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Are single-ingredient restaurants a fad or here to stay?

The culinary world is a lot like the entertainment world. It gets steadily inundated by here-today-gone-tomorrow ideas, and while a trend can catch on and establish staying power, most fall by the wayside faster than you can say "cronut." Restaurateur Joe Bastianich, chef Tim Love and pastry chef Waylynn Lucas of CNBC's "Restaurant Startup" identified several trends that they've been seeing in their travels lately.

rez-art | iStock/360 | Getty Images
Warayut | iStock / 360 | Getty Images

"I think that in 2014, you're going to see the bologna sandwich pop up more than you've ever seen it before," Love said.

"I don't want to hear the term 'farm-to-table' anymore," Lucas said.

Bastianich mentioned the "mono-ingredient" restaurant, eateries primarily found in hipster-thick parts of New York and California that focus on a single food. Most offer a couple of other options, technically making the "mono-ingredient" designation a misnomer. But it's probably safe to say that most people who go to The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen in San Francisco aren't there for the oatmeal.

Extremely focused restaurants include Oakland, California's Homeroom, which specializes in macaroni and cheese, and New York City's Pommes Frites, where customers pack themselves into a 14-seat space to binge on Belgian fries.

If you're looking for something a little more upmarket in single-ingredient Manhattan, there's The Clam. Chef and co-owner Mike Price told The Village Voice that even though the menu doesn't offer a huge variety of non-mollusk foods, it's been very popular in its upscale West Village location anyway.

"We've hit a niche," he said. "Clams haven't had their day."

But Bastianich remains skeptical about the long-term prospects of single-ingredient establishments.

"Those are ingredient-driven trends, and they will not sustain," he said. "People now, for their dining dollars, want an experience."

However, some of these restaurants are not flash in the pans. Pommes Frites, for example, has been in business for 17 years.

—By CNBC's Daniel Bukszpan

"Restaurant Startup" is on a quest to discover, invest in and launch America's next generation of epicurean superstars. Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

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About the Hosts

  • Joe Bastianich

    Author, reality television personality, and triathlete.

  • Tim Love

    Tim Love has a freewheeling personality that’s as bold as the signature, western cuisine he serves at his famous Texas restaurants.

  • Waylynn Lucas

    Waylynn Lucas is a pastry chef who gives each of her fabulous dessert creations a modern twist.