Thursday, February 12, 2009
Fancy Digs and Good Food at Gordon Ramsay
It's official. I went positively overboard with this dinela business. They had me at prix-fixe. It may have to do with my first dinela experience at The Bazaar being so memorable and titillating. But is that an excuse to subsequently eat at Grace, the Water Grill, Il Moro, O Bar and Kitchen, Ford's Filling Station and finally, Gordon Ramsay at The London all within a span of one week? Let's just say I won't be having any more chocolate mousse cakes or panna cotta anytime soon.
I've done the "hard work" for you and sampled all that these usually-out-of-reach restaurants have to offer. Apparently I wasn't the only one sampling because many of the restaurants have extended dinela menus until the end of February. So what are you waiting for? Get thee to The Bazaar, Gordon Ramsay and Grace! Yes, in that order.
Behold the confit beet salad with ricotta cheese, beetroot dressing and endive above, which was as beautiful to the eye as it was to the palate. Or the pave of sea trout with white cabbage and pickled ginger, kohlrabi and celeriac cream sauce to your right. The fish was fresh, crispy on the outside and clean-tasting -- minimally seasoned as to bring out its true flavors -- not drowned in a sauce, which was nice for a change. The braised ox cheek with port wine, horseradish creamed potatoes, glazed turnips and braising jus was melt-in-your-mouth delicious. I could really taste the mushrooms in the creamy wild mushroom soup and the desserts didn't disappoint either. I confess I'm not a huge dessert person so after a few meals, they started to blend. But I do recall them being not too sweet, which is important for me and a good balance of hot (e.g., molten chocolate cake) and cold (usually vis-a-vis ice cream or gelato). One appetizer I didn't care for was the rabbit and smoked bacon ballottine, although I loved the pickled vegetables "piccalilli" and toasted brioche that came with a luscious pate.
I was pleasantly surprised at the Gordon Ramsay because I had expected a lot of style over substance. But alas, while the decor was very Hollywood and we even spotted a model dining two tables away, the service was attentive and friendly and the food was excellent and clearly well-thought out. I love it when good ingredients speak for themselves and the Chef does his magic to turn a good food item into something great.
Grace, on the other hand, had good food but bad service. The Dungeness crab salad with English peas and meyer lemon vinaigrette was refreshing and very good. The braised beef short rib with red wine risotto, cavolo nero and red wine sauce was good but not transporting.
Gordon Ramsay at The London
1020 N. San Vicente Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
7360 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036