If you want to ring in (or should it be ram in?) Chinese New Year in style, I can’t think of a better setting than WP24, the Wolfgang Puck restaurant nested on the 24th floor of the Ritz-Carlton, with panoramic views of the spectacular cityscape from its Downtown perch.
The restaurant is celebrating the Year of the Goat (some prefer ram or sheep) with WP24 chef de cuisine John Lechleidner’s eight-course tasting menu incorporating the rich symbolism of the Chinese New Year while creatively weaving in prosperity, luck, and longevity in his dishes.
Behind the symbolism of some of WP24’s Chinese New Year dishes:
Trio of Dumplings includes a chive dumpling, pot sticker, and scallop sui mai. In Chinese tradition, the dumplings are said to resemble ancient gold ingots, and therefore represent wealth and prosperity. So with this dumpling trio, times that by three.
Salt & Pepper Jumbo Prawns are fragrantly combined with stir-fried pea greens, Dungeness crab, and the famous XO chili sauce. This course has not one but two seafood ingredients, making it doubly bountiful and powerful.
Szechuan-Style American Wagyu Ribeye nestles with Shanghai Noodles. This is a significant symbolic plate. Noodles stand for longevity or long life, the longer the strand the better. So you don’t wanna go cutting those noodles—slurp ’em up with your chopsticks.
Grilled Colorado Lamb Chops aren’t goat, but that’s probably a good thing. As I mentioned before, this Lunar New Year’s mascot is interchangeable between ram, goat, and sheep. A lamb is just a wee sheep and really tasty, too. What better way to acknowledge this Chinese New Year than to gnaw on a delicious grilled lamb chop served with Hunan eggplant.
Mandarin Orange with flour-less chocolate cake, dark chocolate, and orange mousse is the dessert course and symbolizes luck, wholesomeness, and deliciousness.
Finally, discover how good your luck is in this Year of the Goat when you open up your traditional red envelope from WP24’s “Wishing Tree.” The contents could reveal an ancient proverb, special message, or grand-prize gift like a two-night stay at The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage. Gong xi fa cai!
WP24 by Wolfgang Puck, Year of the Goat tasting menu is $180 and available through February 26, 900 W. Olympic Blvd., 24th floor of the Ritz-Carlton, Downtown, 213-743-8824