If you’re visiting LA and searching for a memorable dining experience, it’s natural to seek out award-winning restaurants that have earned accolades for their food quality and overall ambiance. The Michelin Guide is the one many of us consult first – it’s a food lover’s bible, famous for its reviewers’ exacting standards and impartiality.
Around 600 restaurants in California have received an accolade from Michelin, such as a Bib Gourmand or a Green Star.
However, only 80 across the state have received one or more of the coveted stars. And in 2022, 27 of these can be found in LA.
Astonishingly for such a city, where eating out and splashing the cash are so high on the cultural agenda, LA has no 3-starred eateries.
However, 6 restaurants have earned 2 stars, and 21 have received a single star – still an achievement that remains out of reach for many perfectly acceptable restaurants that serve fantastic food.
In this list, we look at 7 of the most expensive Michelin-starred restaurants in LA to guide you if you’re looking for an unforgettable dining experience. You’ll notice that, in this low-carb, sushi-obsessed town, the top 5 most expensive feature a Californian take on the very best in Japanese fine dining and focus on delivering exquisite dishes in an intimate atmosphere.
Let’s get to it!
Top-price tasting menu: $400 per person
Address: 3133 Glendale Boulevard. Los Angeles CA 90039
Michelin-starred restaurants sometimes have the reputation of being formal shrines to fine dining that, although admired for their elevated status, can be intimidating and somewhat impersonal. Chef Morihiro Onodera’s tiny space in Atwater Village is the exact opposite, and it’s one that dedicated sushi-lovers can’t afford to miss.
Having gained a Michelin star in 2021, Onodera offers a bar-side omakase menu priced at $400 per person. With room for only 6 people at the counter, plus a few indoor and outdoor tables, walk-ins are not an option at this LA classic. Reservations up to 30 days in advance are essential.
2. Sushi Ginza Onodera
Top-price tasting menu: $400 per person
Address: 609 La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
One thing that LA isn’t short of is sushi restaurants. Even though edomae-style sushi is popular with LA foodies, it’s rare to find it offered to the same exacting standard you’ll find at 2-Michelin-starred Sushi Ginza.
Chef Yohei Matsuki’s masterful creations don’t come cheap, and, when you consider the provenance of the ingredients or the care that goes into preparing each dish, nor should they. An omakase here is priced at $400, but it’s worth it for some of the finest sushi in LA.
This is not the place to drop into when you just want a quick bite to eat. The nigiri omakase involves more than 20 courses, focused on the highest quality seafood that’s been immaculately prepared. As you can imagine, that will take some time to work through, so make sure you give yourself enough time to save each mouthful.
The centerpiece of this elegant restaurant is the 16-seater sushi bar, made from 200-year-old Japanese cypress trees. Located in the heart of West Hollywood, Sushi Ginza Onodera is a welcome oasis of tranquility and respite from the noisy revelry the district is famous for.
Top-price tasting menu: $310 per person
Address: 3455 Overland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034
As a protégé of the legendary Morihiro Onodera, it’s no surprise that Niki Nakayama’s eponymous restaurant displays the same ambition and relentless quest for the finest ingredients that are found in her mentor’s establishments.
However, rather than focusing on omakase, Nakayama specializes in kaiseki. This classic Japanese style uses seasonal ingredients and progresses through a range of tastes, textures, and even temperatures. As it’s often said that you eat Japanese food with your eye, presentation is, naturally, exquisite.
The 13-course Modern Kaiseki menu is priced at $310 and offers “A deep exploration of traditional Kaiseki service with modern accents in technique and flavor pairings.” There’s also a vegetarian option at $275, but as this contains eggs and dairy, it’s not suitable for vegans. Expect to take up to 3 hours for the whole experience.
Add an extra $175 per person for a wine and sake pairing. Reservations are required.
4. Q Sushi
Top-price tasting menu: $300 per person
Address: 521 W. 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Q Sushi – the name evokes a buzzing, noisy diner with loud music and a lively crowd. But nothing could be further from the truth. In this small, refined Michelin-starred restaurant, everything you see, hear, and taste is defined by the words ‘elegant’ and ‘intimate’.
As well as a few tables, there is a 10-seat sushi bar where Chef Hiroyuki Naruke performs a masterful one-person show each evening. The Edomae sushi showcases rice seasoned with vinegar and cuts of the finest quality fresh fish.
Q Sushi’s omakase dinner menu at $300 per person includes 19 (or maybe 20) sashimi and sushi courses. The exact ingredients depend on whatever’s freshest in the market. If that’s a little over the top for you, perhaps try the lunch track for $150 on your first visit. Whenever you decide to visit, day or night, just be sure to allow enough time to relax and savor every moment.
Reservations are essential.
Top-price tasting menu: $295 per person
Address: 1320 E 7th St #126, Los Angeles, CA 90021
In this intimate space, with only 7 seats, chef-owner Brandon Go prepares a traditional kaiseki menu dinner every night of service. Chef Go learned his craft under the tutelage of several famous Michelin-starred Japanese chefs.
The restaurant also showcases the work of master craftspeople far beyond the kitchen. It acknowledges the potters, fishmongers, carpenters, kimono makers, tea masters, sake brewers, and many others who contribute to the diner’s experience.
Hayato’s 12-course tasting menu ($295 per person) in the traditional Japanese kaiseki style offers outstanding service, complete with a formal tea ceremony.
Granted 2 Michelin stars in 2021, it’s no surprise that the tables are in high demand. Of course, advanced booking is essential, but if you’re planning a special celebration or looking for a memorable evening that will delight your guests, Hayato is worth considering.
Top-price tasting menu: $295 per person
Address: 1104 Wilshire Blvd Santa Monica, CA, 90401
Respected Chef Josiah Citrin presents this Michelin 2-star dining room nestled in his flagship Citrin restaurant. In this intimate yet formal 14-seat restaurant, Chef de Cuisine Ian Scaramuzza and his team guide their guests through a culinary tour of the finest produce Californian farmers, fishers, and wine growers have to offer.
Melisse’s tasting menu, featuring 5 canapes and 9 courses, is priced at $295 per person, excluding wine and service. It offers guests an eclectic selection of sumptuous dishes from around the world, exquisitely presented and, as you’d expect, using only the freshest and finest ingredients.
Top-price tasting menu: $250 per person
Address: 5955 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038
Located right on Melrose Avenue in downtown LA, 2-star Michelin Providence is an LA superstar with many prestigious awards, including being named the 35th Best restaurant in the USA 2022 by Gourmet magazine.
The seafood here is sourced from the US coasts and international waters and then prepared with the sophistication and respect it deserves. Chef Cimarusti proclaims: “First and foremost, what guides us here is sustainable. We use only wild-caught, sustainable products.”
The exquisitely presented 10-course Tasting Menu comes in at $250 per person, excluding drinks and service, but includes the finest caviar, truffles, and A5 Wagyu beef. If your budget doesn’t stretch quite that far, try the $95 lunchtime tasting menu.
Los Angeles is home to some of California’s most expensive restaurants, but the most expensive restaurant in California is the world-famous The French Laundry, located in Yountville, the heart of California’s Wine Country.
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