While Majordomo, Felix, n/naka, and (yes, still) Bestia remain among the hardest reservations to track down in Los Angeles, it’s still not that easy to sink into a seat at quizzical Culver City restaurant Vespertine. The hours-long tasting menu dinners mean there are limited seats to go around, and the restaurant has historically taken two days a week off to reload for the coming batch of reservations. Well, not next week.
On Sunday, May 6, Vespertine will open up for a full afternoon and evening of service, beginning with available reservations as early as 3:30 p.m. The last reservation slot is 7:30 p.m., giving new diners a chance to experience the full affair without the meal running until early Monday morning. So why the one-day opening? Simple economics, for one, as more hours open equals more money made — not that the restaurant is hurting for cash.
The other reason is industry-specific, as most chefs/front of house workers have a hard time making mid-week meals work, especially when Vespertine takes Mondays off. Others still may just prefer an earlier meal, and the afternoon start time is there for that too. So now, at least for one day, a reservation might be possible.
It’s also important to note that the new one-day Sunday offering doesn’t mean a different (or less expensive) menu. This is still the same Vespertine with chef Jordan Kahn presiding, meaning there are ample opportunities to be perplexed, bemused, bewildered, and maybe, just maybe, blown away. Jonathan Gold put the restaurant at the top of his annual list of 101 best restaurants, Pete Wells from the NY Times says the place “gets in your head,” and Infatuation called it “a miserable, dark trap.” At least there is now one more day on the calendar for anyone who is curious to go experience the place for themselves.