Lowdown on Lapis/Gem or Gamble?
- randy salenfriend
Going to dinner here with friends this Saturday. Anyone been here recently, recommendations, pros/cons??
I recall a thread earlier in the summer on Lapis but nothing turned up using the home page search engine. Are they still dealing with that, ummm, how you say, "odor problem"?
Lapis is a gem. We live really close by and have gone there about three times (which is a high number considering how many restaurants there are in the city). All three times the food was excellent and the service was attentive. There are some odor issues when you are outside, but inside I didn't detect anything.
Their appetizers are especially good (as many places are). We always order their mussels dish. It comes in a thick creamy tomatoes sauce with some sort of spicy sausages and harrisa I think. It's yummy! Also, their trio of dips with flatbread is great to get and share if you have more than 3 people. I can also remember their fois gras being very very good. It's the seared variety, creamy and rich balanced very well with some sort of sweet fruit element. I can't remember the entrees as well, but I don't remember ever having bad entrees, they just don't stand out as much as the appetizers. The desserts are very solid too. Good presentation, good flavors, I seem to remember a blueberry soufflés with vanilla sauce that was to die for.
I think Lapis has turned a corner considerable since it first opened a few years ago. They don't charge an arm and a leg for the same caliber of food as some other "high end" places in the city. It's worth a trip.
Me again. Girlfriend of Lapis bartender...so clearly biased.
I'm glad to see that Wendy enjoys the restaurant. They are continuing to do great business with a lot of regulars and industry people...which I think is a good sign in these tough times.
Tommy (the chef) just switched to the new fall menu. During the summer they make everything smaller and lighter...now it's getting beefed up again. I prefer the heartier menu with larger quantities and stronger flavors.
Not sure what made the final cut, but he tried two dishes on me and a friend last week that were fantastic. One was sturgeon with caviar, the other was lobster in a reduction sauce. Both were absolutely delicious!
Go prepared to take your time and enjoy the food. Diners at Lapis tend to savor their food and linger...and linger...and linger while they enjoy every last drop of sauce. On busy nights, this can cause a problem with reservations because it makes it hard to turn over tables. Avoid the problem by making early reservations. 8:00 is a real tough one.
They don't have any of their incredible souffle dessert's on the menu right now...for which I and a number of other people continue to give them grief on a regular basis. David (the pasty chef) likes to try off-the-wall things though...and he makes them work. I never believed I would enjoy beet sorbet!
If you are a wine fan, make sure to consult the sommelier. Lapis gets lots of great wine in limited quantities and they make a special effort to know what pairs well with the food.
My final recommendation to all diners at all restaurants is to close your tab at the bar before being seated, especially if you are a large party. Bartenders have to pay taxes on their sales, even if they are transfered to another server, so it is hard on them when they lose the tips.
.and tell the blonde bartender the Dodgers suck. Those So. Cal kids need to be reminded on a regular basis.
Looking forward to hearing an objective review.