Vespertine - The Gaffe of Kahn


Yer now a (n in)famous artist, @PorkyBelly, per a shout out on Eater:


And they writer linked to FTC! Well done! :+1:


This is honestly probably one of the funniest reviews I’ve ever read. Ever.


@Xochitl -

I had never heard of that quote - and I LOVE it. Thanks for posting!


A friend of mine was thrilled to get a reservation at Alinea in Chicago. She lives in Northern California. After spending about 1K on food and wine, she said that Alinea was "great theatre."There were two dishes which were memorable for taste and another two which gimmicky , e.g. balloons and painted desserts at the table. and the rest of the menu was nothing special. it was theatre and that is what I think is the goal of Vespertine;; more theatre than taste.


I’ve been to Alinea once - and it was great theater. But I thought the food was quite tasty and interesting. I much prefer delicious over creativity.

But - Vespertine? I’m going. In a couple weeks. I will report back.

But my expectations are pretty low. I wasn’t a fan of Red Medicine. I gave it a couple tries, but found the place didn’t interesting well, but delicious? Not so much. I have to say - pretentious was the key word. Sometimes quite pretty and playful, but sometimes just hard to eat.

So, I’m taking my girlfriend to V to celebrate our anniversary. (one year). She wears a lot of black, her house is black and white - so the design aspect will be met with enthusiasm. And she’s more easy-going if the look is fun and clever. I won’t put a pin in her balloon. But I appreciate lowering the bar for expectations. If I go in ready to loathe the place, I might be, a little surprise that isn’t that bad. I hope. I wouldn’t bet on it. Damn, wish I could go to n/naka, Melisse or Providence instead. Fingers crossed.


I’m going some time in August.


I hope you enjoy it. Fwiw I hated red medicine.


That’s good context.


Interesting fact in Besha Rodell’s LA Weekly review:

Kahn said ahead of opening that the food would be inspired by architecture, astronomy and the music of John Cage. The architecture part, at least, makes sense — this is a restaurant that began with a building. Years ago, when he was still the chef at Red Medicine, Kahn became obsessed with one of the fantastical buildings designed by architect Eric Owen Moss in the Hayden Tract of Culver City, a four-story glass structure with an exoskeleton of undulating red metal. Eventually Kahn met Moss, and the two devised a plan to devote that entire building to Vespertine, a project as ridiculous and divisive and ambitious as a restaurant can be.


Well, I went. The GF broke up with me a week before so I brought a well-known litigator turned screenwriter as my “date”. So Verspertine with a Broken Heart.

I don’t really do reviews here - just commentary. opinion and recommendations (or not).

BTW - I used to go by the handle Foodiemahoodie at Chowhound - I took on this current moniker from a former assistant because I thought it was fun.

Okay - loved the building. You’re brought into the elevator to the rooftop - which is dark and mysterious - and kinda sexy. Had the GF come with me - we would’ve been on those futon-like sofas making out like teenagers. The drinks? Odd, unusual and whimsical. Delicious? No. But I was not a fan of Red Medicine so I dialed my expectations down. Down low. I can appreciate creativity, but I prefer a delicious meal that leaves me craving until I return. I knew I probably wouldn’t be getting that here - but if something pops - well - I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

The apps on the rood were - again - like the drink - odd, unusual, different, whimsical, creative. Presented in a way that…my ex girlfriend would’ve loved. That was my thinking. And the whole design behind the place would’ve sent her to the moon.

After the apps - we went into the main dining room. It was well lit, but not bright - a lot of black - including all the servers, waiters, etc. I liked all that.

The glass table however had a plastic surface on it which made the glasses kind of stick to it. I like to swirl my wine glass on the glass surface before i stick my nose in the glass - but you can’t do that here. Interesting to have the glass stick, but for my purposes - not sure why that’s a good thing.

The plates. I think they were all black. Maybe not all. Maybe some white in there. I don’t remember any colors except in the food. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was eating half the time - and the wines were unusual and sometimes very good. I like unusual wines (which are often fun to pair) - so I enjoyed that.

Taste. Well, not all that satisfying. Left-brain culinary experience vs, a right brain satisfaction.

It’s like a popular movie with a plot and a Best Pic nomination vs David Lynch quirky, odd mishigas. This is David Lynch. Worth going to once. But I doubt I’ll return. Give me Melisse, Providence and n/naka. Again and again.


Hi @MrFoodiepants,

Ah I remember Foodiemahoodie on our old board! :slight_smile: Thanks for your report back (and sorry to hear about your breakup).


I can’t imagine breaking up with someone before they took me to Vespertine. I would wait at least until a week after.

She doesn’t deserve you. :kissing_heart:


What is the IG geotag?



Nice to hear from you again.
Love the Lynch analogy.


Dave Beran mentions how that’s by design, not sure what purpose that serves other than to annoy.

I’m astonished at the level of focus and thought that he put into it, right down to the way that glass moves on a table: just sitting there, and if you have a glass of wine and you go like this at a table [makes motion like he’s swirling a glass] while you’re not thinking, just rolling your wine, having a conversation—you can’t do that, so it immediately makes you think about how you hold a wine glass and how you drink out of it. Everything there has that much thought to it.


Not sure why it’s been withdrawn. No shame in liking Verspertine - I actually liked it - just prefer a more mainstream appeal to my palate.

On the GF front however - a week ago she insisted this breakup (this is one of many) will be the last - and there will be no reconciliation. Which I took as a challenge. 18 hours later we were not only back together - we we’re engaged.


And she avoided having to eat at Vespertine. Just kidding. Congrats. I am glad I went but would never return. I think I feel the same way about marriage.


Congrats @MrFoodiepants! :slight_smile: