71Above – Where the term “elevated dining” really means something

71Above, located on the 71st floor of the US Bank Tower, offers panoramic views of downtown Los Angeles and beyond. The OUE Skyspace, a 45-foot slide cantilevering outside of the high-rise building, while separate from 71Above, provides a thrilling start to an evening out.

Executive chef Javier Lopez prepares an elevated seasonal menu and adds a personal flair to many of his dishes.

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The restaurant is built around a unique 360-degree compass next to the floor-to-ceiling windows, which change in opacity as the sun moves across the sky, with an individual compass at each table.

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Sitting at a table overlooking Malibu to Palos Verdes, the uninterrupted panorama of greater Los Angeles is breathtaking during the day and very romantic in the evening.

Guests can choose from three different dining experiences: a reservation deposit for a prime window table, an edge table right at the window or one of the two chef’s tables that offer a direct view into the kitchen.

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Both the lunch and dinner menus are prix-fixe, with a two-course lunch menu for $35. Guests can also select an optional wine pairing for an additional $24 during lunch.

Our friendly server went over the menu and shared the staff favorite: a creamy and rich black squid ink pasta layered with shredded crab and slightly spicy Calabrian chili peppers.

First course items on the menu include a parsnip soup with pickled apple mostarda made from mustard seeds, shaved walnuts and pretty nasturtium flowers. Other selections include a burrata with sliced persimmon, and fried Brussels sprouts glazed with a Mandarin green apple curry sauce. We chose a yellow tail hamachi, a market salad and a roasted beet salad as our starters.

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The market salad was a colorful bowl displaying green and purple endive and Bibb lettuce. Thinly sliced Asian pears, parmesan cheese, chopped almonds and a light olive oil dressing delivered an earthy profile.

Artistically arranged with two rows of Japanese yellow tail, half of the hamachi was wrapped with thinly sliced cucumber and topped with sliced grapes, while the other half was topped with red beet medallions and sprigs of micro-greens.

Roasted beets were placed on a bed of ancient farro with a sprinkling of buckwheat grains on the top. This dish was dressed lightly and the texture of the grains balanced the smoothness of the beets.

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For the second course, we selected the New Zealand salmon filet. Cooked in a miso brown butter with coconut, the filet was served with three types of squash including a maple glazed squash and a puree.

Two large pan-seared diver scallops were served on a bed of farro risotto. Crunchy julienne leeks and a creamy leek foam dazzled the top of this dish. The third entrée was the staff’s favorite squid ink pasta.

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We finished with a bowl of coconut custard hidden under a bright green basil gelée. Dollops of Key lime curd, a scoop of strawberry sorbet, freshly cut strawberries and crunchy, flavorful sesame brittle decorated the top. The complexity and textures of this dessert offered an array of bright and clean flavors.

The second dessert was a round, crisp ginger snap tuile wafer on top of dark chocolate cremeux, smoked banana ice cream and a salted peanut crumble. Both desserts were pleasing in presentation and flavor.

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Pastry chef Vanesa Beltran oversees the program and will introduce a wide range of new artistic desserts including vegan and gluten-free sweets for the lunch and dinner menus.

Spur-of-the-moment guests can come in for dinner and sit in the bar or lounge without a deposit reservation. On a first-come, first-served basis, diners can order from the a la carte Bar Bites menu prepared by the same fine dining kitchen.

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Items on the menu include oysters, a potato and two-cheese fritter with truffles, a falafel with za’atar and pickled onion, and dates wrapped in bacon and blue cheese. Shareable plates include roasted beets, charcuterie with selected cured meats and marinated olives, and a chef’s selection cheese plate. Heartier fare includes steak tartare, octopus and Nduja Bolognese pasta.

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The bar makes cocktails inspired by neighborhoods in Los Angeles, including the Hollywood, which offers a spicy grapefruit essence made from jalapeño Grey Goose vodka and grapefruit cordial. The West Hollywood is made with apple-enhanced Hangar 1 Vodka, apple brandy, and apple and cinnamon cordial. Beers include a Lagunitas Czech Pilsner, Saint Archer white ale, North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial, and Almanac Sunshine and Opportunity sour beers.

71Above will be offering a special four-course Valentine’s Day dinner menu on Feb. 14 for $150 per person. Lead sommelier Catherine Morel will introduce some of her favorite wines with a supplemental $75 wine pairing.

