Jordan Kahn's new restaurant Vespertine - Spring 2017 / Culver City


This description of the service from the LA Weekly review just slays me (pun intended):

The service was so blank and stark and cold: waiters in black sacks shuffling toward you, laying down a dish and whispering preciously, “egg yolk and osha,” then backing away slowly, never breaking cyborg character.


Odd, when I went the staff was quite interactive. Meh the trend seems to be to not like this place, most people are never gonna try it anyways or if they are, they go in with the stubborn mentality that they aren’t gonna like it. This is why the safe bet for LA restaurants is to either go the “Italian” route or the “Japanese influence” route. Anything else is seen as sacrilege.


Is there maybe a difference between the staff vs the service? Because I’ve heard this EXACT description from more than one source.


I don’t agree with that. Gray plates don’t appeal to all people. Kahn is that artistic goth kid at school, and he is one of a kind. We can respect him and his brilliance, but not necessarily want to hang out in his room listening to his music.


What does that mean? The staff is providing the service, isn’t it?


Besides Jordan Kahn, which other Jordans do you like? I assume Michael? What about Montell?


LOL just realized that, it’s a screen name I have had for over 10 years, started back when I was heavily into shoes. FWIW I absolutely hated Red Medicine.


Oops, that wasn’t clear. Meaning the people who greet diners, lead them from location to location, manage the place, etc. vs. the servers who actually bring the food.

PS: I have to add, it strikes me as kind of absurd to make Vespertine some sort of referendum on LA dining. It’s not like other places are doing the same thing in other cities to universal acclaim.


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.


I read her review. It sounds like she had a miserable time. And she gives it 4 stars. Sure.


From what I’ve read of the food, I’m pretty sure this restaurant could be anywhere in the world.


or beyond it


4… 3… 2… 1…


Zippo posted this link over on Hungry Onion:

I must say that this does not entice me. One bit. I’m definitely not his intended audience.