Nightshade Is All That…

No throwing shade in this review.

Nightshade is THE best new restaurant in Los Angeles right now.

A reservation is a difficult get…even at 5:30.

I was determined as we had tickets to see the play, Linda Vista, at the Music Center which is only a mile away from the trendy Arts District where Nightshade opened less then 2 months ago.


When we arrived the place was already buzzing.

The hostess was a bit frazzled, but the 30-seat restaurant has a calming interior, our table was lovely and our server, Nick, was welcoming and knowledgeable.

Menu selections are a bit challenging as the combinations are unique and the ingredients a trifle unfamiliar.

Nick took us through the menu, relaying his favorites.

There were also a variety of very appealing specials.

Tom Yum

To start our culinary journey, we went a bit crazy and ordered the delectable Tom Yum with a coconut dipping sauce, an elegant, refined version of a bloomin’ onion ($15).


We followed the bountiful blossom with amazing fresh Hokkaido Scallops with crispy ginger and coriander in a fabulous coconut vinaigrette ($23).


Next on the hit parade was delicate, flavorful Hawaiian Kanpachi with radish kimchi, shiso and kohirabi ($19).

Lobster Ravioli

The special Lobster Ravioli in a yuzu butter sauce were rich and light as a feather. We scooped up the sauce as it was magical ($25).

Roasted Sunchokes

The roasted Sunchokes were a surprise and, in actuality, a real highlight with a strawberry mole sauce that defied description. The sunchokes were lightly fried, crispy with seeded granola ($16).

The menu is evenly balanced from the first dish to the last with nuanced flavors which provide a unique symphony of flavors and tastes.

Guava Dessert

Desserts are priced on the high end of the spectrum, but remarkable.

The Guava with cream cheese and white chocolate was sumptuous and visually appealing ($15).

Nightshade is helmed by Chef Mei Lin who was born in China and moved to Michigan when she was three months old.

Mei grew up working alongside her father at their family-owned-and-operated restaurant outside Detroit, learning management and cooking fundamentals.

In 2015, Chef Mei Lin won season 12 of Top Chef and her star began to rise.

Mei Lin has an impressive resume, working for such culinary luminaries as Michael Symon in Detroit, Marcus Samuelsson in Chicago and Wolfgang Puck in Las Vegas before moving to L.A. and being part of the opening team at Michael Voltaggio’s Ink restaurant.

Her Chinese heritage and extensive travel has influenced Nightshade’s elevated American fare along with Asian nuances.

The food combinations are interesting, beautifully presented and absolutely delectable.

We enjoyed a wonderful Scar of the Sea Pinor Noir which, as advertised, went perfectly with the selected dishes ($16).

Every aspect of the meal and the aesthetics were on point.

Make a reservation now.

Nightshade is the real thing.

Nightshade Arts District Mei Lin

Nightshade 923 East 3rd Street #109 located in the Los Angeles Arts District. Open for dinner Sunday and Tuesday-Thursday 5:30-10:30pm, Friday and Saturday 5:30-11:30pm. Valet parking $12. Limited street parking. Reservations on Resy.

One Comment

  1. Sounds fabulous. I wish I were there to share it with you.

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