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A Guide to the Most Expensive Restaurants in Los Angeles

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Dining like a whale starts with a restaurant catered to those willing spend. Los Angeles doesn't quite have as many high-end restaurants as cities such as Chicago, New York, Paris or London, but it does make up in its own unique breadth of pricey places that won't necessarily break the bank on a good day. That means that while expensive, these restaurants are perfectly attainable for special occasions or for semi-regular splurges after bonuses or even tax returns. These restaurants range from ultra-luxurious omakase sushi experiences to multi-course tasting menus to celebrity magnets. In celebration of Whale Week, Eater presents an updated guide to the Most Expensive Restaurants in Los Angeles.

1/28: Added: Yamakase, Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air, The Tasting Kitchen, Craft. Dropped: The Royce

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Urasawa

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One of the most expensive sushi restaurants in America, the master Hiro Urasawa himself performs culinary magic and craftsmanship at this luxurious counter in the heart of Beverly Hills. The multi-course meal includes a kaiseki-like element of composed dishes, as well as a slew of uber-fresh omakase-style sushi courses. Without a doubt one of the most celebrated restaurants in L.A., and its center of culinary opulence and excellence.

CUT by Wolfgang Puck

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Wolfgang Puck's ode to all things beef resides in the elegent Beverly Wilshire, where a Richard Meier-designed space in a clean, modern ambiance allows the steaks to shine. Decadence knows almost no heights with the stellar selection of American and Australian beef grades of various ages. There's also a new selection of true Kobe beef steaks, a rarity in L.A. The sides and appetizers are no slouch either, with the likes of bone marrow flan taking the cake.

Providence

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Perhaps the most serious seafood restaurant in L.A., chef Michael Cimarusti plates excellently prepared fish in its most natural state, revealing amazing flavors. The spot prawn, uni, and cheese courses are highlights. The stately room makes a perfect place to quietly enjoy Cimarusti's inventive tasting menus, while top-notch wine pairings will give you the ideal beverage to toast. The cocktail program is also surprisingly terrific for a restaurant of this caliber.

Melisse Restaurant

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Considered one of the most expensive restaurants in America, this plush dining room in Santa Monica feels understated yet regal, with purple hues and thick white tablecloths. Chef Josiah Citrin creates impeccable, imaginative dishes using seasonable produce and delicacies. The Carte Blanche menu is for those who want the best of the best. The wine list might be one of the best in L.A., with some bottles reaching the $1,000 mark.

Chef Niki Nakayama brings a true Japanese kaiseiki experience to Los Angeles with pristine sashimi and beautiful composed dishes such as Lobster Tartare in Uni Butter, John Dory with Manilla Clam, and Duck houba yaki. The dining room is simple, beautiful, and relaxing (as it was a former spa). The hidden location makes an ideal celebration spot.

With its new digs in the Walt Disney Concert Hall, this restaurant is back at the top of its game. Helmed by Master Chef Joachim Splichal, this fine dining restaurant applies classic French technique into seasonal tasting menus, but the real draw is the caviar service, cheese cart, and spectacular wine list deep with old vintages that makes Patina the ideal place to have a world-class experience.

Mastro's Steakhouse

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Mastro's is classic Beverly Hills luxury, where steaks like the Chef's Cut New York Strip or Ribeye make the ideal celebratory meal. They might not be re-inventing the wheel, but the service and presentation of the steaks are nearly unparalleled. The 48 oz Porterhouse steak is the one to order if you're hungry.

Yamakase Sushi

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This super-secretive sushi bar in Palms is serving up some of the most exciting sushi in the city at the moment. The fish is pristine and the service impeccable. Invitation to the restaurant is required, and is available via application on the website.

Saam at SLS Hotel

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The four-star Bazaar holds a special tasting-menu only room called Saam that makes an ideal multi-course extravaganza. Chef Jose Andres takes a molecular, avant garde approach that's playful and tasty at the same time. The Philippe Starck designed space takes on an almost surreal feel, allowing you to create your own culinary fantasy. Dishes like Jamon Iberico "Philly cheesesteak" stand out.

