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Best in the US

October 03, 2013

Everybody loves an underdog story, and chef Ari Taymor’s charming tale is certainly an inspiring one.

From door knocking for unpaid kitchen work, to dazzling but fleeting pop-up outing success, to almost floundering in the opening stages of his first full-fledged restaurant Alma, Taymor has surfed the wave of adversity and stuck it, emerging from the foaming wash with one of the most sought after and illustrious pats-on-the-back a young chef could dream of – the 2013 Best New Restaurant of the Year gong from foodie magazine Bon Appetit.

In spite of its less-than-glamorous downtown locale, and somewhat rough and ready, pared-back interior, Alma beat out the lauded likes of Chicago’s Fat Rice  and Atlanta fish house The Optimist (amongst others) to take the coveted crown. The conduit of victory?

Taymor’s weekly-changing tasting menus showcasing garden-fresh, internationally-influenced dishes such as seaweed and tofu beignets, artichoke soup with burnt avocado and succulents, dry-aged pigeon with eggplant, plum and button mushroom, and shelling bean stew with deep-fried green tomato, tomatillo crema, and fried egg.

With the praise, flawless cooking, and beverage director Chris Yamishiro’s boutique beer, biodynamic wine and house-made soda menu, will surely come the crowds, so do book well ahead.

952 S. Broadway / +1 213 244 1422 / dinner Tue-Sat /