Is it just me, or is the cost of food just getting a little too high? Dont get me wrong, good food comes at a cost, but just seems like trying to have a meal at the likes of Republique, Otium, Ink, Bestia, etc will cost an arm and a leg and could only be enjoyed a few times a year for someone with regular middle income…
is it just LA or is this the norm across the country? $15-25 appetizers/small plates and $30-40 main dishes…
let’s not forget the $12-15 cocktails
and of course the already heavily discussed healthcare surcharge.
I only bring this up after a recent meal at Republique. 2 small plates, 2 pastas, bread and a dessert. 2 cocktails and a cheap (haha) $60 bottle of wine and we were in for $275 with tax, tip, healthcare.
yes the food and service was good. but just wondering how everyone feels about today’s LA restaurant pricing.
or am I totally off and these examples considered “high end” and should be expected to be enjoyed a few times a year for the average person? or am I just ordering too damn much?? haha
$100 per person used to be ‘event’ dining. Seems like I’m tripping over that without much of an effort these days. So, YES!
For this reason I’m tickled pink with $5.45 POTD at 800 degrees.
I pretty much expect $100pp when I’m dining at that level. The only way to reasonably save a few bucks (IMO) is preparty and avoid the alcohol charges.
Went to O+P last night and did just that (only 1 drink per person) and still ended up with $200++ bill.
It is going up, but it’s not just LA. I’m sitting here researching DC restaurants and 3 of the 5 places i was focusing on have the pricing you’re describing.
We are a city with a lot of moneyed folks. Not surprising. If they weren’t filling up they’d have to drop cost or close.
No different for SF/LV/NYC either.
$50 + tax/tip for a dozen oysters and a glass of wine.
Oysters were always 30 at nice places, so that’s 50 with wine. no?
I’m not balling enough to order $20 glasses of wine, so I was thinking more $36/12 oysters + $14 glass of wine.
I see that Republique actually charges $3.50/ea O_O
30 oysters + 10 wine = 50 with tips and tax
The short answer is yes. It is getting harder and harder to justify trying new and exciting places given the prices, especially when you have spectacular food in K-town, Thai Town, east LA, etc. for extremely reasonable prices. Hard to get out of a new restaurant at less than 70 a head now, and half the time it’s disappointing.
i dunno, man. i’m thinking you could have started this thread in 2016 or 1916 and get the same complaints. time goes
by, food prices go up. 'twas ever thus.
I think that most of the people eating high end in LA wouldn’t know a good meal if it bit them in the ass. As long as the decor is on point and they see other people around them in their socio-demographic sphere then it’s all fucking good. That’s where the market is at and if you’re starting a resto with investors than you need to have high menu prices. You justify those high prices with atmosphere. QPR are just some letters in a bay area pasta joint. There certainly are some pricier restaurants who can back up their prices with quality but that’s the exception, not the norm.
Por examplo - tried Winsome the other day for breakfast. The food was well below the quality of any of the established dtla area diners. Scone could have been from costco, bacon was pre-cooked and then reheated, egg in a sandwich was totally over-cooked. Despite that, they are packing 'em in every day with the warby parker set. I have to conclude that most of these folks are not looking for good food as much as ‘aspirational lifestyle affirmation.’
Fortunately, as noted, one can avoid the high-end dining in this town and still eat like a king. I think there’s something to be said for the fact that you can wander into any random joint in ktown, plunk down under $20 tax and tip for a meal and pretty much always come out ahead of the various golden-calf temples of nouveau hipster cuisine.
I do feel the food prices in “hot” places (like the ones you’re mentioned) are quite high and not in the realm of “regularly” affordable for the average person (and not even regularly affordable for me, and I make a decent amount of $).
However, I also don’t feel the need to go to such places w/ regularity b/c of what @mrgreenbeenz mentions. Even on the westside, you can find very satisfying places at a reasonable price point (although there’s only such much pizza, ramen, and tacos that a person heading toward middle-age can tolerate… ).
And, as @linus says, have food prices ever gone down? I do think that the cost of gas/transport and the fact that property in LA is getting more expensive also has something to do w/ it. I can’t really blame a restauranteur for charging as much as the market will tolerate. This is how they make their living, and the overhead must be astronomical for some of these places (Republique seems to have an army of servers and cooks, no?).
For me, the only place I really wish were cheaper is Tender Greens. I’d love to eat there daily… But I think they charge a fair price, so…
Still cheap if you compare it to NYC and SF…
in my experience, at restaurants at that level of popularity, you are going to PAY.
this is especially true if you, like me, are averse to “careful ordering” and are averse to omitting beverages.
thankfully, we live in a city that offers a wonderful diverse array of reasonably priced ethnic foods if you can forgo the tablecloth, the mixology, etc.
My guess is it’s mostly down to the inflated real estate market here.
The two units next to Salt & Straw on Abbot Kinney (Vince) supposedly are renting for $100G/month.
when anyone starts speculating about why people other than themselves eat in a restaurant, my butthole starts to twitch.
This is basically the reason I now as a rule bring my own wine. Since I take time and effort into traveling for it, tasting, selecting, cellaring it. I’m ok with only paying a 15 or 20$ restaurant markup… which is less than their other wine is marked up… and a sure thing for us.
this way my wine cost is always 40-60…
You want to see crazy high prices, come to San Francisco. LA seemed like a bargain to me. A meal like I had at Orsa & Winston would cost 50-100% more here. Something like Papilles would be impossible.