Any DineLA Reviews?
- truefoodie Feb 7, 2008 01:55 PM
With a precious few days to DineLa left (although I have heard it rumored that some restaurants will be voluntarily offerring their DineLa menus all month!) has anyone had a DineLA meal that exceeded or fell miserably short of your expectations? Pray tell. Please post.
I thought Dal Rae's was pretty great. We had the lunch special for $22 last Friday. Started with the crab stuffed artichoke hearts, and ahi on toasts (both excellent). Main course, the parmesean encrusted whitefish with ben sauce and the short rib (very large portion), each came with mashed potatoes and baby vegetables. Dessert was creme brulee and a tiramisu. FANTASIC deal for an excellent lunch.
I have been to Table 8 - I really liked this place, the vibe, the ambiance - very typical LA. The food was good, however it was missing the "wow" factor.
Circa 55 on the other hand, disappointed me. What they served were just average hotel room service kind of food, in my opinion. Over seasoned meat, overcooked vegetables, weird desserts.
Ruth's Chris - this was a bargain! Seared ahi tuna, petit filet, creamed spinach and mashed potatoes, chocolate sin cake. Generous portions and simply good food.
I'm hittin' up Nick+Stef tomorrow (in Downtown).
I guess, overall I would say LA tried way too hard with restaurant week. Like I said before, I'd give it a break though since its it's first year doing restaurant week. They're not as impressive as NYC or San Francisco's restaurant weeks though (which I highly recommend).
The big difference between restaurant week in LA and restaurant week in NYC is that humans can actually get in to the LA restaurants. In NYC, they usually severely limit the number of prix fixe tables.
We have been to:
Started with a plate of three appetizers, and not three bite-sized tastes either. Followed with a generous assortment of Sushi and ended with some taste-free sorbet.
Vin Bar Valentino
Greeted at the door by Piero Selvaggio who told us that since the DineLA response was so huge, he would seat us in the restaurant. Of course, at Valentino it was a four course dinner. Among the things we has were a delicious duck ragu wrapped in a crepe and lightly sauced -- probably the most delicious thing we've had. My wife started with a little pizza that was also great. This was followed by a shrimp and clam tortelloni, then a very delicious shortrib that was braised then somehow caramelized. Chocolate cake was a good ending. The service was pretty much what you would expect here -- your personal team of unindicted co-conspirators.
A very nice room. Friendly staff. The food was pretty ordinary. A toasted boucheron and onion salad followed by okay shortribs. Desert was an extremely chocolate cake in dulce de leche sauce that was the best thing of the evening.
Why is this place so slow. It seems to be their thing. Our three course meal took well over two hours. The food was very good, starting with housemade sausage on polenta that was really tasty. Next was a lobster and shrimp tortaloni in a pink sauce that was delicious, but extremely rich. Desert was a chocolate semifreddo.
Ruth's Chris - Beverly Hills
Actually, I think that our table was in Riverside, or Siberia. We were definitely in the cheap seats. Aside from that, the meat was great and the portions were generous. I had the seared tuna appetizer that was excellent, and my wife started with a so-so ceasar salad. We both had the filet as our entree and we split the sides - creamed spinach and garlic mashed potatoes... I think about a pint of heavy cream between them -- yum. The filets were way bigger than the advertised six ounces (which would have been plenty) and they were perfect. We finished with a double order of chocolate sin cake, one of which we ate there and the other for home. Wines by the glass at this restaurant were very pricey mostly $12-$20 per glass, but there were some excellent bottles on the list and we had a very nice Cote-Rotie that was only $44. Service was excellent, despite our outer orbit table.
Tonight we are going to Chaya Brasserie and tomorrow Beacon.
This might be my favorite food event, ever.
Did Lawry's Prime Rib on Tuesday night. (would not have been my first choice, but some friends really wanted to go). Although they didn't have a printed menu for Dine LA....and the server did try to convince it the price wasn't THAT good of a deal....the four of us did choose that menu. It's basically the 6 oz. cut of prime rib (with salad in "spinning bowl" and mashed spuds) for $34....instead of $31. BUT the Dine LA menu included dessert--choice of hot fudge sundae, creme brule and something else. (sorry...brain freeze) It was actually quite good....that prime rib is tasty. And the place was packed....but I think it is always packed. Kind of a fun retro evening....and I was glad I revisited the place after several years.
went to napa valley grill last night. very good meals. the portions were big. had jumbo seared scallops as the first course. a sirloin steak (generous size) as the second course. a chocolate sampler as the third choice. in addition, they have wine pairings for only $12 more. very good deal. i'd highly recommend.
Ditto. Had been wanting to try it since its opening, but was quite undershelmed myself at this experience. Went with a group of four, tried everything on the menu. Tiny portions. So-so on taste.
The best part of the dinner for me was their bread service. I think I had two of their rosemary rolls, served warm from the oven. Need I say more?
Table 8 is extending the menu all month (I am almost hesitant to post that because I am afraid not to be able to get reservations to go back). I ate there once before and was underwhelmed, but I found tonight's meal delicious and a fantastic value. I had a boucheron salad to start, and my dining companion had roasted broccoli with prawns. Both had a nice depth of flavor, although I wasn't crazy about the consistency to which my cheese had been pan fried. I had short ribs with creamy swiss chard and gratineed potatoes as my main and thought it was quite flavorful, even if it didn't barrel me over. My friend had the duck and raved about it. The dulce de leche chocolate cake was perfect-- gooey and warm but with little chocolate shavings to give it some crunch and texture. The tres leches was good, light and subtle, but I might go for the panna cotta on the next round.
Bonus: they have wine pairings ($28, I think) and a delicious-looking cocktail menu (which I did not get to sample as I had more work awaiting me post-dinner).
I was there on wednesday night with a group of four, and we tried everything on the menu. Everyone liked their food. For the appetizer, I enjoyed my butter lettuce and endive salad with persimmon and pomegranate, and the roasted chestnut soup with truffle cream was satisfyingly sweet and savory. The boucheron was divine, and even the broccoli dish, of which we had low expectations, was actually surprisingly good.
For the entree, I think the two fish dishes (pompano and salmon) took top honors. My risotto that came with the salmon was delicious! One friend loved the braised short rib, but I'm a bit biased as I'm so over the whole braised beef thing at this time. The duck confit was okay. My friend thought it was way too "mushy", though.
My friend who had the tres leches loved his dessert, but after having my rich, decadent dulce de leche chocolate cake, I couldn't taste anything myself. I'll just take his word for it.
Overall, a good, solid pick, but nothing extraordinary.
Well, at least I saw Govind Armstrong in the house. That made it an extra-special night for me.