What Insiders Are Saying
Plenty of new restaurants are good, but few are actually memorable. Kali leave its mark.
We came for dinner and decided to do dinela.
They have an excellent day I list.
Entrees were yummy
Great time. Definitely would come back
Excellent warm service from the wait staff and the food was very good.
Black barley risotto and uni pasta were salty and nothing memorable. Meringue gelato was absolutely delicious though.
Food is unique and great. Very service oriented
We went for the DineLA lunch menu. The choices were very good. The service was immaculate. We were impressed that the chef came round to each table to check on our experience. The location is at the dodgier end of Melrose but quite acceptable. Would return in a heartbeat.
We went for a friend's birthday and had a fabulous lunch! The food was delicious and the staff knowledgeable and incredibly nice. The chef even came out at the end to say hello and make sure we had enjoyed ourselves. We are all going back without question and I've already recommended it to several friends. Definintely a neighborhood gem!
Six of us dined at Kali - 2 were from out of town. The drinks were average. All of us wanted green salads, but the menu selection was only "charred avocado" (been there; done that). Long after our appetizers were eaten the bread arrived. That was the best part of the meal, but why it arrived after the appetizers, I don't know. We waited so long for our main courses, over an hour and forty-five minutes since we arrived - and then half of us were served and waited 10 minutes more (ours getting cold) until the rest were served. All the waiter could do was apologize. My lamb, while expensive, did not live up to expectations; neither did the black barley risotto or the pork loin. Our guest said the cod was very good. We found two of their "best desserts" - the doughnuts and the meringue gelato - rather bland, nothing special. Overall I was embarrassed that we brought out of town guests to this fairly expensive restaurant. Slow service (I blame the kitchen not the waiter), and not very good food. There is little to recommend except it's neighborhood convenience and the bread.
Food is always spectacular. First visit was uni spaghetti, t-bone for two, duck breast, rosemary donuts and meringue ice cream for dessert. Second was also uni spaghetti, plus two salads (grilled avocado and burrata with winter vegetables) and two of us had the rock cod. All the dishes were fantastic, standouts were the uni pasta with generous servings of uni, grilled avocado salad, and the donut with rosemary cream. Wine selection great and the bartender/waiter quite helpful on that. Service is a bit off at times, waiters would forget simple requests or to bring the bill when requested and come up with a silly excuse. Also I found the whole tipping thing odd with some for the kitchen, some for the front. Unclear how much you should ultimately leave.
Our server was amazing and knowledgeable, the food was shockingly delicious, and the drinks were AMAZING. Would recommend to anyone.
Phenomenal food, with the brunch one of the best I've had in LA! The bacon was insane, the fried chicken and waffles perfect with the merengue Gelato topped with candied preserved egg yolk, the most ridiculous and decadent finish
The presentation was excellent but I thought that most of the plates lacked flavor. The rib eye and risotto were excellent however.
The food was truly outstanding. Don't miss the cocktails either.
We had an amazing chef’s tasting menu. The best in LA.
When the food arrives at the table, it looks stunning. When you tastes it, it tastes stunning.
Food was a bit precious and presentation was just ok.
Food was excellent
Excellent food and service.
Our favorite spot in LA. Food, atmosphere, servers- everything is outstanding. Chef Kevin is a culinary genius!
It was a truly wonderful meal, with special kudos for the beef, sheepshead fish, the crudo and the salad.
Nice and quiet at lunchtime. Delicious food at a reasonable pricepoint with excellent service.
Food was amazing! Service was friendly and on their game.
Kali is a gem of a restaurant. Whether you are doing the tasting menu or ordering off the menu you can't go wrong. Every dish is prepared in a creative manner and is delicious. From cocktails, to the wine selection, to dessert (the meringue gelato and the olive oil lemon flan must be tried), this restaurant is worth the price.
Tasting menu was outstanding. Enjoyed every one of the eight courses.
