Depends on the destination. If it's Mexico we don't make plans. We may have one swanky meal, but mostly seek places where locals eat. Something about Mexico can make you a little reckless. I mean, would you let your L.A. taxi driver take you to his cousin's shack on the beach for fresh caught seafood, grilled on an open fire at sunset? Well, when you put it that way.
I would like to try the 3 yr old mole at Pujol. But other than that, a fussy tasting menu is not really my idea of fun in Mexico.
Now, when we went to New Orleans for Christmas, the trip was completely dependent upon whether or not we could get a table at certain restaurants; no small task for Christmas in NOLA. For our Eve dinner at Clancy's I had to call on a specific day at a specific time and the phone was busy for hours. It was worth it! Thanks CiaoBob. We ate gumbo everyday, even at the airport and each one was different. We went for the food, but fell in love with the city.
Same goes for Massachusetts, but not for the same reasons. I grew up but hadn't been there in years, and was determined to eat and introduce my family to all things New England. It was a food tour from Boston all the way to Martha's Vineyard. Only two advance reservations; but mostly just chowda' houses, clam bars, lobster rolls and linguisa! I discovered something new too. Boston pizza is the best in the country. Yes, New Yorkers, I said it.
In closing - we like tasting menus right here in L.A. Maybe because we live here and have had the food every which way - the theatre of a tasting is a delightful diversion.
I can be wordy, but hope that helps with your article. Hahaha, just kidding.