Tuesday, March 8, 2011

LA's "Haute" Asian Cuisine? Lukshon vs WP24 vs Red Medicine, Part 2: WP24

High end Chinese food is not a new venture for the Wolfgang Puck empire, and I still love the Shanghai lobster curry at Chinois on Main (the one in Vegas is not as good), but Puck wanted to go higher. To the 24th floor of the new Ritz Carlton in downtown LA, to be exact.

While I haven't tried the dining room menu at WP24, I did get a tasting of their bar menu with small plates ranging $12-14 and sushi rolls ranging $14-18. No, not cheap, but were you expecting it to be?

While I didn't love everything, I was actually pretty impressed at the quality of the dumplings here. The one thing I fear most about bad dumplings is a thick, tough skin, but I encountered no such thing here.

Chinese Crystal Dumplings (King Crab,  Shrimp, Kurobuta Pork) $12

WP24's Crystal Dumplings
The skin here was actually tender, and the dumpling was filled with quality ingredients. The sauce wasn't shy of spice.

The skin on the "dan dan" dumplings was also impressively thin and we all enjoyed the spiciness. They both were pretty good chinese food, unfortunately there's a price to be on top of the world.

Pictured below:
Sichuan Chicken “Dan Dan” Dumplings, Ground Peanuts, Chili (left)
Baby Pork Belly “Bao Buns”, Chinese Honey-Garlic Glaze - $12 (right)
Dan Dan DumplingsBuns

(Actually, at $4 per bun, the bao buns were cheaper than Momofuku!)
There were other more interesting interpretations of chinese dishes, including fried peking duck rolls and lobster-filled spring rolls - thought not all were necessarily improvements on the original. While the fried peking duck rolls were enjoyable, I miss the delicate peking duck wrap.

We tried the sushi rolls as well, but I still prefer nigiri after all.

Oh, and you can order desserts here, as much as you want. Based on our tasting, they were quite good.

The cocktail menu was filled with mostly martinis but they have a decent bottled beer selection. If you want a view in downtown to impress, the food here is certainly better than, say, Bonavista Lounge.

Bottom line: I would happily eat here, but I ain't paying.

WP24 (Ritz-Carlton)
900 W Olympic Blvd Fl 24
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 743-8824
WP24 (Ritz-Carlton) on Urbanspoon

Disclosure: This meal was hosted.


Charlie Fu

I enjoyed their restaurant menu, unfortunately it's tasting menu only with a 3/5/7 course option when we went. Looks like they changed it again (before it was purely ala carte) to 3/4 course options with appetizers (roughly 6-10 appetizers and then each main entree had a side that it came with.

But as you said, incredibly pricey. We did the 5 course and it was roughly $175 a person (including 20-25% tip) with no alcohol and no add-ons.

Still, I enjoyed it and thought the foie gras in the bun was insanely good.

One of the best chinese food experiences I've had but not sure I'd spend the money again (as you said)


You should try the dining room sometime, it's definitely a very different meal.

But yes...very expensive, which is the #1 thing that holds me back.

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