February 2013 - Page 2 of 3 - Please The Palate
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Every year for my birthday I try to find a new restaurant to try with my family. What better way to celebrate than to enjoy a new place with family while getting to try lots of dishes and sharing. In perfect timing, David Myers' Hinoki and the Bird opened just in time to be the restaurant of choice. I had been sad when Sona closed as some of my first real foodie experiences were at Sona. But, David is back with Hinoki and the Bird, located in the basement of a luxury condo building in Century City that is not so easy to find (my GPS was confused and I had to make 2 calls to the restaurant to make sure I was in the right place).  We arrived and were greeted by the valets, still not sure what to expect. But, once the big wooden doors opened, we stood looking out over the entire restaurant.  From the bustling bar to the open kitchen, the room was filled with energy. Chef David Myers100_2376
A birthday is a perfect excuse as any to go out to dinner. It is a guarantee to have a group of people which means ordering lots of different dishes and sharing. So, for this year's birthday, I picked Josef Centeno's newest restaurant Bar Amá in downtown LA that recently opened. Inspired by the memories of the women who raised him, Josef Centeno has created a menu of elevated Tex-Mex favorites that he grew up on. Bar Ama
Although ink. opened in late 2011, I hadn't been yet. It was on my list of places to go but time got ahead of me. So after spending a week in DC before the holidays and eating at a few Top Chef contender restaurants (Range by Bryan Voltaggio and Graffiato by Mike Isabella), it was time to hit ink. by Michael Voltaggio, winner of Season 6 of Bravo's "Top Chef". ink. is a casual place with a edgy decor but a cozy feel.  The menu offers a small plate format which is great because you get to try lots of different things.  And, ink. is all about different. The cuisine is cutting edge, using new techniques. And, the descriptions on the menu are only scratching the surface.  When our server described each dish, it was hard to keep up with exactly what processes the ingredients have undergone before they land on the plate....but whatever they were, we liked the results!