“Off The Menu” Secrets

After my post the other day on the In-N-Out Secret Menu, I decided to google secrets menus and see what I could find.

Here’s a list of some NYC restaurants and their secret menus (thanks to Restaurant Girl). And for you west coasters, below that is a list of some LA secret items (thanks to CitySearch).

If you’re in NYC…

  • Nobu – Rumor has it there’s an “off the menu” ribeye, blessed with a bevvy of dipping sauces (wasabi pepper, balsamic teriyaki & a spicy anticucho) that blows the black miso cod out of the water.
    105 Hudson Street, (212)219-0500
  • The Stanton Social – It’s technically classified, but The Stanton Social snags A5 certified Kobe from Japan (enough with this “Kobe-style” nonsense). Chef Chris Santos will give it up for anyone in-the-know. So now you know.
    99 Stanton Street, 212-995-0099
  • Telepan – Bill Telepan is known to have a way with eggs, but he keeps an open-faced ravioli topped with a poached egg, mushrooms and parmigiano in his back pocket for special customers and occasions. Even more alluringly elusive, are the foie gras donuts.
    72 West 69th Street, (212)580-4300
  • Le Cirque – Veterans at this legendary spot opt for hush-hush fare: the chopped panache salad, classic smoked salmon, pasta primavera (Sirio’s personal recipe), tuna tartare with curry (four star chef Sottha Khunn’s original recipe), lobster risotto (Daniel Boulud’s recipes), flounder Le Cirque and dover sole meuniere, to name just a few.
    151 East 58th Street, 212-644-0202
  • Mermaid Inn – This local seafood joint discreetly indulges a scarce but simple pleasure, serving up plump, peel & eat shrimp every Wednesday. Handy wipes and bibs included.
    96 Second Avenue, (212)674-5870
  • Aureole – At Charlie Palmer’s UES townhouse, guests may request oyster shooters, fried oysters and tripe smothered in peppers, onions and chorizo. Choice clientele can demand omelettes at lunch and it could be an urban myth, but there’s even word of a curious-sounding banana butternut squash.
    34 East 61 Street, 212-319-1660
  • Momofuku Ssam Bar – If you call ahead, diners can secure a succulent bo ssam – an entire pork shoulder – feast for twelve lucky guests. While it’s on the printed menu, only guests who’ve had the privilege to dine here before, are savvy of the ssam.
    207 Second Avenue, 212-254-3500

If you’re in Los Angeles…

  • Grill on the Alley 9560 Dayton Wy, Beverly Hills, CA Call a couple days ahead of time and order the secret fried chicken–it’s not listed on the menu and must be ordered prior to your arrival.
  • The Griddle Cafe 7916 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA There’s only one way to get the “secret” French toast: Visit once prior, order the regular French toast and attain the password.
  • Ago 8478 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA Regulars start with platters of unlisted burrata encircled by slivers of prosciutto and crowned with green beans and diced tomatoes.
  • Tart 115 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA In-the-know patrons can order the off-the-menu dinner special: Hay-smoked cowboy steak with moonshine sauce, served with cornbread, sauted okra and fried green tomatoes.
  • In-N-Out Burger 7009 Sunset Blvd, Hollywood, CA This secret menu has long enjoyed a cult following, the most unique being an “animal-style” burger, cooked in mustard, and topped with pickles, grilled onions and extra sauce.
  • Trader Vic’s 9876 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA Get the special gravy boat of homemade peanut butter and warm buttered whole grain bread for spreading–an unusual but tasty tropical drink accompaniment.
  • The Prince 3198 W Seventh St, Los Angeles, CA Most of the pan-Asian menu is thoroughly translated–except the Korean-only script at the bottom, which yields less tame treats like live octopus tentacles.
  • Urasawa 218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA This is the only restaurant in Los Angeles with a license to serve real Japanese blowfish. It’s a staple in the winter months.
  • Table 8 7661 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA When reserving your table, lay claim to the special salt-crusted porterhouse for two, complete with starch and veggie side dishes.
  • The Farm of Beverly Hills 439 N Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA For special occasions only, call three to four days ahead and order the restaurant’s signature brownies with rich chocolate mousse cream.
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