I did have one completely exquisite meal in 1986--at Le Bordeaux in the Marina. From the baby asparagus tied like wheat to buttery veal medallions to berry mousse cake--everything was luxe, voluptuous and calm. But instead of a pantheon of three, this year adds up to a grazing grande bouffe . Here are a few of the memories:
Chicken with pomegranate and walnut sauce and cold creamy garlic eggplant at Shamshiri; the Rose Cafe's tarte tatin ; every bit of sushi at Shibucho. The homemade soups and hot nutty molasses baked apples (to eat at the counter or to go) at Seventh Heaven; the salad appetizers (from beets with cumin to eggplant with hot chilies) and merguez sausages at the little, family-run El Morocco; the creme brulee with berries at Pasadena's Parkway Grill.