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Manzke's Bastide vs Shoemaker's Bastide...Has Anyone Been to Both?

wasabica Jul 5, 2008 03:44 PM

We went to Bastide the week Walter Manzke started and were blown away by the amazing experience. At the time, we voted it the best restaurant in LA. Well that was a short reign. We have a special occasion coming up and are debating whether to give it another shot.

We liked Paul Shoemaker back in his WaterGrill days, but have not really experienced his cuisine since then. Has anyone been to Bastide under both chefs?

  1. SauceSupreme Aug 7, 2008 11:22 AM

    I'm heading back to LA for a visit next week with the new Bastide high on my to-do list.

    13 Replies
    1. re: SauceSupreme
      mollyomormon Aug 7, 2008 12:30 PM

      Where else are you going?

      1. re: mollyomormon
        SauceSupreme Aug 8, 2008 01:47 PM

        Haven't been to Jitlada since they expanded the menu, so that's a stop. I want to do Szechuan since a new Szechuan spot just opened here in Portland and I want to compare. Joe's on Bleeker. And two high-end dinners, one of which will be the new Bastide. Other will prolly be either Water Grill or Providence or Lucques.

        1. re: SauceSupreme
          mollyomormon Aug 9, 2008 01:04 PM

          I would love to hear what you think of Water Grill if you end up going. I think I remember you saying you'd never been? I love it. I liked the pizza at Joe's of Bleeker but honestly, I preferred the slice I had around the corner at Richie Palmer's. Maybe you'll have to do a side by side comparison.

          I have reservations for the Lucques annual barbeque tomorrow afternoon so I'll be sure to report back!

      2. re: SauceSupreme
        vinosnob Aug 7, 2008 02:36 PM

        Great, please report back.

        BTW, we decided to try Ortolan instead of Bastide...

        1. re: vinosnob
          wasabica Aug 11, 2008 07:06 PM

          We hated Ortolan - crazy pretentious and overpriced. I love Seven of Nive (Jeri Ryan) and saw Christopher Eme do well on Iron Chef America- we really wanted to love this place. And didn't. Although the test tube soup was cool.

          The sommelier actually took the expensive bottle we brought and paid high corkage for away, poured himself a full glass, and drank it not in our presence. I was horrified.

          1. re: wasabica
            vinosnob Aug 12, 2008 08:54 AM

            That seems to be how it goes for Ortolan on this board; people either love it or hate it. I'm going in with a positive attitude.

            As for the sommelier, that's aggressive on his part if he acted on his own without you offering him a glass first. But, you should always offer the sommelier a taste of your wine. I offer the server a glass as well.

            1. re: vinosnob
              wasabica Aug 12, 2008 01:02 PM

              Agreed, of course. Yes, I always enthusiastically offer, but this was the first time it was both (generously) poured and tasted out of my presence. Mozza did the same thing, actually, but "they just were making sure it was not corked." (It was an older brunello) Transcending any issues of propriety and cost, I actually enjoy tasting the wine with the sommelier as I value their observations.

              1. re: wasabica
                vinosnob Aug 12, 2008 02:00 PM

                OH, I missed that part i.e. "it was both (generously) poured and tasted out of my presence".

                That's not cool by any means.

                1. re: wasabica
                  vinosnob Aug 18, 2008 09:43 AM

                  So, our dinner at Ortolan was sensational!

                  And, the sommelier handled my wine without any problems. The wine was promptly brought back to our booth in the decanter. Nice guy too; he poured us two complimentary glasses of a uber rare Dirler sylvaner.

                  The dining room could be the prettiest in town and the bar area in the back with the fireplace is very cozy, dark and romantic.

                  The food was delectable art. Presentation was incredible, the flavors pure and tasty and overall exquisitely creative.

                  Highlights were the duck and the squab. The crisp skin on the duck was a rare treat and a fun added bonus were the thin "cigarillos" of puff pastry filled with duck confit.

                  Squab, which I typically dislike since it's so hard to eat, was a revelation. Done in a pastilla style (thankfully without the traditional Moroccan spices), choice cuts of squab breast were layered with tomato confit, a razor thin slice of preserved lemon, summer truffle and all wrapped up with a thin sheet of phyllo in the shape of a cube.

                  We will definitely go back for another special occasion dinner or just on a whim to enjoy a few apps and wine in the bar.

                  BTW, look for a brand new patio area in the front of the restaurant sometime in September.

                  1. re: vinosnob
                    wasabica Aug 18, 2008 05:52 PM

                    sounds great, I am glad it worked out well for you :)

                    1. re: vinosnob
                      New Trial Aug 18, 2008 10:03 PM

                      I always enjoy his duck dishes (excellent rabbit, too, if you are so minded) and look forward to trying the squab--he used to do a similar preparation with lamb.

                  2. re: vinosnob
                    maxzook Aug 12, 2008 01:59 PM

                    Not being a drinker it never occurred to me, but wouldn't this make for a rather pickled staff by the end of the evening?

                    1. re: maxzook
                      wasabica Aug 12, 2008 08:05 PM

                      Heh. I imagine they are choosy about the wines they "taste." The good ones are supposed to spit, or at least share, but this is not always obeyed to the letter of course. On a related note, I heard 2nd hand that this is what happened to the sommelier at il grano...supposedly pushed his "tasting" qty too far and he was eventually sacked. Don't know how reliable my source is, but I can see how it would be possible.

            2. Ndelible Aug 5, 2008 10:03 AM

              I have been to Manzke's kitchen twice and Shoemaker's three times. Let me say this - I look forward to going wherever Manzke hangs his apron. I will go back to Bastide, but probably only for lunch, where I think the value is exceptional ($40 + tax, + grat). Plus, the patio is gorgeous in the summertime. I have found the service to always be excellent and they know me by sight. I've yet to have a meal in LA that has beaten the two Manzke meals I had though....

              2 Replies
              1. re: Ndelible
                wasabica Aug 6, 2008 10:22 PM

                this is great insight, thanks

                1. re: Ndelible
                  pinpei Aug 12, 2008 02:03 PM

                  I would second this post (although I was three times at Manzke's Bastide and twice at Shoemaker's). I had no complaints with either of my Shoemaker meals, but all three of my Manzke meals were transcendent.

                2. r
                  RicRios Jul 5, 2008 05:42 PM

                  I couldn't make it on time for Manzke.
                  Went recently under Shoemaker.
                  Kitchen not bad, front of the house a silly mess ( except for the wine service ).
                  I'm not going back any time soon.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: RicRios
                    vinosnob Aug 4, 2008 11:33 AM

                    Can anyone had comments from a recent Bastide visit (with Chef Shoemaker at the helm)?

                    1. re: vinosnob
                      vinosnob Aug 5, 2008 09:06 AM

                      Anyone?? Perhaps the silence answers my question ;)

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