High atop the 24th floor of the Ritz-Carlton in Downtown Los Angeles, WP24 by Wolfgang Puck offers a creative and delicious, take on modern Chinese cuisine. My own party arrived early enough to start our celebration in Nest, the restaurant's lengthy wood-framed lounge, where we indulged in Singaporean Beef Puffs and Spring Rolls paired with several of their signature cocktails -- I could have comfortably downed a half-dozen Dragon Fires and wound up with an impromptu (and expensive) hotel room instead of my intended drive home! Our corner restaurant table secured a beautiful panorama of Downtown's skyscrapers, which lent a twinkling accompaniment to the urban night sky. We opted for the three-course (rather than four) set menu, starting with an indulgent shrimp toast amuse-bouche. The house specialty was our evening's culinary highlight -- Whole Roasted Duckling, "Peking Style" with traditional garnishes, served with bao buns instead of pancakes (enough to enjoy the next day, too!). For dessert, I had to opt for the Tea & Sesame with matcha tea cremeux, kaffir lime, black sesame, and Mandarin orange sorbet - a perfectly avant-garde way to finish off this contemporary, beautiful meal.
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