Jordan Kahn’s Vespertine Is a Futuristic Experience
One of 2017’s most highly anticipated restaurant openings in Los Angeles is Vespertine, the futuristic tasting menu experience from Chef Jordan Kahn. Kahn also opened The Destroyer in Culver City. Prior to the two new restaurants, he was last seen at Red Medicine, while his previous stints include Michael Mina’s XIV in Los Angeles, and as a pastry chef at Chicago’s Alinea and New York’s Per Se. Vespertine’s location – in Culver City’s Hayden Tract – wouldn’t be one to come to mind for L.A.’s first avant-garde restaurant. Vespertine sits in an eye-catching building affectionately known as “The Waffle.” The building was designed by architect Eric Owen Moss, who has devoted a large part of his career revitalizing the industrial tract of Culver City.
Vespertine may be L.A.’s most ambitious restaurant yet, with a price tag to match. The restaurant follows the ticketed model as many other acclaimed fine dining restaurants, where the dining experience must be purchased in advance. Dinner at Vespertine is one of the most expensive in the city at $250 per person not including tax, gratuity and wine. Dinner for two including wine pairings along with coffee and liqueur in the garden after dinner runs more than $1000. There are only 22 seats at the restaurant, no bar, and the largest table seats only four people.
The tasting menu consists of more than twenty courses, a journey into the mind of Jordan Kahn. The presentation is reminiscent of Kahn’s platings at Red Medicine, where the dish is more of an artwork and main ingredient doesn’t take center stage. At Vespertine, the presentation is even more abstracted. For the most part, the dishes don’t even resemble food. Kahn promises food “from a time that is yet to be” and the food and experience certainly seem like futuristic, edible artwork.
The presentation and culinary offerings at Vespertine have made the restaurant not only one of L.A.’s most exciting openings, but also one of the city’s most polarizing experiences. At times, diners aren’t sure if what they are eating pushes the boundaries of what’s edible. One thing for sure is that no Los Angeles restaurant will be more discussed in the coming months than Vespertine.