PARIS — A year ago, the in crowd was slavering to reserve tables at the burgeoning list of trendy "design" restaurants here, outposts known for their ultrastylish decors and fabulous clientele— but not always for the quality of their food.

How fast things change. Korovo, whose sleek minimalist decor and Coca-Cola chicken was once all the rage, has gone belly up. Nobu, the year-old, ultrahip Japanese fusion restaurant, has filed for bankruptcy. And reserving a table at the Costes brothers’ newest baby, Etienne Marcel — with an avant-garde interior by artists Pierre Huyghe and Philippe Parreno with graphic gurus M/M — is hardly the toil it used to be.

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