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Hatfields review - 4-16-08 – WOW!

Maxmillion Apr 17, 2008 11:55 AM

Hatfields was incredible.
Just incredible.
I mean, I went with really high expectations and not only were they met, but *exceeded*.

Backstory: Hatfields has been high on my hit list for well over a year. We just hadn’t made it until now (we’re not eating out as often as we used to or as much as we’d like to…) I decided it was the place I wanted to try for my birthday dinner out, which was last night.

Three of us went after a movie last night (Forgetting Sarah Marshall – it was quite funny), so we didn't go for the whole three courses or drink very much as it was late when we got there (after 9.30pm).

We each had one entree and a dessert (but I was given a free dessert because I’d told them it was my birthday and sensibly opted not to *order* one – I’m no dummy!)

Also we each had one drink, namely beer, a glass of prosecco ($11) and a very nice Cotes de Rhone ($11) with my perfectly pink, date & mint crusted lamb cutlets ($38). My guy raved that his slow cooked beef ($33) was the most incredible thing he’d eaten since a highly memorable Christmas Eve dinner at a fancy place in Paris (Les Carre des Feuillants) where we were served rare lamb that you could virtually cut with a spoon.

Our friend had the Olive oil poached halibut which was truly sensational. This is something I’ve seen a lot on Iron Chef but have never made myself. It had a fresh sheen of citrus on it, which was yet another example of this fantastic chef’s restraint (Quinn Hatfield; Karen Hatfield is the pastry chef and I believe often runs front of house). Our friend was going to ask for the mushrooms to be omitted, because he never eats them, but I urged him to try them and it turned out he really liked them!! None of us had heard of shimeji mushrooms, but I assumed they were a japanese variety…

I think it worked out to approx $60 pp
Not bad for such high quality fare.
Everything -- I mean *everything* -- was outstanding, from the amuse (a shot glass of warm celeriac soup plus a devilled quail egg with smoked trout on a tiny spoon) to the best little bread rolls EVER to the magnificently prepared, presented and perfectly cooked meals. The desserts were great – I loved the crispy napoleon.

Just WOW.

Oh, here’s the other thing – I am not a huge eater and generally take food home. The portions (also our ordering) were so spot on that we all cleaned our plates. The only thing that wasn’t consumed was one of the little petit four that we were given with our bill. One tiny cake. Every dish went back empty. If I were a chef, that would be proof positive I was doing something right, right?

But I don’t know if this is just a special occasion, birthday place…
The place seemed very small (we were seated right in a front window and I didn’t go exploring…) There was nothing remarkable about the décor or ambience.
It’s more like a really great place to dine out every once in a while.

The thing about Hatfields was, yes $32-38 entrees...
With three courses and ample drinks, you could rack up quite a bill...
But I thought it was fairly reasonable and comparable in price to (one of our favourite places) Lucques, I would say, and slightly more impressive in result.
Loved it !

Open 6pm till 10pm or 10.30pm Fris and Sats
Closed Sundays

Hatfields
7458 Beverly Blvd, between La Brea and Fairfax (actually between Vista and Gardener, on the sth side)
http://www.hatfieldsrestaurant.com/

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  1. n
    ns1 Apr 17, 2008 12:08 PM

    yes, that lamb is beyond delicious.

    but the croque madame is really where it's at. you gotta order it next time.

    i can also vouch that their cucumber gimlet is sublime.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ns1
      Maxmillion Apr 17, 2008 12:29 PM

      I had heard that unusual croque madame (brioche, hamachi, proscuitto, quail egg) is fantastic. But it was late and so we went straight to the mains, which was the right choice.

      Yeah, something to try next time -- which I hope is very soon!

      1. re: ns1
        n
        Nicole Apr 17, 2008 02:50 PM

        I also love the croque madama and cucumber gimlet! But really, everything there is wonderful. The olive oil poached fish is also truly great. I've got to get back and try that slow-cooked beef! Mmm....

      2. d
        Diana Apr 17, 2008 12:33 PM

        Wow! is right! I gotta try it!

        1. c
          condiment Apr 17, 2008 01:33 PM

          I do find it odd that this supposedly farm-oriented restaurant doesn't seem to have changed their menu since they opened...

          5 Replies
          1. re: condiment
            n
            ns1 Apr 17, 2008 01:38 PM

            IIRC they have a farmer's tasting menu or something like that everyday, no?

            1. re: ns1
              Maxmillion Apr 17, 2008 01:46 PM

              ^ Correct. Farmer's market-inspired three course prix-fixe $46 pp

            2. re: condiment
              n
              New Trial Apr 17, 2008 02:33 PM

              Their are certain stalwarts, such as the croque madame (there might be a riot if it were removed!), but the menu does change with the season and the chef's mood, though sometimes the changes are just variations on the theme.

              1. re: condiment
                c
                carter Apr 20, 2008 09:16 PM

                None of the three entrees consumed were on the opening menu.
                Croque Madame was though, and the amuses don't seem to change frequently.
                The one problem the restaurant has is that the dishes are so addictingly good that they cannot remove any item, or risk the wrath of 20% of the customer base, regardless of which item.

                1. re: condiment
                  p
                  poggibonzzi Apr 21, 2008 08:09 PM

                  They no longer have hanger steak on their menu, have braised short ribs to take its place. I hope croque madame will always be available. What an amazing appetizer.
                  I've gotten into the habit of judging restaurants in terms of how they compare with Hatfield's in terms of exceptional quality and price. Very few measure up. Hatfield's is a steal.

                2. e
                  exilekiss Apr 20, 2008 04:20 PM

                  Hey Maxmillion,

                  Nice review! :) Hatfields has also been on my hit list for over a year now (just never made it out), and you review just tipped the scales. :) Will be going very soon. Thanks.

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