It's All for One at Michael Mina's New L.A. Eatery

Superstar chef Michael Mina's most vibe-filled restaurant yet opened this month on a buzzy stretch of the Sunset Strip. His 14th high-concept fine-dining spot in the United States, this gathering place for Hollywood A-listers is almost too groovy for its own good.

Ambience: The expansive dining room is open and inviting, with whimsical, original artwork, a blazing fire in the fireplace and a view of busy chefs in the glass-enclosed kitchen.

D é cor: Designer Philippe Starck tweaked the notion of a modern French chateau with ornate chandeliers, heavy moldings and vibrant, saturated colors. In a nod to chateau living, a few seats scattered around the room seem thronelike.

The drill: Like Mina's other restaurants, XIV plays with the menu. The diners in each party are asked to agree on every course (out of an 8-, 11- or 14-course tasting menu). It's fun, as long as everyone at the table has the same palate.

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The food: Mina is a master at extracting flavors from even the simplest foods. The chilled Maine lobster with potatoes, celery, chestnuts and truffle is divine, as is the jidori chicken with cornbread, wildflower honey and spinach. Offbeat desserts include a lemongrass custard with cola, buttermilk, sweet potato-yuzu mochi and saffron.

It's All for One at Michael Mina's New L.A. Eatery | World