At the end of the year I will have to pick my top 5 restaurants, it will be a big task but this one will surely be in the mix. From the outstanding presentation to the glorious taste explosions in my mouth, everything here is so remarkable that you want to bask in the glory of this experience from start to finish.
I was so honored when Chef Anthony Keene invited me in for a tasting. I was at a very fun event at William Sonoma in Beverly Hills where Chef Keene put on a spectacular cooking demonstration. One of the items that I found irresistible was the scallops, so incredible, and of course I hoped to have more at the restaurant. But Chef Keene has big shoes to fill, seeing how Gordon Ramsey is such a big player in the culinary world, and has a handful of shows on national television: Kitchen Nightmares, Master Chef, Hells Kitchen, The F Word, Hotel Hell, and Gordon Great Escape. Some of these shows are cooking competitions, some makeovers, and some about travel. Ramsey’s voice is loud enough to command everyone’s attention, and is often heard pointing out others’ stupidity. Chef Ramsey visits his restaurants whenever he is filming in Los Angeles, and he runs a tight ship, so all that staff are on their toes at all times, and it shows. The wait staff was very attentive, never a moment when you felt over looked. My sommelier, Andrej, was extremely knowledgeable, and made my wine tasting an adventurous experience. He told me every time he served me a new wine what country I was going to; extremely entertaining; and always enlightening. Suhan was a great captain, and recommended much of what I ordered. And then Gabor Pamer, the manager was also most accommodating.
The night I came in the house was packed, with a mixed crowd; some regulars; some tourists, all very fashionable and all coming to taste this astounding cuisine.
The décor matches the bright flavors of the food. There is an international feel to this place, with its cozy banquets and gold accents. The distressed wood floors add a homey touch; casual yet elegant is the interior. Great ambiance; leading to the ever-present view of Los Angeles, and beyond.
Here’s What I Tried:
The chef sent me a most delicious crostini with ricotta mousse and truffled cream cheese. This was the perfect start; light, creamy, with amazing goodness.
Broccoli Soup, with mascarpone cheese and goat cheese. This is a show in itself. First, they bring the soup in a small pitcher and load the bowl with a crouton, an onion ring, the cheese, and then pour the soup over all the yummy additions. All of these extras pop in your mouth and the soup itself is very luscious.
Spanish Octopus with Pee Wee Potatoes, with capers, raisin puree and Marcona almonds. Somehow, you forget that you’re eating octopus, instead it seems to be some sort of exotic meat, but the raisin puree and almonds add just the right consistency to this already tantalizing dish.
Watermelon, Lobster Cocktail with cucumber and horseradish. This is served in a round cup, so you have to dig for all of the lobster and watermelon. But don’t let that deter you; it’s worth the effort. Such subtle flavors, really harmonize together in your mouth.
Glazed Red Snapper, Tagliatelle Pasta with Chinese broccoli and rocket lettuce puree. The snapper is cooked with a crisp crust and the pasta is a great addition.
Duck Foi Gras Nigiri with pineapple jam and port glaze. Seeing that Foi Gras will be banned shortly is California, without passing any judgment on who is right or wrong, I was very happy to have tried this most delectable dish at least once in my life. Firstly, the plate was covered in cellophane, so the artwork on the dish had a 3D effect. Beautiful stripes, all delectable sauces. The Foi Gras itself was served over rice, in a sushi style. Wow, beyond expectation, so long Foi Gras!
Scallops alla Carbonara with cauliflower, English peas and smoked bacon. Hands-down the best scallops ever, ever!!! They are big and juicy, and oh-so delectable! What a party in your mouth, and the peas are the perfectly accompaniment. Run; don’t walk to taste this stunner.
New York Steak, “Med-rare” with Béarnaise, roasted potato, and glazed turnips. The steak is cooked to perfection, and the Béarnaise is outstanding, another must order.
Mixed Grille of Spring Lamb with asparagus, English peas, and carrot panna cotta. They served the lamb three different ways, one sausage, one sirloin, and one stuffed chop: all to die for!!
Fried Chicken, Organic with Porcini mushrooms, wild ramps, and potato gnocchi. Not your usual fried chicken, these chicken filets are stuffed and rolled and then fried. With a very yummy sauce; highly recommended, this one’s a keeper.
Coconut Chiboust with mango sorbet, and basil. Nice creamy texture, with a wonderful sorbet.
Pink Lady Apple Tarte Tatin with brown butter caramel, vanilla bean ice cream. So much brown caramel flavor knocks your socks off and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, YUM!
This is the Wine I tried:
MV Veuve Clicquot “Brut Rosé”, Reims ‘08. This was a great pair with the crostine and truffle cheese, not too rich, and the bubbles blended to perfection.
Joseph Leitz Riesling “Einszwei Dry” Rheinsgau ‘10. A very nice pairing, with the octopus, nice crisp addition.
Sauvignon Blanc, Alta Maria – Santa Ynez ‘10. A perfect marriage, with the bold lobster flavors.
Riesling Spätlese, Willi Schaefer “Graacher Himmelreich” – Mosel ‘08. Not the biggest fan of German wines, but this was outstanding with the Foi Gras.
Jordan Chardonnay, RRV ’10. This was terrific with an additional dish that the chef created for me, Red Snapper with risotto. It did not over power the fish and added nice butter flavors to this wonderful dish.
Joseph Faively, Chardonnay, France ‘08. This wine worked nicely with the other fish dish and the broccoli soup.
Orogeny, Green Valley, Russian River Valley, Pinot Noir ‘09. Amazingly this wine worked with all the glamour of those lovely scallops and the chicken, just the right amount of everything.
Chateau Rocher, Calon, Bordeuax ‘09. This one is a no brainer, and was delightful with steak and the lamb.
Klein Constantia, Vin De Constance, South Africa ‘06. Sweet glorious nectar, paired good with both deserts.
All I can say is do not mess with perfection, and this place is a big winner!!
1020 N. SAN VICENTE BLVD.,
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA 90069 | (866) 282-4560