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WP24: A Three-course Tasting Menu

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Twenty-four floors up, atop the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, you'll find an inspiring view. You'll also find inspiration for one of your other senses -- taste. Two dozen stories above Olympic Boulevard, WP24 is creating some culinary magic. And it just got better because now, the restaurant is offering a deal that makes a visit as irresistible as the pork belly dumplings.

This spring, WP24 has launched its new "Tastes of 24" menu, which includes tapas-sized portions from the dinner inventory. The $24 deal features three courses that can be enjoyed solitarily or shared. And considering the intimate setting and the mood lighting, I heartily recommend sharing. There is something inherently sensuous about eating with one's hands but when enjoyed with a date, it's downright sexy.

The first course offers the choice of tiny pork belly dumplings with black vinegar dipping sauce or crispy shrimp and lobster roll. The dumplings are maybe the highlight of the menu, and with a dab of sauce, you may consider ordering a full serving. The shrimp and lobster roll, split in half so it can be shared, is typical of many such appetizers, but the crispness takes it to another level.

The main course offerings include a fish or steak option. The former is steamed striped bass, baby bok choy, with ginger and soy. The latter is Szechuan-style flat iron steak. I sampled the steak, which includes a few hearty slices of rare and spicy beef. There are a couple bites within each slice, which is just enough to leave you wanting one more.

Not to worry, dessert is on the way. Here, things get real simple: the Marjolasian -- layers of white espresso mousse and dark chocolate. It's decadent and delicious. It's also the perfect size. Dessert is all too often a way-too-large dish that even if shared, is much too much. And for the most part, dessert doesn't travel. This, however, is a perfect-sized portion.

"Tastes of 24" is offered daily from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and is $24 per person.