Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Jul 5, 2008 03:44 PM

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

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. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. 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

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

      1. re: vinosnob

        Anyone?? Perhaps the silence answers my question ;)

    2. 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

          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. 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: mollyomormon

              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

                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

              Great, please report back.

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

              1. re: vinosnob

                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

                  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

                    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

                      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

                        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

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

                          1. re: vinosnob

                            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

                          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

                            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.