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Thursday, October 20, 2005



Wow - that tomato salad and ricotta cheesecake look and sound spectacular!

I, too, have mixed emotions about the small-plate phenomenon. On the one hand, I like the concept of having only a few bites of any given dish, so that the flavors remain vibrant to the diner and he/she can avoid - to borrow Thomas Keller's favorite phrase - "palate fatigue." On the other hand, I have yet to find the restaurant that, having elected to go the "small plate" route, has also implemented concomitantly "small prices." Rather, most small plate restaurants offer 1/4 the portion for 1/2 the price. Although some departure from a one-to-one reduction in size and price might be appropriate (since the relevant labor costs do not reduce linearly), I get the feeling that many restaurants view the small plate trend as just another way to make more money.


what about 'delicious anecdotes' or 'satisfying short stories' or 'tantalizing tastes' or 'side-plate cuisine.'?

I have often thought that I might drive to LA solely to eat at amy of Ms. Goin's operations. Thanks for the head's up on the cookbook!


I have a little-ish appetite.
A jillion years ago, before the term "small plates" was invented (and wasn't it Fog City Diner who coined it?), I used to go to a restaurant and explain to the server that I was just going to "order from the top of the menu." Where the small plates lived.
They always said, "Fine -- go for it."
(Shuna: Cute ideas.)


I love the way this style is done at Isa (notice I'm not using the offending term!). The food is terrific and the plates aren't really that small. In fact they even have a prix fixe so you don't have to share if you don't want to. Let me know if you try it.


NS, you hit the nail on the head. With small plates, you may avoid palate fatigue, but not wallet fatigue.

Shuna, I like tantalizing tastes! How about vignettes? Also, AOC is worth the drive, especially if you have some other reason to go to LA. (Notice, I switched my comments so they're no longer anarcho).

Cookiecrumb, for some reason some chefs are better at apps than entrees (while others prefer making entrees). I have a healthy appetite (and lucky me a high metabolism), but most entrees at US restaurants are so big they make my stomach ache. So sometimes it is better to stick to the apps. Plus then there's room for dessert!

Amy, I've been to Isa once and I enjoyed it, but that was many years ago. I'm glad to hear they're still good. If the chef is good, the prix fixe is probably my favorite way of eating. The courses can then progress the way that makes the most sense. I also love it when everyone at the table is eating the same thing. It seems so civilized and festive, like a dinner party.

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