It has finally arrived! The avid diner's Black Friday restaurant extravaganza, Los Angeles Restaurant Week, begins Friday, October 1st. This week of degustatory awesomeness only happens twice per year and it offers diners the opportunity to sample some of the best dishes at the best restaurants in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas for a fraction of the price.
The website for Dine Los Angeles Restaurant week is beautifully navigable. You can choose your neighborhood, cuisine, price point, and dining option (dine in or take out), you can check out the menu, and you can navigate directly to the OpenTable website to make your reservation. I love the opportunity to try new places and feel like I'm getting a deal.
Restaurant week menus are generally prix fixe and range greatly in price. Some lunches will run you around $15 and some dinners are $65+. For the most part, though, lunches are around $25 and dinners around $35. And for a three-course prix fixe menu, that's a deal to take advantage of in Los Angeles.
Participating restaurants include Avec Nous in Beverly Hills, Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar at the Grove in the Fairfax district, and Firefly in Studio City. With over 100 restaurants participating, cuisines range from Japanese to Mexican, from Vegan to Steakhouses. And there is likely a restaurant participating near you, wherever you are in Los Angeles. But, make sure to nab your reservations sooner than later. Tables go quickly during Los Angeles restaurant week.
One thing to note if you happen to visit an establishment for restaurant week - you may be getting a discount, but your servers, chefs, sommeliers, and hosts are doing the same amount of work. I worked in a restaurant called Eleven Madison Park when I was in my early twenties in New York. We would bemoan restaurant week because it would bring in the "cheapskates." Inevitably, our gratuities would suffer because of the lower price point and the type of person who looks for a deal.
So, I encourage you, if you take advantage of LA restaurant week deals, please tip as you would on a full-priced lunch or dinner experience. Because you're more than likely getting the same service. It's a fantastic way to get out and explore a new place to find what might be your new favorite restaurant.
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