There are only 10 seats at chef Gary Menes’s new Le Comptoir—a former pop-up that’s now found a permanent home at Koreatown’s Hotel Normandie—and 10 reasons why you should snag one of them immediately.
1. The divine vegetables: The six-course prix-fixe menu is comprised almost entirely of vegetables: think lofty French-inflected dishes like Japanese yam velouté, mushroom fricassé and a tranche of butternut squash with preserved cherries.
2. The seed-to-table sourcing: The majority of the produce is sourced from the chef’s certified-organic Gladys Ave Urban Farm in Long Beach, where he personally works daily.
3. The tasty supplements: You can supplement your plant-driven prix-fixe with delish grain or protein dishes like Japanese scallop with tomato reduction and broccoli leaves.
4. The sustainability practices: Menes composts fruit and vegetable peels and coffee grounds to fertilize the farm’s soil.
5. The clean meats: The restaurant uses consciously sourced seafood and beef from grass-fed, humanely raised animals.
6. The chef’s skills: Menes cut his teeth at The French Laundry and Mélisse—need we say more?
7. The small scale: The diminutive counter allows Menes to maintain the close farm-to-plate connection. “If I have one perfect cauliflower in my garden,” he says, “then that’s the one I’m going to use. That can only feed 10 people.”
8. The entertainment factor: The open kitchen and close proximity of the chef allow for interactive culinary theater.
9. The single-origin coffee: Coffee geeks, this one’s for you.
10. The reasonable tab: At $67 per person for six courses (with supplements running $14 to $35), dinner at Le Comptoir won’t leave you empty-pocketed.
On a scale of 1 to 10? We give it a 10.
3606 West 6th Street, Los Angeles