The 16 best places to indulge in caviar, for $12 and up
Caviar is everywhere, not just gracing high-end restaurant menus as in days past but offered in fun and approachable formats that have drawn the attention of a new crowd of diners.
And let’s set the record straight: Caviar isn’t just fish eggs. That’s roe, a delicacy that can be sourced from any type of fish. Caviar refers to unfertilized eggs harvested from the sturgeon family of fish — beluga, kaluga, ossetra, sevruga and Siberian sturgeon are some of the most prized species. The highest grades of caviar lend a feeling of immersion into the sea — the description of salty falls frustratingly short.
Historically, caviar was sourced from the Caspian Sea bordering Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Caviar was so beloved by the elite that overfishing led to the endangerment of many sturgeon species and an eventual ban on wild-caught caviar. But advances in aquaculture mean that modern diners don’t have to miss out.
“Producers started farming white sturgeon around the 1970s, which is the most commonly harvested of the sturgeon family because it’s the fastest to grow,” said Blake Shailes, executive chef at Grandmaster Recorders in Hollywood. “More and more fish farms [have been] built since the ’70s, plus other advances like breeding programs. Inflation has gone up so the price is largely the same, it’s just more accessible.”
Increased availability has given chefs license to experiment with caviar. Founded by Russian immigrant Arcady Fixon in Paris in 1927, Caviar Kaspia quietly opened a second location on buzzy Melrose Place last fall. New, American-inspired dishes are exclusive to the L.A. location, including a grilled-cheese sandwich that’s smothered with a layer of the inky eggs.
“Caviar bumps” are just one way the delicacy is being streamlined, with a spoonful deposited on and eaten from the back of the hand. “The warmth from your hand helps the caviar open up in flavor,” Grandmaster Recorders’ Shailes said. The restaurant has an exclusive partnership with Petrossian, a century-old, Paris-founded caviar chain with a location in West Hollywood, and offers bumps of its Royal Ossetra for just $12 apiece — in contrast, full caviar service runs $160 for 30 grams of the same grade.
Here, we share some new favorite restaurants that are putting exciting spins on the classic indulgence, as well as a few with traditional service presented in settings that stand out. From celebrity-favorite Beverly Hills wine bars to Hollywood rooftops, sushi dens, modern Thai restaurants and East Coast-style seafood houses, here’s where to treat yourself to caviar. You deserve it.
Broad Street Oyster Co.
Petrossian at Tiffany
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