Somni x Central

#1

Hey everybody. I only just found out about this forum a few weeks ago, and it’s been a fantastic resource so far. Hope my first real thread is useful.

I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try out Chef Virgilio Martinez, who has the distinction of being the best restaurant in Latin America right now (at least, according to the San Pellegrino list). Overall, I have had nothing but stellar experiences at Somni. It’s my fourth time dining here since it’s opened, and each time, it’s been exceptional. The staff is so friendly, and that’s all the way down from the top. Aitor Zabala and GM Eric Jeffay (who hasn’t taken a day off since Somni opened) really ensure that everybody has not just great food, but a really great time. On to the food!

Menu:

Chefs

We got the non-alcoholic pairing, which is a bunch of house-made grape juices

Virgilio’s first ecosystem:

Classic Somni dish, and still one of my favorites. Shiso leaf and tartare inside.

Firefly squid was so good… and that sauce is so creamy.

Craziest looking dish of the night. We didn’t eat the piranha heads – they were just for display. Virgilio told us customs held him up for 5 hours because he was traveling with these crazy things.

This was pork. Skin is perfectly crispy and meat is tender.

I already wish I was back eating here again. We walked away full, and happy. All all around outstanding experience. Somni continues to have my vote for the best food experience I think LA has to offer.

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#2

Welcome! What an awesome post and dinner.

#3

Great pictures and looks like Somni has really changed up their menu since my visit.

This picture makes me laugh for some reason. It looks like a parody of tweezer food restaurant culture.

image

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#4

It’s funny i think of these type of scenes like a NASCAR pit crew. You have to have a few talented people executing at a high level at tempo to get that plate food out.

#5

I can understand why! That would’ve given me nightmares, as a kid.

Welcome to FTC! Wonderful pics and review.

#6

Thanks for the post! I’m excited to finally try Somni next month. From your experience, is there enough food to fill you up since there aren’t any fillers like bread? I’ve heard stories of people leaving Dialogue hungry because of the lack of fillers…

#7

The piranhas :metal::metal::metal::metal::metal:

#8

This menu here is a little different from what you will be getting at Somni, since this is a collaboration with Central.
My meal there this past April was excellent, best tasting menu in the city as of now. It was about 26 courses and I was satiated.
That kitchen is magnificent and the curved nine seat counter give the meal a theatrical feeling. Everyone is served the food at the same time and if there’s a sauce or broth, one person walks around and pours it into each dish.
They are friendly and can answer any of your questions regarding technigue, provenance, etc.
Price felt justified here, from utensils/silverware, the technical cooking that they are doing. The easy, casual conversations with staff (them recognizing early on I was left handed and setting silverware accordingly)
This place really handles the little details well.
hope this helps…

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#9

That picture is an argument in favor of never letting diners see into the kitchen. Too effing precious. It’s fine to see it placed in front of you but not that dainty shit. IMneverHO of course :slight_smile:

#10

Or it’s the other way around where guests finally get to see how much effort the back of the house put into every component of the dish.

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#11

Thanks! Also, pricing for June went up by $15 (6%). #Michelininflationalert

#12

Whereas I just want to go “wow!” I’m more destination than journey oriented :smile:

#13

#AndSoItBegins

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#14
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#15

Have been fortunate enough to eat at both Central and MIL - outside of NOMA and some of its pop ups, I’d say hands down those were two of the most moving dining experiences I’ve ever had (I know, odd word choice).

To my mind, Virgilio is right there with Redzepi right now, not only in terms of what goes onto the dish, but the research and education and work going on elsewhere.

Wish I’d been in town for this, but thank you so much for sharing. Looks wonderful.

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