When is LA Restaurant Week?The event happens twice a year:
- Summer: July 16 through 27, 2012
- Winter: Mid-January. Dates and restaurants are usually announced a few weeks ahead of time
Which Restaurants Participate? How Do I Make a Reservation?You'll find a list at the LA Restaurant Week website, where you can narrow choices by meal (lunch or dinner), type of cuisine, location and price. If you click through, you can view their Restaurant Week menus and make reservations.
You'll also find the same restaurants listed at Open Table, which has the advantage of access to reviews and also lets you make reservations.
If you're a little overwhelmed by more than 250 choices, check the guide to choosing a restaurant for some ways to narrow the options.
LA Restaurant Week PricesThe foundation of the week is the fixed-price (prix fixe) menu. Restaurants are grouped into three tiers by price:
Deluxe Dining: $15 Lunch / $25 Dinner
Premier: $20 Lunch / $354 Dinner
Fine: $25 Lunch/ $45 Dinner
Those prices are just for the meal and don't include beverages, tax or gratuities.
If you register an American Express card ahead of time, use it to pay and spend more than $21, you'll get a $5 credit per participating restaurant.
Reasons to Try LA Restaurant Week
- At its best, LA Restaurant Week offers a chance to visit that special restaurant you might not otherwise be able to afford, to try out a new place without less financial risk or to try something you're just not sure you'll like.
- Everyone likes to save money, and prices can be lower during Restaurant Week.
Why LA Restaurant Week May Not be for YouSome restaurants are outstanding the rest of the year, but abysmal during Restaurant Week. A few factors that contribute to the problem include:
- Limited menus may mean trouble for picky eaters and folks with food allergies or dietary restrictions. If you're in doubt, check the menu on the restaurant week website or call and ask questions. Most places offer their normal menu alongside the restaurant week specials, which may help if only one person in your group has a problem.
- Restaurant week's fixed pricing puts restaurants in an awkward position, and some choose to offer only simple dishes, which may mean that black truffle-laced Kobe steak you've been reading about won't make it onto the menu.
- Restaurants can be crowded during these events, stressing the staff's ability to deliver top-notch service.
- Smaller restaurants sometimes have trouble managing their regular offerings along with a Restaurant Week menu.
- That hot new place you've been dreaming about may not be participating. In fact, many don't.