The Place: Topolobampo, est. 1989.
Before: White tablecloths; serious art; mole to melt your heart.
After: New table settings; a wine station; and a painting of Zeus disguised as a swan ravishing a woman. (It’s subtle.) The real twist: it’s all tasting menus. (Right now, that includes the Mexico City 1491, with frog leg tamales—so hard to find these days.)
The Place: Japonais by Morimoto, est. 2003 as Japonais.
Before: An East-meets-West pleasure dome, filled with celebrities eating sushi.
After: Brighter interiors; an elevated sushi bar; plus the chef is now also a celebrity. “Iron Chef” Morimoto brings hamachi tacos, foie gras oysters, seven-course omakase menus, plus a lounge bar featuring extensive shōchū and Japanese whiskey options.
The Extreme Makeover
The Place: Boka, est. 2003.
Before: Upscale. Refined. Sexy.
After: Upscale. Refined. Sexy. But darker sexy, moodier sexy, edgier sexy, black-paint-and-skylights-and-a moss-wall-er sexy. (Sometimes even sexy needs a tweak.) Also, new chef Lee Wolen (from the Lobby at the Peninsula) means you probably can’t go wrong with...