She nails it with the quote below, IMHO. I would not go back - I cannot imagine who would, but I am glad I went once. For me there is an interesting analogy to be made with reading books like Gravity’s Rainbow, or Ulysses, or The Sound and the Fury: immaculately put together constructions that can be supremely hard to digest (at times) and yet also capable of almost indescribable beauty (at other times). Of course, that analogy is deeply flawed, as well; mainly in that, I don’t see my appreciation for Vespertine deepening, if I took the time to return to it.
Does dinner need to be fun? I’d say so. There will always be an audience for truly revolutionary art, including art that isn’t wholly comfortable or pleasant. But attempting avant-garde performance art as a sustainable business model rather than a limited-run series of events is more than ambitious — it’s foolhardy.
Vespertine may indeed be a foolhardy exercise. Even with its still-evolving turn toward pleasure, this is a profoundly weird and profoundly expensive restaurant. But if I let go of all the chatter and philosophy, if I judge it without any expectation of radical disruption, Vespertine, as it is today, emerges in a clearer light: as a flawed but thrilling meal, as a stunning act of creativity and as a singular Los Angeles experience.