Haute dining is often satirically portrayed as the act of people murmuring in whispers as they pick at petite portions, foodstuffs that are more gray than great.
This isn't the case with most real-world fine dining, mostly, and thank goodness. Laughing is allowed while one eats. But for those adventurious eaters looking for the completely opposite take on that sedate scenario, there is Barton G. LA.
The South Beach restaurant, founded by hotelier-restauranteur impersario Barton G. Weiss, landed on La Cienega Boulevard in West Hollywood in mid-June. Landed with showmanship, oomph, theatricality, and a hearty chortle.
Why? Barton G. is famed for the highly creative staging of its plates and what arrives on those plates, if plates are even involved. There's an old-fashioned stripey popcorn box near the popcorn shrimp. The Lobster Pop Tarts arrived in a stylish toaster. Yep, that's a mouse trap along with the Mousetrap Mac & Cheese and a cotton candy wig on the perfectly monikered Cotton Candy Head.
No murmuring here, but guffaws are permitted and encouraged.
The food is still elegant, thoughtful, inventive, and classifiable as "gourmet" (read: posh) if the idea of "haute" leaves you cold. But the service and presentation? No internet idea page packed with clever food designs could best searching inside a silver Humpty Dumpty for your sweet course.
Or, at least, online's clever food movement is typically not restaurant-facing. Eateries tend to take a staid route, rather than embracing the silly or strange, but not this new arrival from South Beach.
Call it the perfect first date dinner, if you're a little worried you won't have much to discuss with your potential sweetheart. Surely our dishes, as daffy and delightful and as tasty as all get-out, shall keep the conversation lively.