A shift to so-called "real" food, the steady demise of structured eating and the entry of more than 50 new venues at the serious end of the restaurant and bar sector are factors that have dramatically reshaped WA hospitality.
The changes this year are borne out in the 2014 edition of _The West Australian _Good Food Guide - WA's only comprehensive, independent restaurant guide - to be launched at a gala awards ceremony in Perth on Monday.
Northbridge restaurant The Old Crow - a newcomer to the guide - is a case in point.
Its food is simple, designed to share, big on flavour, nostalgic and playful.
"Dude food gone legit," as Old Crow chef-owner Ben Atkinson said. "It's real food.
"We're going back to a customer focus. People are expecting better value. The days of the $45 main course are over.
"Customers are less concerned these days with the formalities of entree and main courses, which is why the trend towards small and share plates continues to grow."
Atkinson said there would always be room for posh restaurants and "dishes with foam" but he and many of his contemporaries were cooking comfort food that was rustic and simple but creative and innovative.
"It's modern food but accessible," he said.
Sharing a similar on-trend philosophy are restaurants such as Barque in East Fremantle, The Cabin in Mt Hawthorn, North Fremantle's Bib and Tucker and Ace Pizza in Highgate.
All have similar approaches to share-plate dining - none have entrees and mains as such.
Most of them are also dabbling in the cuisine of the moment, southern (US) barbecue food that Atkinson believes "is hearty, nostalgic and fun".
Bib and Tucker's head chef Scott Bridger agrees. His kitchen uses state-of-the-art smokers, char grills and wood-fired ovens to enable him to cook southern staples like 16-hour smoked brisket, pulled pork and ribs."It's food people really love," Bridger said. "It's been the hit of 2013, too."