Totoraku

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This low-key restaurant is more than meats, that is, meets that eye. The slightly dingy interior and nondescript exterior gives way to a yakiniku, or Japanese style table-top grill barbecue that features some of the most delicious, pristine American-grown Wagyu beef in L.A. What takes this experience over the top is the secrecy behind a simple reservation, as well as the "token" of gratitude that most diners bring to establishment in the form of old vintage wines and cult wines. Don't expect to get a reservation unless you have a connection.

Capo Restaurant

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This tiny Tuscan restaurant in Santa Monica seems to believe that money is no object. Take, for example, the extremely rare Caspian sea beluga caviar on the menu for a mere $240 an ounce (you can have ten ounces if you like). You can easily start the meal with a 1981 Krug for $1,300 and then move onto a 1996 Screaming Eagle from Napa for a cool $4,500 to pair with your 32 oz. Steak Fiorentina. The cuisine isn't imaginative, just very well done, and uses the highest quality ingredients.

Sushi Zo

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This strip-mall sushi restaurant in Cheviot Hills may look simple and understated, but the amazing quality of sushi and sashimi prepared by chef Keizo Seki is anything but. The multitude of fish varieties is impressive enough to alleviate the rather ordinary decor. There might be over-the-top or luxurious destinations, but when you want a great sushi experience without the frills, you couldn't do better than Sushi Zo. There are good number of special offerings available on a daily basis upon request.

Osteria Mozza

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Chef Nancy Silverton almost always personally plates each fresh mozzarella dish at this elegant ode to Italian cuisine on Melrose Avenue. The ambiance is metropolitan, modern, clean, and boisterous, all lubricated by some of the best wines Italy has to offer. The fresh plates are prepared with a masterful simplicity and almost never fail to impress. Partners Joe Bastianich and Mario Batali love to curate a great magnum list, because nothing feel more epic than a huge bottle of Super Tuscan to make one feel grand and wealthy, though the regular wine list is one of the most impressive in the city.

Matsuhisa

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Superstar chef Nobu Matsuhisa started his worldwide empire at this small Beverly Hills restaurant on La Cienega Blvd where he continues to direct a pristine sushi program with a selection of Peruvian-inflected dishes. Omakase starts at $150 for dinner, though you'd be foolish not to round up a few dishes like Kobe Beef Tataki or Lobster in Wasabi Pepper sauce.

This is Wolfgang Puck's newly redesigned Beverly Hills flagship, where executive chef Lee Hefter combines Puck's European sensibility with California's seasonable produce. The menu has been revamped to reflect more current dining tastes, with smaller, shareable plates. Here you can dine amongst Hollywood's power brokers and A-list stars, pairing great wines with inventive dishes.

WP24 by Wolfgang Puck

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Soak in the glorious splendor of Downtown L.A. on the 24th floor of the Ritz Carlton, noshing on Wolfgang Puck's Asian-inflected dishes for a more jet-set, worldly type celebration. Splurge on a whole roasted "Peking" style duck, Wagyu beef steak made "Szechuan" style, or perhaps an "Angry" two-pound lobster with chilies, garlic, and black bean sauce.

Scarpetta

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Chef Scott Conant's Beverly Hills restaurant puts together decadent Italian cuisine in a sleek space within the Montage hotel. A $24 bowl of spaghetti isn't a bad way to start the meal, but there's also an aged steak and slow roasted lobster for a main course. And then there's always plenty of freshly shaved black or white truffles, depending on the season, to kick your meal up about ten notches. The announcement that star chef Alex Stratta from Vegas was helming the kitchen was big news - sure to maintain a very high quality standard.

Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air

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The completely remodeled Hotel Bel Air also has a revamped fine dining restaurant headed by Wolfgang Puck's culinary empire. Combining farmer's market ingredients with Mediterranean flavors, dishes such as wild turbot, loup de mer, and natural-raised veal chop highlight the menu.

The Tasting Kitchen

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This high-design spot in Abbot Kinney has some masterful cocktails and a superb wine list to go along with the faux-casual feel. The menu's quality (and prices) don't necessarily reflect a bargain, but the polished courses from chef Casey Lane's kitchen are some of the best in L.A. The pastas are all made in house and the entrees have a shareable, high-end quality to them that's meticulous and detailed.

