Domed Plate Covers
Does anyone know of any restaurants in Los Angeles that use domed plate covers prior to service? Or is this something from the past? Does it exist in other cities if not here? Thank you in advance.
They do it at Blue Bayou in Disneyland, I think mostly because the kitchen is so far from the dining room and the food gets cold on the way.
The Tam O'shanter in Los Feliz. Not pure hemispheres, but round stainless covers with a flat top.
This smacks of so much cheesiness, but places like Lawry's the Prime Rib did the whole domed covers.
I've been to starred restaurants in France, and they don't do it. First off, it ruins the food (steaming the hot ingredients under a dome?) Today, the kitchen+service prepare accordingly (or in most finer restaurants, will remake plates if the wait is too long for the diner.) It's a courtesy. A few English places I've been to do it, but only for the unveil (which still seems tacky for service.)
Last time I've had this done right was at a private dinner. Even then it was slightly, for lack of other words, disgustly tacky-- And this was done right (only for the point of unveiling the courses to multiple guests.)
Do you mean a cloche, that is used at French/fine dining restaurants? The best use of a cloche I've seen was at Per Se, and the staff were actually really amusing when removing them (which may have been because my group was not as formal as most, and the staff seemed to "read' us well). I seem to recall Bastide using them, back a few years ago. Both times they were small, china versions, not the large metal ones.
Osteria Mozza brings out some dishes with the domed cover. They also cover your food with them when you leave the table for the bathroom or a cigarette. Dal Rae in Pico Rivera uses the flat top ones.
If anybody remembers Michel Gerard, who wrote the milestone cuisine minceur cookbook and started that whole trend, he recommends using a cloche to keep the food hot. When lifted at your place setting, it releases the aroma of the food at the last minute before you take your first taste. Quite elegant and quite utilitarian. The food, if served quickly, doesn't steam at all; if not, because of bad service, the food can indeed get steamed. In silver, the cloche looks so fantastic abd, if possible, when all the cloches are lifted at the same time at a table, that's an added touch of elegance.