I’m saying that the food doesn’t read well in photos, and that 1) I would respect the no-photo policy, and 2) that the courses appear estranging seems consistent with the narrative they’ve put forth. I have not eaten there, but it’s quite clear the intent is for the food to not have much sense of familiarity, at least on paper. To that end, the food does not appear all that appetizing, not only because it’s shrouded in mystery, but also more importantly because it is designed to not have much of a culinary reference point; it’s hard for me to imagine, for the most part, what deliciousness might be hiding underneath. It’s kind of the opposite of “that sounds or looks really good” when one hears about a dish; it’s more “what is that?” but that’s ostensibly the point. I used GEIST as a comparison, because while I have also not been there yet, the plating is deceptive yet it’s easy to imagine how and why the flavors work.
The point being that Vespertine is probably best experienced without preconceptions - like watching a movie without seeing the trailer first. One kind of has to give himself or herself over to Jordan Kanh’s vision. The results might be fantastic; I don’t know. If enough valuable voices are saying that Vespertine delivers on its promise - and I value your input and reports - I may have to bite the bullet and experience it for myself. I’m a bit hard to convince and I’m quick, perhaps a bit too quick, to think about my pretty dismal meal at Red Medicine. The problem wasn’t a lack of kitchen talent but rather a preoccupation with style over substance, at least to my and my party’s tastes. And Vespertine’s raison d’etre seems to be about doing things differently in an unfamiliar way, with a very specific, calculated style complete with a narrative. I understand that Vespertine may be a different beast than Red Medicine altogether, chefs improve, or perhaps Jordan Kanh’s cooking is simply not my kind of food, which is fine. There’s so many other restaurants in LA that I’d like to visit in the meantime that it might be a while before I find out for myself what Vespertine has to offer. If I do visit, I’ll be taking notes, but not pictures.