Reservations for lunch during the week are recommended, but not required for the main dining room starting at 11:30 a.m. The restaurant is open nightly for dinner starting at 5 p.m. Reservations can be made on the restaurant’s website, and payment in full gives you a “ticket” with the number of guests and time of the reservation. Pricing varies and depends on the menu. $$$ 633 W. 5th St., (213)712-2683.

This article was featured in the Beverly Press on Jan. 23, 2020

Best Dining View Spot in LA – 71Above

The skyline in downtown Los Angeles has been transformed over the past few years. The US Bank Tower, erected in 1990, didn’t move or add more floors, but took things outside. OUE Skyspace opened the LA Skyslide in June, a 45 foot plunge outside of the building. The four-inch thick, clear glass slide, affixed 1,000 feet high to an open air observation deck is quite a thrilling ride.

Photo by Jill Weinlein
Photo by Jill Weinlein

Also new to the US Bank Tower is the restaurant 71 Above, named so for its location on the 71st floor of the iconic building. Panoramic views from the sea to the mountains make 71 Above a must-see destination.

Dining is available in the main dining room, at the Chef’s table, in semi-private dining or at casual seating in the bar. All of the menus are prix fixe, with the option of adding wine pairings.

Photo by Jill Weinlein
Photo by Jill Weinlein

The Chef’s table experience offers multi-course modern American menus from executive chef Vartan Abgaryan (previously at Cliff’s Edge at the Sunset Triangle) and his culinary team.

In the semi-private dining area, with views stretching from the Los Angeles basin to the San Gabriel Mountains and the Inland Empire, I enjoyed a three-course lunch with a group of friends.

We started with a choice of starters that included a creamy sunchoke soup with a sweet garlic puree, creme fraiche, smoked trout and dill. Our server described the flavor profile as a bagel with lox in a bowl.

Salad photo by Jill Weinlein
Salad photo by Jill Weinlein

I ordered the sea salt roasted beet salad with golden beet wedges, thinly sliced pickled beet medallions dotting a colorful array of greens, tart pink grapefruit sections, and a side of pleasing white pistachio flan.

My friend shared her heartier ricotta gnocchi with slightly fried pasta, sweet and sour carrot slices, chervil cheese and a slightly spicy chorizo Bolognese sauce. It was delicious.

Halibut photo by Jill Weinlein
Halibut photo by Jill Weinlein

The entrées included a nice slice of pan-fried halibut with crispy skin on a bed of sweet heirloom tomatoes, sliced cucumbers and pearl onions. The dish was glazed with aged sherry and a little coriander and tarragon.

My friend Shaena ordered the scallops, three large pieces resting next to asparagus spears, wild mushrooms, parsley and pretty micro flowers. What made this dish dazzle was a splash of Banyuls vinegar, made from a sweet wine from the southern region of France that borders Spain, and is more mellow than acidic red wine vinegar.

Scallops photo by Jill Weinlein
Scallops photo by Jill Weinlein

Other dishes include a Southern-style pasta made with durum wheat conchiglie and topped with shrimp, corn, chive, lime and Creole spices.

Vegetarians at the table enjoyed a dish of roasted zucchini with sunburst squash, garlic, pine nuts and a generous heaping of Parmesan cheese.

For dessert, we sampled a caramel custard made with a white vanilla soy gelee with a truffle-almond praline and a scoop of coconut sorbet. A sprinkling of pork and maple powder gave it a umami essence. Peaches and cream with sliced peaches were topped with peaks of black tea mascarpone gels. Classic white chocolate cremeux, that is similar in texture to pudding, was also served. The plate also had a matcha marshmallow and a sprinkling of candied lemon zest to create a sweet, yet slightly tart treat.

Elegant dessert photo by Jill Weinlein
Elegant dessert photo by Jill Weinlein

For a special occasion dining experience in the tallest building in Los Angeles, 71 Above will thrill you in views, cuisine and dining experience. There is self-parking and valet parking at the entrance of the US Bank Tower. Valet is $10 for the first three hours.

Reservations can be made on their website, and payment in full gives you a “ticket” with the number of guests and time of the reservation. Pricing is variable and depends on the menu.

USB Building photo by Jill Weinlein
USB Building photo by Jill Weinlein

Open for lunch and dinner on Monday through Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. On Thursday and Friday, 71Above stays open until midnight. On Saturday and Sunday the restaurant is open only for dinner starting at 5 p.m. $$$ 633 W. 5th St. (213)712-2683.

This was featured in the Beverly Press and Park LaBrea News on October 20, 2016.