For a couple years I was an elite reviewer on Yelp. I would give a restaurant five stars only if the meal showed me something I'd never seen before and it was really that good. What I'm going to do now is try to come up with a top x from memory - that is to say without going back to Yelp and seeing what I wrote. So these will be in no reviewed order.
Whist: Santa Monica
Whist was a special meal for my anniversary when the Spousal Unit worked as a restaurant recruiter. So imagine you're a headhunter for chefs in Los Angeles. So we definitely had the hookup and had the chefs come out to meet us. Fabulous, daring meal.
?: New Orleans
There was this little restaurant in New Orleans next to the Marriott a couple blocks from the convention center. It was on the corner. I had the most awesome shrimp dish ever. It was as if the chef knew how to capture the ocean breeze and put it into a broth. It made me feel like I was Aquaman and could breathe salt water, and this was what a fresh warm current tasted like.
Musha as anyone will tell you, is the most wholly original Japanese restaurant you are likely to find anywhere outside of the coolest neighborhood in Tokyo. You will eat things there you never imagined Japanese people ate.
I really ought to remember the name of this joint. It was my first closing party. We got the upstairs room in a classic Italian joint over near the Citibank Tower on Lexington. There were about a dozen of us and it seemed as if we each had our own personal waiter. I'm sure that it went something like $200 per plate. I don't remember the main courses, but I do remember that we had 1977 Port and chocolates for dessert. Best service ever.
Del Frisco's Double Eagle: Ft. Worth
Basically changed my steak from NY Strip to Ribeye. It was as if I had never tasted beef before, it was simply that flavorful. Astoundingly perfect steak. Still hasn't been approached.