Two-digit tasting menus
While tasting menus have traditionally been associated with expensive fine-dining restaurants, when designed carefully they can be an incredible vehicle for delivering perceived value. The rigid format of a tasting menu, without à la cart options, allows restaurants to control costs, labor, and food waste. Value can be spread out across multiple dishes, balancing more expensive ingredients with lower-cost items in other courses; for example, starting with a pricey seafood amuse-bouche, and following it with a high-margin pasta. Restaurant operators are figuring that out, and so tasting menus of less than $100 are becoming increasingly common.
Kinn, a Korean restaurant in Los Angeles by a former chef from the highly acclaimed Atomix in New York City and Naemo in Los Angeles, is known for its budget-friendly seasonal tasting menu. It offered a five-course tasting menu for $50 last year, and now it’s $70 for seven courses.
With that variety and price point, well-placed luxurious ingredients, and artful plate presentations, guests feel like they are getting a fine-dining experience at a great price.
Pictured is a tomato salad with perilla sorbet that’s part of the tasting menu.