I had the great fortune to dine at L2O last night as an early birthday celebration with my friend Kevin. Laurent Gras is a 3 star Michelin chef whom is classically trained in French cuisine and influenced by Asian and far east cooking. When I asked what L2O meant, I was told it reflected Gras's decision to specialize in a predominantly shellfish and fish menu, and his love of water after growing up on the coast of France. The L from Laurent, replaces the H in H2O. The L2O could also be a play on the source of the fish- Lake to (2) Ocean. The water theme is subtly carried out in the decor of the restaurant. A gold painted coral sculpture greets you as you descend into the main room, a grouping of lit glass balls hang in varied lengths from a corner of the room recalling air bubbles, clear and frosted glass panels and floor to ceiling vertical netting divide the space into small rooms and a fish tank lives in one of the unisex bathrooms. The beige color palette of the room and combination of carpet, wood and honey onyx surfaces mimic the ocean floor.

The fish are flown in daily from artisanal purveyors around the world including Japan, the coast of Spain and Maine. We decided to bypass the four-course prix fixe and six-course tasting options to indulge in the twelve+ course autumn tasting. It was an epic culinary adventure beginning with what would be one of several amuse-bouches and ending with a pistachio macaroon. It was nothing less than a sensual journey of color, flavor, texture, and aroma. We sampled bites of tuna snow, scallop paired with blueberries, the most beautiful uncooked prawns I have ever tasted, chorizo foams, gelled discs, raspberry pearls with gold leaf and flawlessly sculpted chocolate eggs full of vanilla liquid explosions. Almost every dish showcased an array of beautiful fish that I cannot even begin to name including tuna and halibut. The journey ended on a tour of the massive kitchen and the private tatami rooms where your server dons a traditional kimono. The sweet and savory flavors and surprising textures still linger on in my mouth. Thank you Kevin.

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