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L.A. Social

The latest addition to the Los Angeles culinary landscape is XIV, a Michael Mina restaurant designed by Philippe Starck. Located on the famed Sunset Strip, the 150-seat establishment offers a modern American menu of 35 items divided into seven categories: shellfish, vegetable, fish, poultry and light meats, meat and game, cheese, and sugar, chocolate, and fruit.  “The menu is designed to reflect the Los Angeles lifestyle,” says the 40-year-old chef, who holds three Michelin stars among his two namesake establishments in San Francisco and Las Vegas. “Here, groups of six to eight people huddle around a table—it’s all very social.”

A table can create its own tasting menu, choosing selections from the seven categories, or executive chef Steven Fretz can select an 8-, 11-, or 14-course menu for the group. All selections are prepared for the entire table, but unlike family-style dining, the dishes are served in individual, tapas-size portions that are sliced to eat with a small fork or spoon in no more than four bites. Each small course is delivered to the table on a silver tray. The menu changes several times per year and may include such choices as a five-layer caviar parfait, truffled macaroni and cheese, and Japanese A5 Kobe with chanterelles and French green beans. Vegetarian and vegan menus that mirror the regular menu are also available so no one in the group ever feels left out. (323.656.1414, www.xivla.com)

—Jessica Taylor

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