Highly experimental, subversive fine dining worth the dough
The recipient of two Michelin stars, Vespertine is probably the most over-the-top restaurant you’ll ever dine at -- in a good way. The stark dining room is housed in a dramatic, undulating, glass-and-steel structure called “The Waffle,” which helps set the tone as soon as you step inside. Chef Jordan Kahn (who’s also behind Culver City’s Destroyer) sets out to take diners on a sensory journey, turning out 17 or so beautifully plated courses set to a specially curated musical score. Ingredients (some of which Kahn forages himself) include giant kelp, black currant, abalone, smoked soy, and sunchoke, and they’re fashioned into mysterious, abstract shapes that look absolutely nothing like what they are. Meanwhile, servers move in unison in an almost choreographed dance (no, really, they’ve been trained by a choreographer), gracefully pouring drinks and setting down plates in sync. The result? A trippy, transportive culinary odyssey you won’t find anywhere else any time soon.