Any DineLA Reviews?
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.
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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.