It’s pretty special when a chef with a pedigree like Gary Menes’ (Melisse, The French Laundry), foregoes opening a big white tablecloth joint in favor of something like Le Comptoir: A 10-seat restaurant where each guest sits at the counter and interacts with the chef throughout the prix-fixe meal. The intimate, memorable dinner experience takes place inside Koreatown’s cozy Hotel Normandie, and rings in at a surprisingly affordable $69/person. The menu changes daily to account for seasonal produce, which Menes sources from Gladys Avenue Farm, an urban farm he founded and manages in Long Beach.

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