When the first Test Kitchen dinner launched in fall 2010, located in the lower level space that would later become Sotto, few diners — if any — realized the magnitude of what was happening. But by the program's end — after chefs like Jordan Kahn, Javier Plascencia, Walter Manzke and a dozen other rising-star chefs had rocked the kitchen on a nightly basis — a seat at a the bare-bones restaurant space became one of the buzziest tickets in town.

Well, Test Kitchen is officially back for another run, this time hosted by chef Ori Menashe's soon-to-open restaurant Bestia, located in downtown's Arts District. The program kicks off on Oct. 1st with a one-night dinner at Sotto cooked by Rocco DiSpirito along with Quinn Hatfield and Neal Fraser, both of whom are alumni of DiSpirito's Manhattan restaurant Union Pacific.

According to Test Kitchen, this will be the first time DiSpirito will cook in L.A. in ten years. Reservations for the $65 prix fixe dinner can be made via events@sottorestaurant.com. (you'll get a free signed copy of DiSpirito's new cookbook to boot.)

(Editor's note: There is only one book per table — first come, first served — and there are limited quantities available and no guarantee that DiSpirito will have an opportunity to sign them. Just warning you.)

But the real news is the reemergence of Test Kitchen from Oct. 16 until Nov. 11 at Bestia, a month-long span of dinners that will host potential guest chefs like Javier Plascencia, Gino Angelini, Kevin Meehan, Micah Wexler, Nancy Silverton and Jeremy Fox, plus beverage programs from Julian Cox and Josh Goldman. Will the next round of Test Kitchen live up to the underground hype it generated in 2010? We'll soon see.

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