The close of 2010 is upon us, and as is the tradition here at Eater, we've surveyed a variety of bloggers, writers, and industry types to comment on the LA dining scene over the past 12 months — as well as what diners in our fair city might expect to see in the year to come. The results will run in this space throughout the week from Meal of the Year to Top Standbys. But we want you, dear readers, to share your voice, too, so don't forget the comments.
Q: What and where was your single best meal in 2010?
Jeff Miller, Thrillist: Blogger Noah Galuten and I were lucky enough to share a many-many-many-many-many course meal at Joel Robouchon in Las Vegas before dancing it off at a tiny Foo Fighters show. The meal was decadent and extraordinary, and I learned that, up close, Roubouchon looks as much like Emperor Palpatine as he does on TV. An incredible night.
Neil Kohan, Food Marathon: August 12th Wolvesmouth.
Barbara Fairchild, former E-I-C Bon Appetit: Hard to limit to one; I have three: A sensational dinner at Marea in NYC; fun casual supper at Birch & Barley in Washington DC; and a wonderful dinner here in LA at Animal, just ordering off the menu randomly. Everything was delicious; I love this place, the passion of its staff, and the commitment of its owners/chefs.
Cathy Chaplin, Gastronomy: Akelarre, San Sebastian, Spain.
Zach Brooks, Midtown Lunch: That's really tough. I don't remember the whole meal being totally epic, but I will dream about the fig leaf wrapped short rib in mole and octopus carpaccio that Javier Plascencia served at Test Kitchen for the rest of my life.
Kevin (whose last name will remain undisclosed), kevinEats: The infamous 1995 Champagne horizontal dinner at Urasawa.
Brad A. Johnson, Angeleno: Bistro LQ, the tasting menu, with the highlights being an amuse of duck heart, plus uni pudding with tapioca and blini w smoked haddock.
Jonathan Gold, LA Weekly restaurant critic: Probably the whole-cow dinner at whatever Nancy is calling the dining room next to Mozza2Go. Just a primal experience, including a fiorentina up there with the best in Tuscany.
Lindsay WIlliam-Ross, LAist: I'm spoiled--I have a surplus of phenomenal meal memories year after year. Plus, I tend to remember my last meal most vividly, or the ones I shared with friends and family. But perhaps for the novelty and wow factor, I'd have to say the dinner I had at the Dining Room at the Langham for Michael Voltaggio's last week was the most spectacular, because it was indulgent without being gluttonous, playful (tiny heirloom carrots "planted" in coffee "dirt" served in a terra cotta pot), and spirited.
Josh Lurie, Food GPS: My most memorable meal in Los Angeles in 2010, which will probably just annoy Eater readers, wasn’t at a restaurant. It was a dinner cooked by Grant Achatz at a MacArthur Park loft, complete with molecular cocktail pairings and an interactive dessert that blanketed a 75-foot table. Sorry. Well, not really.
Hadley Tomicki, Grub Street: Eating Grant Achatz's sprawling dessert off of a massive mirrored table in a loft off of MacArthur Park with my hands. As for locals, dinner at Providence on Melrose or Jiraffe in Santa Monica.
Heather John, contributing editor Bon Appetit: At my house, when Francis Porter smoked habanero garlic chicken on our grill for three hours. But at a restaurant? A toss-up between a seafood tower orgy at Hungry Cat (Santa Barbara sea urchin may have joined the party) and the extraordinary shabu-shabu at Kagaya in downtown Los Angeles.
Brad Metzger, restaurant recruiter Restaurant Solutions: My wife's vegetable risotto she made for me with love at home.
Galarza: Pork Belly Sliders at Animal. Oh shoot, but also when Joseph Mahon was at Bastide.
Odell: Such a tough call. Perhaps...14 courses at L'Atelier De Joel Robuchon in NYC. Or Nancy Silverton's fam-style tomato dinner at Mozza2Go over the summer.