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Tasting Kitchen


WHY An elegant Lucques-meets-Portland gem with an ever-changing selection of inspired, intensely flavored but not at all fussy creations, ranging from delicate market greens tossed with walnut ancho┬Ľade to roast branzino with chanterelles. The $50 set menu has got to be one of the best fine-dining deals in town.

WHAT A crew of former ClarkLewis folks create not only great food but an infectious enthusiasm that fills this buzzing dining room. Casey Lane works the stoves, while young manager and resident Italian wine buff Maxwell Leer chats up guests about the unfiltered Prosecco and Sagrantino (an indigenous grape from Umbria that is grown in limited quantities). The beer, wine and cocktail list may contain only two dozen options, but somehow here it feels complete. The hand-scrawled menu is a bit precious and hard to decipher, but it’s worth the effort. Don’t skip the fantastic desserts, such as a pecan derby pie, by pastry chef Joey Messina.

WHO Married couples out for a special night and young singles gathered around the bar.

1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd., , 310.392.6644, thetastingkitchen.com. D nightly, brunch Sat.-Sun. MC, V, AE.
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