Kali is a chef's domain. It's all about the food. And the menu is exceptional---fresh ingredients skillfully prepared. The floor team is knowledgeable and fast on their feet, capable of correct wine pairings as well. Forget that the room is in need of a design makeover, you are there for a great meal.
The service was great, the dishes were inspired and the Chef touched the table. Wonderful spot!
Love this spot
Wonderful in every way!
Steak was cold and pretty tough, so had to leave most of it
Always a great time. The food is constantly changing for the seasons and very creative. Haven't ever had a bad dish. The atmosphere is great and not too loud and easy to have conversations in. The staff is courteous and friendly.
The meal was amazing. I really appreciate the thought and creativity put into every dish. The chef just seems to know how to enhance the ingredient in the dish without over salting without over saucing. I included a picture of the yellowtail crudo to give an example. I've had yellowtail on many occasions but not like this one. The smoked bone broth somehow elevated the flavor of the yellowtail that I've never experienced before.
It’s a delicious restaurant! Not cheap
I took my wife to Kali for her birthday, and we had an excellent experience. A couple of weeks prior I emailed to see if they could do their tasting menu for a vegetarian and mentioned off-hand that I would be coming for my wife's birthday. Not only were they able to accommodate this request, they made note of the birthday and made a real effort to make our visit special.
My favorite restaurant in LA. Creative cuisine always wonderfully done. With amazing cocktails.
NEVER again will I step foot in this establishment. Our waiter who looked like Elon Musk about 20 years ago was TERRIBLE. No one brought us menus after we arrived. While the food was delicious, our waiter felt compelled to comment on how quickly we ate our food. Every time he cleared a plate he would comment on that. When our last plates were cleared he even made mock movements of us eating our food, in front of other patrons. If I wanted to overpay for delicious food, there are many other options nearby. Insulting patrons is not a way to attract patrons. Disgusting.
I am adding an update:
I have attached a copy of the text I received from the owner. He sent this on September 30, the day after my extremely disappointing meal there on the 29th. Of course 18 days have gone by and no such reversal of the charge has been requested according to the credit card company. So, no, my negative feelings about this establishment and its owner have not softened. I particularly dislike being lied to, but that is Kali Restaurant and its owner for you. I particularly disliked the owner defending his waiter, which of course he did.
It's always a pleasure to dine at Kali. My friend and I had the five course tasting menu with wine pairings. Aside from being local and seasonal, all the ingredients are of the highest quality. Although the menu is constantly changing, there are a few classic dishes which always satisfy. I love the dry aged Flannery Beef ribeye, beautifully plated with delicious vegetables. For dessert, the Chef presented a housemade Concord grape sorbet made from a neighbor's grape vines. A lot of the herbs used in their recipes come from a their own garden right down the street! The wine program features a mix of both California and classic old world varieties which are selected to enhance the cuisine. There is also a great craft cocktail program. Service was friendly and knowledgable. I'm looking forward to my next dinner at Kali very soon!
Enjoyed the varied, yummy, creative foods presented in a lovely fashion. Server was knowledgeable and very personable, and the rest of the staff were trying to be helpful. I want to return to experience more of the menu items.
Great accommodating staff, dinner was delicious and creative I would definitely go for dinner on my own and seat at the bar.
Fantastic in every way! Kevin and crew are making art and indelible memories.
The restaurant interior is very sparsely appointed. There were no table cloths or place settings when we were seated. A server brought dishes and silverware along with menus. We were somewhat surprised to see such a limited menu. We were a party of 3. One of us chose the hangar steak with fingerling potatoes which she said was OK. There were 4 pieces of meat and 3 potatoes on the plate. Spare considering the price. Two of us decided to share the striped bass, the shrimp and grits and the burrata with tomatoes and blackberries. The portions are exceedingly small. The food was essentially tasteless. The shrimp and grits was not like any shrimp and grits I was used to after visiting the South. The chef is heavy on the use of foam. Really not appropriate for this dish. The portion was the size of an over sized silver dollar. I would not recommend this restaurant.