As a diamond is to the jeweler, so is caviar to the chef. The precious ingredient is both a dining centerpiece and decadent accent, and we can’t get enough of it. From spooning the delicate salt-cured gems onto blini with mother-of-pearl spoons, to pairing it with a juicy burger, to devouring a heap of briny pearls in some egg-on-top-of-egg action, here’s where you can fully satiate your caviar cravings in Los Angeles.
Can a caviar conversation take flight without mentioning Petrossian? The purveyor of caviar, smoked fish and other gourmet delicacies was founded nearly a century ago by brothers Melkoum and Mouchegh Petrossian, who in turn introduced caviar fever to the French. Grandson Alexandre Petrossian now runs the house, with outposts in Paris, Brussels, New York, Las Vegas and West Hollywood. In the stylish Robertson Boulevard boutique, choose from a bevy of caviar experiences. Purists should taste through the dedicated caviar menu that offers varieties such as the familiar transmontanus; the lesser-known, wild-caught hackleback; or the uber-lavish fresh and fruity osetra. And the indulgences don’t stop there. Chef Giselle Wellman puts her spin on the luxury product by incorporating it into more casual dishes, like the off-menu caviar burger (request it for lunch or dinner), which consists of a Papierusse (a sous-vide caviar sheet), butter lettuce, crème fraîche dressing and a fried egg on a brioche bun. If that doesn’t gild the lily, dig into a side of french fries with caviar aioli, playfully served in a Petrossian caviar tin.
No visit to Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Mélisse is complete without chef Josiah Citrin’s signature egg caviar. This gorgeous and extravagant dish, served inside an eggshell, mingles a soft poached egg with lemon-chive crème fraîche, and capped off with a heap of American osetra caviar. The decadence doesn’t stop there. Citrin takes it to the next level, marrying uni pasta with caviar and lemon zest, and smoked potato scallop and caviar. To make the ingredient more of a centerpiece than an accent, opt to add caviar service to your meal by choosing either — or both — 28 grams of the Golden Imperial variety or 30 grams of Royal transmontanus osetra caviar, each accompanied by potato blini, Kendall Farms crème fraîche, parsley, onion and lemon.
Head to the coast — just a 12-minute drive from LAX — to dine on chef Greg Hozinsky’s out-of-the-box seafood towers. He looks past a traditional fruits de mer presentation of lobster, mussels and crab and serves a whimsical three-tiered seafood display all his own. Secure a seat on Manhattan Beach’s only ocean-view patio and work your way up the tower, starting with a tier of freshly shucked oysters with housemade hot sauce (served in an eyedropper); a crudo tier — think hamachi with avocado and tomato seed vinaigrette, or fluke with crème fraîche topped with caviar — and to crown the tower, Hozinsky’s wagyu beef tartare served in a 30 gram blue and gold Malossol caviar tin, blanketed with crème fraîche and Russian osetra caviar.