07 January 2017


The presentation clinches the deal here, doesn't it? To my eye, it's a stunner. At the very least, can you admit this Spicy Chocolate Cake with Avocado Cream, cradled in a green glass that shows off the item's vertical layers and hypes the avocado hue, is an artful effort?

All menus are presentations designed to entice--like this palmed offer from a dessert cart at the now (sadly) closed Rivera restaurant in downtown Los Angeles, like the cart it came from, and like the restaurant housing the cart.

With this post, I present something hopefully appealing to you. It's the start of a new blog series for The Eye in Dining. Under the title This Week's Menu, I'll bring you brief annotations on noteworthy features of restaurant menus I've encountered. I hope it gives you a sense of menus' rhetorical wiles.

Like restaurants themselves, some succeed; others fail. But how they do either is not always "by the book." (There are countless books on restaurant menu design.) As people say, it's complicated.

Alison Pearlman

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