I could answer this with two words. OK, I will.

TASTING MENU.

Most self-respecting restaurants of higher caliber offer their patrons an opportunity to ride a roller-coaster of flavors, textures, colors, and aromas in the form of a tasting menu. Don’t even bother so much as glancing at it, however, if you only have one little hour for your meal. Exploring a Tasting Menu is like buying an open plane ticket to a secret destination without even having to pack so much as a change of underwear. Depending on the venue and the creativity of their chef, there may be five, eight, or even ten courses on those pre-set menus.

With all the cooking I do at home, and thanks to its variety, we  seldom feel the urge to eat out. There are many benefits to living off of self-made meals–from one’s finances (we’re saving a shit load of money each month), to comfort, health, and convenience and –last but not least by any measure– a reduced carbon foot print. Nonetheless, once in a blue moon, when you’re PMS-ing (girls AND boys), when you’re celebrating an occasion or a lack their of, when you get some ice-cream money from your granny, or when you are simply in the mood for an adventure, then treat your very self to a Tasting Menu at a good restaurant. Go ahead and let the chef impress you. Allow the best chefs in town to show off for YOU. Let them showcase their skills and various techniques they’ve been mastering over the years for you and only you!

I must warn you however. The experience is so highly thrilling and satisfying, you may get addicted. You’ll spend about 3 hours at the table, but time will no longer matter. You’ll be mesmerized, smitten, shocked, surprised more than once, maybe even disappointed for just a second only to be blown away with the next dish. Pair the food with wine for an extra buck (or bucket!) and land on your imaginary private island called HEAVEN.

It’s like a drug, and you’ll want to keep flying back, higher and higher. Don’t. Do not throw your money left and right. Be smart about it. Keep it special so the magic doesn’t wear off.

Prices vary from one place to another. With my Jason, we’ve eaten at those where once I saw the bill I went blind for about 24 hours straight. We’ve also eaten in places with incredible food for just a fraction of the others’ price tag. I am incredibly excited to say that all of you here in LA, as well as those willing to travel, can take such a culinary journey for a mere 50 smackers a head at Da Vinci restaurant in Beverly Hills, the very one and only where yours truly is busy cutting her teeth.

Here are just a few examples of the true pieces of art that happen to also be edible, all creation of the executive chef Jason Fullilove. All photos were taken by–coincidentally–my fellow Pole, Monik Schiller.

 

Fried Artichokes

 

 

Foie Gras Terrine

 

 

Heirloom Beet Salad

 

 

Pan-Roasted Salmon

 

 

Kobe Hanger Steak

 

 

Squid Ink Linguini

 

Have I mentioned $50 for a 5-course meal, each one coming with two options to choose from? Yes! Fifty dollars is all it takes. For another $30 you will be offered a different wine to go with each meal.

What are you waiting for? Call this number (310) 888-0090 and make a reservation at Da Vinci (9737 S. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills). I’ll be there today through Saturday and promise not to mess up your salad!