We use certain events to mark the passage of time. Birthdays. Graduations. Job promotions. Then there are restaurant openings. For some, they're just as meaningful as the time we blew out 16 candles, or tossed a tasseled cap into the air. Especially in our city, where food trends have changed as fast as the economy has tanked, a restaurant that's survived another year is cause for celebration.

Not that Ray's and Stark Bar, which is hosting a one-year anniversary event Monday night, faced any great odds. It resides in a Renzo Piano-designed building at the heart of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art campus. Chef Kris Morningstar's menu is seasonal and farm-based, and has garnered favorable reviews. (The guy even has his own herb garden.) The prestigious Patina Restaurant Group runs the show. And the stunning rows of LACMA's streetlamp installation serve as the front door.

Between 6 and 11 p.m. on Monday, Ray's will serve the “best dishes of the year,” and Stark Bar will offer special cocktails. Meanwhile, sommelier and bartender Paul Sanguinetti and manager Martin Riese will trade their regular roles for spinning tunes. (Who said restaurant types were all actors?) Bring a T-shirt or something similar to be screenprinted. (Expect something artsy — this is LACMA, after all.) Call (323) 857-6180 to reserve a spot.

Follow Squid Ink at @LAWeeklyFood and check out our Facebook page. Reach the author at dainabeth@gmail.com and follow her on Twitter at @dainabethcita.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.

LA Weekly