Trois Mec is one of the best special occasion restaurants in Los Angeles. But that statement comes with a big caveat: there are plenty of special occasions when Trois Mec probably isn’t the restaurant for you. If you’re looking for something formal, or somewhere for a rowdy birthday dinner, or a place where waiters will whisper ingredient lists at the table, you should explore other options.
But for some special occasions, you want to be surprised - and not in the way where your friends hide behind furniture and scream once you arrive. If that’s what you’re looking for, Trois Mec is absolutely a place you should consider. Even though this is a well-oiled machine that’s been open for years, the kitchen still keeps trying new dishes, just to keep things interesting.
Trois Mec has been an LA staple for anniversaries, birthdays, and moments-of-financial-irresponsibility since 2013, and is much the same as it was in its earlier days. There’s still only a Raffalo’s Pizza sign on the building, there are still only a handful of tables and eight seats at the bar, and you’ll still see the TV-famous chef in the kitchen most nights, even though he’s opened a bunch of other restaurants since. Your only food option continues to be a five- or six-course tasting menu (currently $110) comprised of a mix of Trois Mec classics, like the incredible avocado sushi, alongside dishes that can seem like they’re still in the development stage. The wine list is French-heavy and leans expensive, but the helpful staff will help you choose the right thing for your budget. Only one real thing about Trois Mec has changed: they’ve ditched the pre-paid ticket system, and if you want to get in here sometime soon, you won’t have much trouble getting a reservation.
Inside certainly has all the celebratory feelings you’re looking for on a special occasion. It’s darkly lit, with servers who will take your coat, pull your chair out, and generally make you feel important without being awkward about it. The space itself is understated, but like a minimalist apartment in an interior design magazine, also probably cost a lot of money. If you can, get a seat at the kitchen counter - you’ll be able to watch as the chefs cook and swear in French when they drop a saucepan.
As you’d hope at a place with a three-figure pricetag, you’ll also eat some incredible food - like an Indonesian-inspired lobster bisque with lime peanut butter, and Trois Mec’s signature avocado sushi, a dish so good you’ll be kept up at night wondering if you’ll ever get to have it again. It’s important to know, though, that you might also have some dishes that feel like works in progress. On one night, we had a plate of spring peas and scallop with passionfruit that was completely overpowered by the tarragon on top, and on another we tried an arugula panna cotta that was much more like salad than dessert. But even the less-successful dishes at Trois Mec will make you appreciate the kitchen experiment you get to be a part of.
That element of surprise isn’t for everyone - but if you’re a person who’s willing to risk a perfect meal to have an unexpected experience, then you should probably skip the place where the waiters whisper, and have your next special occasion dinner at Trois Mec.
Trois Mec serves a tasting menu, with a vegetarian option, that changes every night, and is usually around five or six courses. Here are some dishes we had on our last visit.
Being told your first dish is sourdough broth might put you on edge, but turns out this tastes both exactly like it sounds and extremely good.
They call this tofu tartare, not because it’s chopped up and raw, but because it’s served with capers and a Worcestershire-shire like plum ketchup that makes it taste like the freshest steak tartare you’ll ever have.
This is a Trois Mec classic and one of the best things you can put in your mouth in all of Los Angeles. The mix of avocado, salt cod mousse, sushi rice, and lime make for a combination you probably haven’t had before. And will want to have again.
This tastes like the fanciest satay you could have, crossed with extremely rich lobster bisque, and it’s one of the menu’s highlights.
A fresh and tangy dessert that’s just what you need after all the heavy food you’ve had so far, but it ends up being just too savory.