Restaurant Week is one of my favorite events of the year. Almost every major city will do a version of Restaurant Week. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Restaurant Week, it’s basically a bunch of restaurants, I’m talking 100+ restaurants, that will create prix fixe menus at a special price. A two-course lunch option normally ranges from $15-$25, and a 3-course dinner will range from $30-$60. Some restaurant weeks even donate a certain percentage of the proceeds to a charity. For me, restaurant week is a great way to discover new restaurants and be able to try a variety of dishes at a great price. While I was in LA this past weekend, restaurant week had just started, so Dylan and I decided to go on a food adventure and filled our weekend eating delicious meals.
Before I get into all the places we went to, here’s a little overview of LA Restaurant Week:
- It’s actually called dineLA
- Dates: January 13-27
- Price Range: Lunch: $15-$25, Dinner: $29-$95 (the $95 restaurants provide more than 3 courses)
- Over 300 restaurants participate
- All menus for dineLA are on their official website (super helpful!)
- The dineLA menus are not offered everyday, so definitely double check when making a reservation
If you plan on going to a restaurant over the weekend, I recommend planning ahead and making a reservation. Dylan and I didn’t know the majority of the restaurants listed, so we decided on places based on what we might of heard or read somewhere and just perused all the menus and read reviews on Yelp. Some restaurants aren’t worth the money so definitely compare the dineLA menu to the restaurant’s regular menu.
Now onto all the food! Now, I am no food expert, so I don’t know all the foodie lingo. All I know, is that I love to eat, so be prepared for the over usage of words like “really yummy” and “delicious.”
Saturday was our big French food day. For our first stop, we stayed in Pasadena and went to Cafe Bizou. Cafe Bizou is a really cute and cozy French bistro. They had really intimate tables that made me feel like Dylan and I were the only people in the restaurant. The $15 two-course lunch consisted of an appetizer and a main-course. You could also add dessert for $3.
Since we were going to be eating a lot of heavy meals, I decided to kick off the weekend with the Berry Fig Salad and end with a heavier Seafood Squid Ink Pasta.
The berries and figs were really fresh, so it made the salad really refreshing and light.
I’ve never had squid ink pasta before, but to me, it didn’t taste much different compared to normal pasta. That might just be because I don’t have a very refined palette? Maybe, maybe not. I think they use squid ink partly for the color and since it was a seafood pasta, the squid might add a salty or ocean-y flavor to fresh pasta.
Our next stop was at Fig & Olive in West Hollywood. I had heard about this place because someone I follow on Youtube had their birthday dinner there and the food looked ah-mazing. Fig & Olive is an upscale French restaurant and you can tell from the cars parked in the valet that it’s going to be a little bougie. The one thing that threw Dylan and me off was how loud the restaurant was. The restaurant is huge and beautifully decorated, but you can literally hear everyone’s conversations all at once.
The food, on the other hand was amazing. For $39, I ordered the Truffle Mushroom Croquette (comes with 6 mini corquettes), Moulard Magret Duck Breast (additional $5), and the Chestnut Mousse with Amarena Cherry. The one thing I regret ordering was the Chestnut Mousse. Dylan ordered the Chocolate Pot de Creme and it was definitely the superior choice.
The corquettes were so good. They were like fried pillows in my mouth. I know that is a weird description, but they melted in my mouth like butter. Also, you can’t really go wrong with a dish that contains truffle, right?
The duck breast was delicious as well. It was a much bigger portion than what I was expecting. Normally when I get duck, it comes with 5-6 thinly sliced pieces of duck. This duck breast came with two large, perfectly cooked, duck breast fillets and the stewed red cabbage was a great side dish!
I could have done without the chestnut mousse. I’m not a fan of Amarena Cherry, so this dessert was definitely not for me. The mousse was nice and fluffy, but the sorbet on the bottom was a little too much for me.
The Truffle Mushroom Croquette and Duck Breast are some of Fig & Olive’s signature dishes and they did not disappoint. If you do end up going to Fig & Olive, definitely get those two dishes. You won’t regret it!
Sunday was also a lot heavier than we anticipated. For lunch we went to Connie and Ted’s with one of our friends. Connie and Ted’s is a seafood restaurant in West Hollywood. The ambiance at the restaurant can’t be beat. It was super busy, but it didn’t feel crowded. It was a beautiful day and we sat outside in their patio seating area and it was a great time. For $25, you get unlimited re-fills on a drink, an appetizer, main course, and dessert. The dessert had an option to take it to-go and we were all confused as to why taking it to-go was an option. After we had finished the main course, we understood why it was an option.
I, unfortunately, forgot to take any photos at this restaurant. I know, foodie amateur status over here, but to be honest, I kept my phone in my purse during the entire meal. I didn’t want to ruin the mood or make anyone feel uncomfortable, so I completely forgot to take pictures. Be rest assured though, the food looked great and tasted even better.
For the appetizer, I got the chowder sampler. It consisted of a New England, Manhattan, and Rhode Island Clear. All the chowders were delicious, but quite different from what I’m used to. They don’t use any thickeners, so all the soups were pretty thin in consistency, but still very yummy.
For my main course, I got the Batter Dipped Cod Sandwich with Cole Slaw and OMG the Cod was delicious. It was so flaky and the way it was fried was similar to a tempura consistency – it was really fluffy and light and not super oily or greasy. It was perfect. The sandwich was huge and I couldn’t even finish it. As I’m writing this, I’m totally regretting not finishing it because it was that good.
For dessert, I got the chocolate chip cookies. I was really sad that I couldn’t take more than a few bites, but they made for a great snack on Monday.
Finally, our last meal of our dining adventures was this Italian restaurant called Osteria Mamma, which was also in the West Hollywood area. Osteria Mamma is more of your traditional Italian restaurant. It was nice, cozy, and very intimate. I will say that it’s on a pretty busy street so there were multiple times a firetruck or ambulance would pass by and it would kind of ruin the ambiance.
For $29, I got the Caprese di Bufala, Linguine alla Carbonara, and Tiramisu. Everything was delicious. The caprese salad was really refreshing after a whole two days of eating really heavy dishes. Although Italian is not the lightest of foods, we somehow finished every course. It was delicious!
By the end of Sunday, we were both stuffed but really happy. There wasn’t a restaurant we didn’t like. My favorite restaurant for the weekend was Connie and Ted’s. The food was great and being there with friends made the experience that much better.
If you live in LA or are visiting within the next week, I highly recommend checking out some of the restaurants on the dineLA list. You seriously won’t regret it!
Have you tried any of the dineLA restaurants? Do you guys have any recommendations for SF or Oakland Restaurant Week? Let me know!