LA’s XIV had an identity crisis from the start. Was it a fine dining establishment? Was it a flashy scene? Upon the restaurant’s inception back in 2008, San Francisco chef Michael Mina crafted a 35-item menu in which all guests at a given table had to order the same list of courses, be it three courses or 30. This menu was dubbed a “social dining experiment.”
That didn’t really work out and just a few months later that whole experiment switched over to a more normalized dining concept. There was also a Bagatelle-esque attempt where “contortionists, fire breathers, and performers walking around on stilts” strolled through the space during Sunday brunch, not to mention the bottles popping left and right. Chaos, to say the least. After chef de cuisine Steven Fretz departed to open his own restaurant, XIV made a frantic attempt to stay afloat via several menu changes, but alas, the mixed up restaurant could not tread water. XIV closed its doors as of Tuesday.