New York Opening: Mihoko’s 21 Grams

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As cinephiles were made aware in the eponymous 2003 Sean Penn vehicle, 21 grams is the purported "weight" of the soul. And if anyone can be trusted to have communed with the more enlightened self, it’s one who has taken to a ballet stage. And so the name of former ballerina-turned-philanthropist Mihoko Kiyokawa’s debut New York restaurant, Mihoko’s 21 Grams, suggests something far from quotidian.

For one, the French-Japanese cuisine (everything from king crab to foie gras torchon) at Mihoko’s 21Grams is startling underrepresented on the NYC dining scene. But designer and Philippe Starck’s associate Bruno Borrione has also created a spectacular space that marries aristocratic glamour and utter surrealism, with enigmatic projections, tromp l’oeil, and neoclassical columns that seem to appear out of nowhere. Like nothing you’ve ever seen.

Los Angeles Openings: Morinoya, AV, Link-N-Hops

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Morinoya (West Los Angeles) – LA hero Chef Takayuki "Mori" Morishita does it again, this time in West Los Angeles.

AV (Hollywood) – Ballerina burlesque girls. Bottle service. Dance floor.

Link-N-Hops (Atwater Village) – Sausage gastropub that dares to offer one of the best vegan dogs in the city.