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2019 DOWNTOWN LA DINING GUIDE

71Above

T

he skyline of Downtown Los Angeles is among the most iconic and familiar in the world, thanks in part to one building in particular: the US Bank Tower. With its distinctive stepped design and crown-shaped top, it was until recently the tallest building west of the Mississippi. Residing just below that famous crown, on the 71st floor, at 950 feet above street level, is a jewel: 71Above Restaurant and Skylounge. Riding the express elevators up to the 71st floor, it’s hard not to feel a sense of anticipation. The doors open into an intimate foyer. As you’re led into the airy main dining room, nothing can prepare you for the vista with the floor-to-ceiling windows revealing hundreds of square miles of the city below and the ocean shimmering at its edge — those views are reflected in the polished glass walls of the wine rooms behind you. Dining tables hug the windows along the edge of the room, large upholstered booths anchor the center, and wherever you sit, there’s always that view. For the ultimate in exclusivity, two “Chefs Tables” are set right in front of where the action is—the open kitchen. And while it would be easy to rely on the views alone to keep customers coming in, owner Emil Eyvazoff has built a restaurant that wows the senses in every other way, with a world-class food, wine and bar program. Leading the kitchen is Executive Chef Javier Lopez, who oversees a menu that is as diverse as the city it serves, with influences from cuisines across the globe. A threecourse prix-fixe dinner ($78 per person) starts with an amuse that offers a thrilling glimpse of the flavors to come. The first course might be a plump oyster, luxuriously poached in champagne, bathed in Béarnaise sauce, and topped with uni and caviar. Or perhaps a green garlic soup with crème frâiche, sweet garlic, potato and smoked trout roe, a dish that

manages to be creamy and luscious while also tangy and savory. For the second course, when it’s in season, the White Asparagus is a dazzling complex dish of sweet white asparagus, rich spicy XO sauce, uni aioli and crunchy sea beans. A luxurious scallop might be the choice for the third course, sharing space with heirloom carrot, coconut, curry, almond and chile de Árbol, in an ode to Thai flavors that still feels uniquely L.A. and familiar. Save room for dessert, as an excellent pastry program rounds out the menu. A recent addition is a Honey Custard, topped with yuzu gelée, pine nut brittle, freeze dried and fresh mandarin, and matcha marshmallows—it’s as playful and delicious as it sounds. Splurge on a wine pairing from lead sommelier Catherine Morel, for $48, or simply pick a bottle or glass from the extensive wine list. Lunch at 71Above is a two-course prix-fixe for $35 that offers Downtown business people a perfect place to entertain clients or to join co-workers for a special meal that while feeling luxurious is a remarkably good value. And visitors to Los Angeles can enjoy the spectacular views of the city before exploring the neighborhoods they see from the restaurant. One of the best-kept secrets is the bar and lounge at 71Above. Cozy up to the bar and order a perfectly crafted cocktail from the extensive program of classic and signature drinks. There’s even an exceptional value bar burger that comes “view included.” If you time it well, you might catch one of Southern California’s spectacular sunsets, before settling in to dinner at 71Above, or ordering bites from the bar menu. However you choose to experience it, 71Above is truly a restaurant for Los Angeles. At 633 W. Fifth St., 71st floor, (213) 71A-BOVE. Open for lunch MondayFriday 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., dinner Sunday-Wednesday 5-10 p.m., ThursdaySaturday 5-11 p.m. Visit 71above.com. Cuisine: American $$$

photos courtesy of 71 Above

$$$ DOWNTOWNNEWS.COM 9

Profile for Los Angeles Downtown News

Downtown Los Angeles Dining Guide 2019  

The Dining Guide is published annually by the Los Angeles Downtown News. An essential dining reference including detailed restaurant profile...

Downtown Los Angeles Dining Guide 2019  

The Dining Guide is published annually by the Los Angeles Downtown News. An essential dining reference including detailed restaurant profile...

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