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Campanile..

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thomtompkins Nov 22, 2007 10:58 AM

Good as it used to be...I have an opinion but would like to see what everyone thinks?

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  1. maxzook RE: thomtompkins Nov 22, 2007 11:32 AM

    Well, I'm on my way in a couple of hours to have Thanksgiving dinner there, so I'll let you know ...

    I'm a little confused, though -- are you saying it isn't as good as it used to be, or that it is? I think the latter.

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    Campanile
    624 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

    1 Reply
    1. re: maxzook
      Servorg RE: maxzook Nov 22, 2007 12:41 PM

      It seemed to me he was doing a "Is it as good as it used to be?" type of question and leaving his own opinion unstated as of yet. My wife and I tend to like it for brunch, but not so much for dinner.

    2. paulfromla RE: thomtompkins Nov 22, 2007 01:21 PM

      i've been going there for many years - it is the most consistently solid restaurant i've ever experienced - not only has mark peel hired many great chefs over that time (and married one) when he himself is back behind the stoves you can rest assured that your meal will be good - he seems to really care about the products he buys and the way he cooks them - not to mention perrin the wine guy who carries on the tradition of serving great wines by the glass that always top what i find elsewhere - anyway, that's where i stand, for me Campanile is one of the best in terms of food - lunch or dinner (service, well that's another story - last year for thanksgiving it was a little crazy busy and the front of house couldn't really handle it well - but Mario Batali walked in at one point!)

      1 Reply
      1. re: paulfromla
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        thomtompkins RE: paulfromla Nov 22, 2007 04:23 PM

        Very interesting folks and I appreciate whats been said so far. And for clarity: I am a big fan of Campanile and go frequently. I am just curious what others think. I have seen a great deal of negative feedback lately and I guess I am looking for an objective "check" from others who love great food. I know people always pick on greatness so that is all it could be. Like many of you regulars: when I call and make a reso or walk in unannounced, I am treated like "your moneys no good hear" (which is a good thing) so I fear that I can no longer be objective....

      2. maxzook RE: thomtompkins Nov 22, 2007 06:22 PM

        High-end restaurants in L.A. are so trend-driven, that it's easy to fall into the trap of assuming that a place has gone downhill for no better reason that it's been around for a while. The Silverton-Peel split, with Nancy going on to (further) fame and fortune at Melrose and Highland, may have led some to the false assumption that the ex is hanging by his fingernails.

        My SO and I just got back from our traditional Thanksgiving dinner at Campanile. In fact, it's as good as it ever was, if not maybe a little better. This is just the kind of meal that a place like this is perfect at, and they more than live up to it.

        2 Replies
        1. re: maxzook
          paulfromla RE: maxzook Nov 22, 2007 08:07 PM

          sorry to live vicariously through you - but what was the menu at campanile for thanksgiving this year? did they have a wine pairing? i went in search of the wine they paired last year because it was so incredible and couldn't find it because i guess it was a small importer or something - glad to hear you enoyed your campanile thanksgiving - i ended up at pacific dining car, but more on that later!

          1. re: paulfromla
            maxzook RE: paulfromla Nov 22, 2007 08:36 PM

            First course: tomato soup -- refreshing if not spectacular.

            Second course: I had butternut squash risotto with sage, Kathe had a salad. The risotto was *fantastic* and not at all sweet. I could easily have had a full helping for a main course, but then I would have missed ...

            Roasted breast of organic Willybird turkey, with rosemary and just a hint of blackening, plus a braised thigh with wild mushrooms. Just a little puddle of giblet gravy -- not swimming in it, so you really tasted the bird. "Savory bread pudding" (oh, come on, it's *stuffing*!) and cranberries.

            On a side plate, served family style: mashed potatoes (a little runny), bluelake green beans with cipolline onions and almonds (wonderful), creamed spinach, and the best succotash I have ever had in my life. Kathe can't eat corn so I got it all and she got most of the beans.

            For dessert we both had pecan tart with crème fraîche ice cream (I would've preferred vanilla ice cream but only 'cause it's my favorite thing on earth). Other options were pumpkin ice cream pie with chocolate glaze (?) and crème fraîche, apple puff with caramel mascarpone and vanilla ice cream or cranberry linzer tart with vanilla sauce.

            Sorry, but neither of us drink alcohol. With three bottles of sparkling water, tax and tip, $205. The best restaurant meal I've had this year, and for what we got one of the best bargains.

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