First, let me just say that everyone has different taste when it comes to food, and different likes and dislikes, but as Sushi master
Jiro said in his beautiful documentary, “In order to make great food you must eat great food,”
For me going out for a meal is more than the fact that I am hungry. For me it’s social thing, it’s an experience, it’s learning, it’s a conversation with my wife and friends over a great bottle of wine.
Being in this restaurant business- both in the back of the house and front of the house— for over 40 years, I still find that it’s fun to discover something new, be it a new cooking technique, a new recipe, a new pairing, a new flavor profile, a new plating idea, etc.
I live in L.A. and have abundance of fresh seafood and produce available, so going out… I am looking for the whole deal, the whole experience, which is why I love to share plates with others. That way we get to taste many more dishes than just by ordering appetizers and a main course.
I’m not crazy about steak houses simply because of the lack of effort on their part (vegetables and sides are always over cooked and boring), they grill the meat to a certain temperature and then “dump” it on a HOT plate. No presentation, no effort, no nothing! $60 for a piece of steak, $10 for a side of overcooked vegetables and $8 for fries and $5 for sauce?
Come on, people!
My favorite places to go are the ones that offer share-plates on their menu. There are many benefits of visiting restaurants that specializing in share plates service.
As I already mentioned, you get to try many different dishes, second is that you can stop eating when you feel full. Someone else will finish the dishes for you. LOL!
Third, you can play around with wine and food pairings with each dish, or with every couple of dishes, which is a lot of fun if you’re into that kind of thing.
Here is the list of my favorite Los Angeles restaurants that do share plates!
- Birch on Cahuenga Blvd. in Hollywood
- Ink on Melrose
- Wolf on Melrose
- Miro in Downtown Los Angeles
- Cleo in Hollywood
- Little Sister in Downtown Los Angeles
- Tar & Roses in Santa Monica
- Baco Mercat
- The Bazzar by Jose Andres
The above restaurants do it for me for all the right reasons— quality over quantity, share plates, good service, nice ambiance and fun, tasty food!
Got a few of my own ideas for my restaurants from these top chefs as well, so thank you for the inspiration!