LAReview

photo credit: Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles

Restaurant 917 review image
7.5

Restaurant 917

$$$$

19800 Main St, Carson
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Chances are, your lunch routine is more predictable than a Hallmark holiday movie. So every once in a while, it’s natural to crave a thrill. Like, say, drifting a Porsche 911 Turbo and eating a power lunch at Restaurant 917. The posh, light-filled spot is on the second floor of the Porsche Experience Center in Carson, the official driving school of the sports car company. If you’re looking for the kind of memorable daytime meal where you can feel sensations from more than just the food, drop by this place for an upscale lunch.

Once you’re seated in the handsomely decorated dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows, the first thing you’ll notice is the racetrack. The restaurant overlooks a smooth speedway dotted with dirt mounds and water-lined straightaways, designed for thrill-seekers to test the limits of German engineering. Booking a driving experience here costs anywhere from $500-$2500 depending on the package you choose, but the restaurant itself is open to the public (and slightly less expensive).

Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles

Restaurant 917 review image

While you probably won’t eat anything remarkable during your lunch at Restaurant 917, you'll be served a solid meal while sports cars whiz by at 110 mph on the track below. The short menu includes a selection of starters and entrees, like hamachi crudo and crab spaghetti with pesto, as well as heartier choices like a wagyu burger and a 10 oz bone-in pork chop. It’s all basically “international food at a fancy hotel,” but it’s also your best bet for a full-service fine dining lunch in the area. Whatever you do, don’t skip the creative dessert menu. The highlight of our meal was the blueberry and toasted corn paris-brest—a light, ring-shaped pastry with a flaky outer shell and creamy corn custard filling.

A meal at Restaurant 917 is almost like a lunch and show matinee, and there isn’t much else like it in LA. It might not be the absolute best food in the city—but that’s not the point. You come here to watch sports car racing from the comfort of your seat, eat Porsche-shaped butter, and enjoy service that skews north of impeccable. Even if you don’t plan on getting behind the wheel, this is a fun place to bring a car-loving friend on their birthday or just sip a craft cocktail and order a small plate or two on your day off.

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Food Rundown

Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles

Restaurant 917 review image

Bread & Butter

The butter at Restaurant 917 is no ordinary butter. Shaped like a Porsche 911 Turbo, it’s got the smooth finish of an ancient sculpture that’s been carved out a marble block. This very special butter is dusted with sea salt and served with a side of warm table bread.

Hamachi Crudo

The hamachi is fresh and light, but the heavy toppings totally overpower this crudo. There’s wasabi tobiko, smoked ginger, and a hibiscus ponzu with the sweetness of maple syrup. Skip this and try one of the other raw appetizers instead.

Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles

Restaurant 917 review image

917 Burger

Blazened with the “917” logo, this wagyu bacon cheeseburger with caramelized onions is equal parts squishy and toasty. It’s officially the best burger you can get at a racetrack.

Dungeness Crab Spaghetti

The best part of eating this gooey pasta dish is hunting for the tender bits of crab. The basil pesto cream is great too, but the gummy and slightly overcooked spaghetti gets a little tiresome after the first couple of bites.

Nikko Duren

Restaurant 917 review image

Toasted Corn Paris-Brest

Much like riding in a Porsche or drinking fine vintage wine, luxuries like eating this flaky cream-filled pastry don’t come along very often. So we suggest you savor it.

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