99 Essential Restaurants 2014

The Tasting Kitchen

photo by Anne Fishbein

It’s a gorgeous place, the Tasting Kitchen. The food is remarkable. The cocktails shine. In fact, Casey Lane’s Abbot Kinney restaurant is one of those places that does so many things so well, it reminds you how comforting it is to eat at a place that gets everything right. It’s been almost five years now that Lane has been turning out beautiful handmade pastas, lovely vegetable dishes and fantastic charcuterie. You can get a whole, salt-crusted fish with black rice and satsuma, or tortellini with hen and black garlic, or one of the best chicken liver crostinis in town. If this sounds familiar, it is — half the restaurants in L.A. these days serve food that sounds very much like what’s on the Tasting Kitchen’s menu. But that only makes this place shine even more: In comparison, very few of the Tasting Kitchen’s imitators come close to the delicious harmony Lane and his staff have on offer here, day after day.

-- Besha Rodell