A haven for the nearby lawyers, agents and bankers in Century City, the farm-to-table approach might not be matched at this restaurant by chef Tom Colicchio. All the produce is amazingly prepared to perfection, highlighting the freshest of the season, which other savory dishes boast top-notch meat and seafood. Desserts are definitely not worth missing while service and ambiance remain world-class.

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Urasawa

One of the most expensive sushi restaurants in America, the master Hiro Urasawa himself performs culinary magic and craftsmanship at this luxurious counter in the heart of Beverly Hills. The multi-course meal includes a kaiseki-like element of composed dishes, as well as a slew of uber-fresh omakase-style sushi courses. Without a doubt one of the most celebrated restaurants in L.A., and its center of culinary opulence and excellence.

CUT by Wolfgang Puck

Wolfgang Puck's ode to all things beef resides in the elegent Beverly Wilshire, where a Richard Meier-designed space in a clean, modern ambiance allows the steaks to shine. Decadence knows almost no heights with the stellar selection of American and Australian beef grades of various ages. There's also a new selection of true Kobe beef steaks, a rarity in L.A. The sides and appetizers are no slouch either, with the likes of bone marrow flan taking the cake.

Providence

Perhaps the most serious seafood restaurant in L.A., chef Michael Cimarusti plates excellently prepared fish in its most natural state, revealing amazing flavors. The spot prawn, uni, and cheese courses are highlights. The stately room makes a perfect place to quietly enjoy Cimarusti's inventive tasting menus, while top-notch wine pairings will give you the ideal beverage to toast. The cocktail program is also surprisingly terrific for a restaurant of this caliber.

Melisse Restaurant

Considered one of the most expensive restaurants in America, this plush dining room in Santa Monica feels understated yet regal, with purple hues and thick white tablecloths. Chef Josiah Citrin creates impeccable, imaginative dishes using seasonable produce and delicacies. The Carte Blanche menu is for those who want the best of the best. The wine list might be one of the best in L.A., with some bottles reaching the $1,000 mark.

N/Naka

Chef Niki Nakayama brings a true Japanese kaiseiki experience to Los Angeles with pristine sashimi and beautiful composed dishes such as Lobster Tartare in Uni Butter, John Dory with Manilla Clam, and Duck houba yaki. The dining room is simple, beautiful, and relaxing (as it was a former spa). The hidden location makes an ideal celebration spot.

Patina

With its new digs in the Walt Disney Concert Hall, this restaurant is back at the top of its game. Helmed by Master Chef Joachim Splichal, this fine dining restaurant applies classic French technique into seasonal tasting menus, but the real draw is the caviar service, cheese cart, and spectacular wine list deep with old vintages that makes Patina the ideal place to have a world-class experience.

Mastro's Steakhouse

Mastro's is classic Beverly Hills luxury, where steaks like the Chef's Cut New York Strip or Ribeye make the ideal celebratory meal. They might not be re-inventing the wheel, but the service and presentation of the steaks are nearly unparalleled. The 48 oz Porterhouse steak is the one to order if you're hungry.

Yamakase Sushi

This super-secretive sushi bar in Palms is serving up some of the most exciting sushi in the city at the moment. The fish is pristine and the service impeccable. Invitation to the restaurant is required, and is available via application on the website.

Saam at SLS Hotel

The four-star Bazaar holds a special tasting-menu only room called Saam that makes an ideal multi-course extravaganza. Chef Jose Andres takes a molecular, avant garde approach that's playful and tasty at the same time. The Philippe Starck designed space takes on an almost surreal feel, allowing you to create your own culinary fantasy. Dishes like Jamon Iberico "Philly cheesesteak" stand out.

Totoraku

This low-key restaurant is more than meats, that is, meets that eye. The slightly dingy interior and nondescript exterior gives way to a yakiniku, or Japanese style table-top grill barbecue that features some of the most delicious, pristine American-grown Wagyu beef in L.A. What takes this experience over the top is the secrecy behind a simple reservation, as well as the "token" of gratitude that most diners bring to establishment in the form of old vintage wines and cult wines. Don't expect to get a reservation unless you have a connection.