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Sunday, September 30, 2012

This Just In: Tesla Model S. "The car is dope."

The all-electric high-performance Tesla Model S is finally here, and The Luxurist cannot wait to own one.

But bide his time he must, as production delays have put deliveries four-to-five weeks behind schedule.

There is also the matter of the nearly $100,000 price tag. But I digress.

Why is The Luxurist so enthused about this grand new conveyance? He has read the advance reviews. They have been rapturous.

Automotive writers are saying that the sedan surpasses expectations in handling, engineering, acceleration, styling, and just about any other criterion imaginable.

"The is one amazing car. I mean, hardcore amazing" wrote the Wall St. Journal's great Dan Neil. "The car is dope." So much for understatement.

Neil compared the Tesla's acceleration to that of a Lamborghini – minus the potent snarl of the Lambo's legendary V12 engine. (Sadley, electric cars don't purr, they whine.)

The Model S comes with three battery options:  40kWh (with a 160 mile range), 60kWh (230 miles), and 85 kWh (a record-setting 300 miles).

Acceleration varies with the price, which starts at an affordable $49,900 and  rises to $97,700 for the Signature Performance model. This is more or less what you would have paid for a decent two-bedroom condo in Palm Springs last year before the real estate market started to rebound.  But, once again, I digress.

The premium SP model is powered by a rear-mounted 416-horsepower AC synchronous electric motor producing 443 pound-feet of torque between zero and 5,100 rpm. If that means nothing to you, this will: the car goes from zero to 60mph in 4.4 seconds. Fast, if not exactly furious.

Want to know how the car handles? Apparently very well, despite, or  because of, a very low center of gravity caused by the under-the-floor placement of its heavy batteries. "The Tesla corners like it's tethered with magic," writes Neil.

Worried about the time it takes to recharge? The SP package is equipped with a high-capacity drive inverter and twin 10-kilowatt-hour charging inverters. This allows for rapid charging in about four hours. (Not that you will want to stay away from your Model S for that long)

Looks-wise, the Model S is a stunner. Sleek and low to the ground, it will turn heads.

"What is that magnificent car?" people will want to know. "And where do I get one?"

You, dear reader, can buy yours right here. Or maybe at Nordstrom?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

When A Deal Is Not a deal. And When It Is.

The Luxurist takes great pleasure in notifying his readers of good buys on noteworthy goods and services.

Nonetheless, he has never written about the so-called bargains served up by Groupon, LivingSocial, and the seemingly endless parade of other daily deal websites.

Deal.                                                                        No deal!

That is because he is disdainful of the majority of their offerings, most of which amount to a reduced price on – how to say it politely? – dreck. The Luxurist firmly believes that there is no point in saving money on inferior quality or on something he would not buy in the first place.

After all, how many Brazilian blowouts and pole dancing classes does one really need?

But I Digress.

There's a first time for everything.

Today we draw your attention, beloved reader, to attractive deals at two celebrated Los Angeles restaurants. Forgo them to the detriment of your palate and pocketbook.

Chinois on Main Prix Fixe Dinner for Two, $110 

Wolfgang Puck's second restaurant was an early pioneer in bringing a lighter, contemporary approach to Asian cuisine.

While it has been around nearly 30 years, it's still in top form today. In fact, over all that time, The Luxurist has never had anything less than a delicious, memorable meal there.

The signature dishes, including the Chinois Chicken Salad and Whole Sizzling Catfish, continue to be pretty fabulous.

The decor by Barbara Lazaroff was a stunner when the restaurant opened in 1983. It's just as fresh, vibrant, and appealing today. (Can you say that about yourself, dear reader?)

And can you think of another fine dining establishment that has had only one manager over a 30-year period? (The Luxurist cannot.) Bella Lantsman will greet you warmly at the door and see to your every wish.

As at all of Puck's eateries, you will be well treated by the management and staff whether or not they know you, and even if you have – we shudder to say – a coupon. No attitude here. That and consistently tasty and elegant contemporary food are Puck's hallmarks.

The place is often packed and hard to get a table on many nights. Lord knows why they are offering a three-course prix fixe meal for two for just $110?

But they are. The smart thing to do is snap this deal up right away. It's on Bloomspot.

Jar Prix Fixe Dinner for Two $115, Including Cocktails

Here's an even better deal on an equally fine dinner.

Jar on Beverly Blvd. is nominally a steakhouse – it calls itself a "chop house" – but intensely satisfying melt-in-your-mouth pot roast has been their specialty since 2001.

(Your grandmother's pot roast should only be as good as the one chef-owner Suzanne Tracht makes.)

If your big hat has gone to your head, then try their prime rib-eye, 28-day dry aged prime Kansas City steak, or the prime skirt steak.

This last cut is The Luxurist's personal favorite. Very little in life is more soul satisfying than the flavorful, chewy magnificence of a properly grilled skirt or hangar steak. Again, I digress.

The prix fixe Fall menu comes with a choice of Jar's pot roast or roasted sea bass,  soup or an endive salad, and either roasted apple bread pudding or pumpkin creme brulee for dessert.

Coffee or tea is include and so is a Jar Mai Tai or Ruby Margarita for openers. Sweet!

Grab this one now and plan to go when the weather turns cool. It's at Gilt City LA.