Though Rich Table lost the 2013 James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant to State Bird Provisions, finishing second is not too shabby. And no wonder, as owners/chefs Evan and Sarah Rich have some serious cred behind them with years of combined experience at Michael Mina, Quince, and Coi. When they decided to launch their own restaurant, they wanted an open kitchen and California casual decor to make people feel they have been invited into their home. It works. Employees have a laidback, but attentive, style of service, fitting for the whole mi-casa-su-casa theme. The menu changes regularly depending on what’s available and the whims of the chefs. The sardine chips are a house favorite (and one of “7x7” magazine’s 100 bucket-list dishes), as are the dried porcini mushroom doughnuts served with raclette. If you are hungry for more than a bite, unique crowd pleasers are oxtail tagliatelle; lamb tartare with charred eggplant and cucumber; pork belly; and spaghetti with English peas, goat cheese, and mint.
- Erika Lennert