Los Angeles, CA
5955 MELROSE AVE.
Michael Cimarusti has raised his game at this seafood specialist located in the space that once housed the original Patina. A fanatic about high-quality ingredients, Cimarusti installed a special cold room in his kitchen so that his fish can be butchered at a perfect temperature. The attention to detail appears to have paid off, as many of our reviewers feel that Cimarusti serves the best New American seafood in the country. Some of the creations are truly inspired: his Dungeness crab with sweet peas, crispy soba and sriracha mayonnaise; his signature Santa Barbara sea urchin served in a farm egg filled with a Champagne beurre blanc; and his dayboat halibut from Sitka, Alaska, served with burdock, shiso and lemon. Non-fish eaters will find that Cimarusti handles dishes like foie gras ravioli or roast tenderloin of veal with chanterelles and shimeji mushrooms with the same level of skill and aplomb. Partner Donato Poto, a veteran of numerous top L.A. restaurants (including Bastide in its heyday), does an equally good job of managing the front of the house.