DineLA Launches First Summer Program

DineLA adds 50 restaurants to its two-week special menu and pricing program, highlighting the dynamism of LA’s food scene By: Mindy Poder
Renowned chefs Susan Feniger and Ben Ford at the launch event for DineLA’s first summer program // © 2012 Mindy Poder
Renowned chefs Susan Feniger and Ben Ford at the launch event for DineLA’s first summer program // © 2012 Mindy Poder

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Caption 2: The food at Fundamental LA, a new restaurant in Westwood, relies on using standout seasonal ingredients, many hand-picked from the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market. // © 2012 Fundamental LA Sm
The food at Fundamental LA, a new restaurant in Westwood, relies on using standout seasonal ingredients, many hand-picked from the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market. // © 2012 Fundamental LA

DineLA Restaurant Week returns July 16-27 for its first summer and weekend event of specially created and priced lunch and dinner menus. Fifty new restaurants are joining DineLA for a total of 250 participants, including favorites such as BLD Restaurant, Border Grill, Bouchon Beverly Hills, Waterloo & City, Susan Feniger’s Street and AOC. Notable newcomers include A-Frame, Blue Cow Kitchen & Bar, Mo-chica and Fundamental LA.

“It's an exciting time to be a part of the dining scene in LA,” said Woogene Lee, managing partner of Fundamental LA. “Some really good restaurants have opened in the last few years, and things are only getting better. We're seeing more and more restaurants that care about using truly great ingredients, in thoughtful preparations, and people are recognizing the city’s food culture for being more than just diverse. Of course, there are restaurants and chefs who have been doing it right for years, but it's starting to become a broader trend in restaurants large and small — it's an amazing thing to watch.”

Presented by the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board and American Express, the event is also a great opportunity to experience Los Angeles county’s numerous neighborhoods, while enjoying meals in a variety of dining styles. The summer’s program will follow past DineLA Restaurant Weeks with restaurants offering special prix-fixe lunch and dinner menus at three different price points. Lunch menus are offered at $15, $20 and $25 and dinner menus are offered at $25, $35 and $45. This summer, DineLA participants who spend $21 or more with a registered American Express Card will receive a $5 statement credit. For more details, visit AmexNetwork.com/DineLA. 

At the summer launch event held at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, local celebrity chef Susan Feniger, of Susan Feniger’s Street and Border Grill, competed against chef Ben Ford, of Ford’s Filling Station. Feniger and Ford each had to choose between two to four ingredients, some from the on-site garden used by Culina, Modern Italian, the restaurant at Four Seasons and a DineLA participant, in order to create an original summer treat. Ford won over the judges, including Mark Liberman, president and CEO of Los Angeles Tourism Convention Board with his improvised shrimp escabeche dish.

The competition highlighted the ever growing attention paid to local and seasonal ingredients at Los Angeles’ best restaurants.

“We focus on using as much local produce as we can,” said Ashley James, executive chef of Culina, Modern Italian at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills.

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