Grand Openings: Social Studies
Michael Mina’s new XIV restaurant fits right in amid the trendy nightclubs and bars on the Sunset Strip, with a Philippe Starck–designed interior and a menu tailored specifically to Los Angeles. "When I was in the concept stages, I watched how people dined in L.A.," says Mina, who began his career 20 years ago as a pastry chef at the nearby Bel Air Hotel. "I often saw groups of six to eight people huddled around tables and having fun. I wanted to create a menu that reflected this lifestyle, which meant the service and food had to flow freely so that the evening would stay social."
The concept at XIV—the fourteenth restaurant in Mina’s empire—is simple: As a group, each table’s guests select items from a seasonal menu of 35 dishes. The dishes (which in November included a five-layer caviar parfait and a Worcestershire-braised short rib with celery-root puree and glazed mirepoix) are served in individual portions and sliced for eating with a small fork or spoon. Vegetarian and vegan plates that mirror the standard selections are also available, ensuring that no L.A. socialite ever feels left out. XIV, 323.656.1414, www.xivla.com