When you decide what to eat at night, you consider the obvious: What kind of food do you want? That’s important. But what’s more important to your decision is the “why.” Are you on the way home and have no desire for detours? Are you already stoned on your couch watching The Voice and need something hand delivered to your lap? Probably. And that’s why decent restaurants with plenty of reasons to eat at them make it into our weekly rotation, and really good restaurants with fewer reasons to go often don’t. As for 71Above, it’s definitely the latter.
Perched on top of the US Bank Tower downtown, 71Above is as visually impressive a restaurant as you’ll find in LA. You don’t need to wait in line at Soarin’ Over California to know we don’t have many tall buildings in this town, let alone ones with 360-degree-view restaurants on top. And for that reason alone, 71Above is unlike anything else.
As for the food? Delicious. Yes, the $70 three-course choose-your-own-pre-fixe adventure at dinner is a little fussy, but the reality is the menu is solid as a rock. The agnolotti (with black truffle and ricotta) is outstanding and the scallop curry situation will stay in your mind for days. So what’s the holdup? 9.0 game-changing blockbuster, right? Well, it all goes back to the “why.”
Outside of the fancy corporate lunch/dinner, there are frankly just not many situations we could see ourselves at 71Above. The views are obviously great and the main dining hall looks like a mid-century art installation, but the vibe inside is not much of anything. There’ll be a few guys drinking quietly at the bar and some tables filled with uptight financial people talking about stock consultation, but that’s hardly the atmosphere we would want to have a big date night or show off the city to friends in.
So take 71Above for what it is: a good-looking, well-executed shrine to the corporate power stage and a great place to see what Century City looks like at 4pm. You’ll probably find a time and place for 71Above, it just won’t come around very often.
Served on both the lunch and dinner menu, this baby is fantastic. The steak itself is quality, but we’re partial to the egg yolk swimming pool sitting on top. Not mad about the olive tapenade either.
Served only at dinner, this is our favorite among the first course options. It’s basically a caprese, but served on top of some sort of tart shell. It’s weird and wonderful.
This is probably our favorite thing on the menu. Scallops will always be one of God’s great gifts, but it’s the curry bath it’s sitting in that takes it to the next level.
Served with loin, belly, and a confit of some sort, this is essentially a pig three ways and who are we to turn down that?
A flat-out must-order. Corn, black truffle, and ricotta. No further questions.
If you’re waltzing in hungry at lunch, this is definitely your move. It’s probably not the best thing on the menu, but its king crab-filled goodness will hit the spot anytime.