Marzano tomatoes—plus fish and chips, Portuguese fish stew, that excellent lobster roll (for an additional $3), or the grilled wild fish of the day. Don’t forget the included dessert: the always-craveable blondie.
Can’t decide? If you’re overwhelmed by dineL.A.’s 400-plus options, the world-famous Italian market and food hall has you covered: Eataly’s got three separate restaurants offering special menus for the occassion, so you can peruse once you get there. At seafood counter-seating spot Il Pesce Cucina, score a $25 lunch menu and a three-course $39 dinner that feature some of the best calamari in town; spaghetti alla chitarra; grilled catch of the day; and tableside tiramisu, among other coastal Italian fare. At La Pizza & La Pasta, there’s a steal of a $15 lunch, which includes an app such as salad or bruschetta, plus a Neapolitan-style pizza or a pasta. At dinner, the $29 menu gets you these, upscale options and tableside tiramisu. Finally, up on the roof at Terra, snag a $25 two-course lunch with choices like grilled artichoke, wood-fired rotisserie chicken, and mascarpone-and-fava ravioli with burnt leeks, while the $49 three-course dinner involves all this, angus steak and—wait for it—a gelato cart.
Is there a more consistently exciting meal in L.A. than any at this K-town hot spot? HLAY's menu is bright and fun and seasonal and totally creative, and the dineL.A. menu is the perfect chance to dive in. For $49, the three-course dinner gives you a rainbow of options: Choose a starter such as beef tartare toast with tamari, or the albacore tuna with heirloom tomato, corn and pickled pepper, then dig into entrées such as grilled sirloin with beet bbq or ocean trout with orange sabayon. Like we said, bright and fun and seasonal and totally creative.
Chefs and co-owners Kevin Meehan and Drew Langley are giving us a wallet-friendly option and a splurge menu for dineL.A., making KALI a great pick no matter your budget. On weekdays, find a $25 two-course lunch where you can nosh on starters like black barley risotto, yellowtail crudo, and heirloom tomato soup, and mains such as striped bass with whole-grain spaetzle and charred Meyer lemon; spaghetti with uni and breadcrumbs; and Mary’s Organic chicken with smoked tomatoes and eggplant. Then in the evening, KALI flips its offering to one of dineL.A.’s new tasting-menu options, giving us a six-course meal (plus an amuse) for $99—a bargain for the quality and number of courses here. During dinner, you’ll be enjoying dry-aged rib eye with black garlic; an assortment of Central Coast shellfish; caviar blini; yellowtail with ramos and seaweed and more.
If you’re already a fan of Far East Plaza's modern-Filipino mainstay, look at this as an opportunity to score a great deal—and if you aren't, look at it as an introduction to one of our city’s top spots. LASA's dineL.A. brunch menu (at $15) includes a watermelon salad, then moves on to your choice of pan de sal French toast with coconut whipped cream, or house-made pork longsilog sausage with fried egg. On the dinner menu ($39), dig into a three-course meal that starts with rice-flour chicharrones as a snack, then proceeds to a summer salad or Filipino spaghetti, then entrées like tortang talong (eggplant omelet), braised short rib with green beans. Finish with condensed-milk ice cream or some mixed-fruit ginataan (coconut-milk dessert), then call it a night.
Torrance’s vibrant Oaxacan spot is always worth a visit, but during dineL.A., it’s a must. The $20 two-course lunch menu is like a greatest-hits compendium, with choices of fresh squash blossoms stuffed with Oaxacan cheese; chicken-and-bean taquitos; spicy octopus-and-shrimp ceviche; and black mole with chicken and rice. At dinner, the $29 menu gets you three courses with some serious Oaxacan flavor: memelitas with pork belly; goat barbacoa; pork ribs under chile morita salsa; and plantains in passion fruit sauce, among others.
If you want a feast, then at Shirley Chung’s dumpling shop, a feast you shall have. The Top Chef alum is going all out for dineL.A. with a $39 dinner that includes everything you see on the special menu—no choosing necessary. You’ll start with a trio of handmade dumplings, including pork-and-scallop shumai topped with caviar, plus some glass noodle salad with shredded chicken, then move on to the mains. There’s the Singapore-style chili crab, a salt-and-pepper Kurobuta pork chop and garlicky green beans all served with jasmine rice, and all finished with Chung’s small-batch ice cream. Why choose?
Almost no dish says summer like a little surf and turf, so to treat yourself, Ocean Prime’s high-end steaks and seafoods are on special offer during dineL.A. The $35 lunch menu includes three courses of decadent dishes such as lobster bisque, French onion soup, shellfish cobb salad, a Maryland crab melt, the gooey warm butter cake. At dinner, the three courses get a little meatier with a $59 menu that involves filet mignon, sea scallops atop parmesan risotto, and teriyaki salmon with a soy butter sauce.
It’s hardly a secret that all-day café Paramount Coffee Project has a secret weapon: Chef Ria Barbosa calls upon her Filipino heritage to inject some serious flavor into the coffee shops, especially at the DTLA location in the ROW. For dineL.A. at that space, she’s whipped up a special two-course lunch menu that’s only $15, and gives us a taste of what she can do: There are the more traditional café options, like the poached turkey breast sandwich and the pie panisse with market salad, but our pick would be the adobo braised beef bowl with brown rice and pickled daikon. End the meal with either an olive-oil cake or an ice cream sandwich for a sweet finish.
Same Same’s dineL.A. $29 dinner menu is a steal, and a delicious one at that: three courses and a glass of wine? Sign us up, especially considering the spread. Start with house-made beef jerky, fresh prawn spring rolls, or a spicy papaya salad, then proceed to panang curry with shrimp, a steaming bowl of khao soi with chicken, or spicy Thai basil with chicken or tofu, all while sipping a glass of sparkling wine or red lemberger included in the cost. Don’t forget the finale: coconut flan or tapioca pudding. This is the spicy-sweet menu dreams are made of.