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Ray’s & Stark Bar

Chris Burden’s Urban Light sculpture is the view from LACMA’s latest attempt at destination dining. The retro-modern decor suits the building by Renzo Piano. In the Patina-run kitchen is Kris Morningstar (Blue Velvet, District), a chef we’ve long known could cook but who never found the right venue. This, it seems, is it. His wood-roasted Anaheim chile, stuffed with chorizo and dates and resting in a puddle of rich almond sauce, made the room go quiet. After that punch, the delicacy of the pea and lobster agnolotti was a welcome surprise. The memory of a bland rib eye disappeared in the wake of a delicious Cornish hen with fiery muhammara. At the indoor-outdoor Stark Bar (likely the summer’s premier happy hour), Morningstar works a charcuterie-driven menu to complement Michel Dozois’ cocktails.  // 5905 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. (323-857-6180 or raysandstarkbar.com). L-D Thu.-Tue. Full bar. New American  $$$

Photograph by Misha Gravenor