Looking lower back at 2017, there have been plenty of first-class food and freeing libations had. From a truffle pizza at Serafina to rich cannoli to decadent noodles, I relished attempting new eating places and bars, in addition to revisiting venerable favorites. Along the way, a few unique foods stood out several p.C. This is just me looking back, so there’s no real ranking among those favorites.

Chef John-Carlos Kuramoto absolutely inspired me with Ainoko; his intimate Mexican Omakase bar internal Petite Taqueria wherein Mexican and Japanese cuisines magically merge to create dynamic cuisine. “Aiko is an exploratory tasting menu bringing a couple of elements of flavors collectively growing this particular tasting menu we call Ainoko halfbreed,” says Chef John-Carlos, who is of Mexican-Japanese respectable.

Dinner at Ainoko includes ten to thirteen publications that can encompass tacos, tostadas, and tortas simple Mexican dishes using Japanese and Mexican components while incorporating the French approach. This melting pot dinner starts offevolved at $85, consistent with the person for ten guides. Among my favorite course is the Charred White Corn Soup, which was out of this international correct. The Pork Toro & Garbanzo Taco together with the A5 Japanese Wagyu Taco have been favorites as properly.

2017 could have effortlessly been the conflict of Omakase for supremacy of my coronary heart as Chef John-Carlos Kuramoto went way out of the container together with his Mexican-Japanese take on classic Omakase, whilst Chef Jun Hiroshima of TAO LA went Old School and created a thinking Omakase eating revel in at his intimate sushi bar inside the mental hospital this is TAO LA.

Standout courses blanketed a fantastic collection of bluefin tuna, salmon, yellowtail, and spicy tuna hand roll to begin dinner, together with Uni with wasabi, salmon roe, and caviar, in addition to tuna with foie gras, Chef’s conventional Tuna Pringle with truffle aioli on a wonton chip, and A5 marble beef and lobster.

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Each course seemed to build on itself, resulting in a protracted and supremely gratifying dinner. This becomes one of these nights wherein dinner wasn’t only a meal. Instead, it becomes a revel in to be relished, savored, and fondly remembered. The workhouse of 2017 had to be Michelin-starred chef Paul Shoemaker, who honestly shined shiny along with his multi-direction menu tasting at INTRO before taking up flatbreads, burgers and raising comfort food to a new stage at The Flats in Beverly Hills all whilst prepping his new restaurant to release in 2018.

INTRO Art Gallery & Chef’s Table became a first-class eating pop-up that served as an “intro” to what Shoemaker has saved for the LA food scene while his NoHo restaurant opened in 2018. Serving a bold, dynamic and delicious 12-path culinary ceremonial dinner, consisting of the Dime Bag with foie gras powder, Cocoa Puffs, pine nuts, and sweet Cocoa Nibs encased in an fit for human consumption bag, dining at INTRO turned into one of the great meals I’ve ever had in Los Angeles and was an absolute candy deal for $130 guests loved a Prosecco social (1/2) hour, a 12-course dinner carefully paired with wine and that protected tax and tip.

Later in the year, Shoemaker took over the reins at The Flats serving up some of the pleasant burgers on the town, the best French Dip I can consider, and scrumptious flatbreads reimagined what consolation meals are all approximately. I can’t look forward to his new eating place opening alongside sleepy Lankershim Boulevard.

It’s no mystery that I’m a large fan of Chef Tim Guiltinan of The Raymond 1886. He serves the fine seafood in Pasadena, and his Flintstones outsized Bone-in Rib Eye for two is an appropriate feast in addition to one of the quality cuts of meat I’ve ever loved. But one night in May, I challenged Chef to create an all-vegan dinner as a good pal of mine who had followed a plant-primarily based weight-reduction plan turned into in town. Chef didn’t appear involved, and the result was certainly one of my preferred meals of the yr without or with meat.

We began with pickled pineapple, pickles, and olives, accompanied by an adorable route of gold beets and tangerine. So precise! A round of charred carrots and salsa thrilled, as did the first-rate roasted cauliflower one-of-a-kind take Chef’s Greek Cauliflower menu object. Personally, I suppose the roasted cauliflower needs to discover its manner onto the everyday menu. A medley of mushrooms changed into our important dishes before a strawberry delight for dessert aptly brought this super meal to a satisfying end.

Chef created a solid dinner that made this meat-eater love every meatless bite with handiest more than one day’s note. I already favored what Chef Tim has been doing for years at The Raymond 1886. However, this vegan nighttime propelled him onto every other degree in my ebook. This is a meal I might luckily revisit again and again. After reviewing so many tasty noodle dishes earlier in 2017, from the likes of The District with the aid of Hannah An, ROKU, and Katana, to call only a few, I determined to create my very very own Fancy Noodle Challenge to the peer who had the first-rate on the town.

Round 1 became a strategic strike as three people simultaneously picked up seven noodles dishes from four restaurants, consisting of the famed Crustacean in Beverly Hills earlier than they closed. This becomes a wonderful and gluttonous “remaining meal” dinner. I don’t want to even think about the number of energy fed on; however, with excellent eats, suitable drink, and exquisite corporation, this changed into without difficulty my favorite meal of the 12 months for a myriad of motives.

Later rounds blanketed Artesia’s Neptunes Raw Bar’s Instagram famous floating noodles and TAO LA’s Drunken Pad Tai with lobster, brandy, and cashew, which proved to be a private favorite. All noodles at some stage in the competition had been paired with Junmai Daiginjo’s sake, which proved nice to accompany the rice noodles and seafood. My pinnacle chose the ROKU lobster noodles, and a close second became the crab and uni noodles from The District by way of Hannah An.

The ‘noodle challenge’ proved to be a fun and famous excursion, and it explained why now and then I sense the need to head dry and ‘get on the wagon’ to recharge. My When a Food Blogger Goes on the Wagon tale turned into my try to have healthful, sober amusing for 30 days and take a smash from over-the-top outings. I was rather surprised how tons I preferred weapons, puzzles, and a perfect project.