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Really Nice Meal at Cliff's Edge Last Night

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bubbles4me Jul 12, 2008 10:18 PM

A group of us headed up to Cliff's Edge in Silverlake last night, friend's sister was in town and we wanted to give her a "LA" experience. I had eaten there a few times before, love brunch in the patio, and thought it would give her that LA feel....even the smoking seems very LA to me.
I had never had a bad meal there before but always felt it was just a little expensive for the quality, did not really bother me as I love the space and the service is great. I heard that they had hired a new chef and I was pretty excited to taste what was coming out of the kitchen now. Well I have to tell you, everything was wonderful! There were five of us and we all passed plates and each thing that landed in front of me was really delicious.
We started with Mussels in a fennel sauce, we kept tossing bread into the lovely sauce just letting all that fantastic seafood, tomato Pernod flavor seep into the bread turning it into a gooey, doughy mass of yumminess. The mussels were briny and fresh and the whole dish was flavorfull but so clean. Frito Misto was standard but the dipping sauce was tangy and addictive. Beef Carpaccio was very delicate, almost see through slices of tender sweet beef topped with very vibrant greens and shaved parm. Very solid dish that I would gladly eat piles of.
Ordered two soups to share, the French Onion which was a HUGE bowl of richly flavored stock, sweet onions and perfectly salty cheese melted over the top, wonderful balance of sweetness and savory. The corn soup was remarkable in that simple kind of way. Sweet fresh corn flavor up front with a gentle balance of salt and pepper but you know that earthy flavor you get when you suck on the cob of fresh corn, well "that" flavor is the backbone of this light lovely soup....really delicious.
For mains two of us got the filet with gorgonzola, they were perfectly cooked, nicely seasoned and very tender. The scalloped potatoes that were served with it were gloriously tender and you could taste the potatoes...I find that sometimes people make this dish to glammed up...keep it simple and cook it well and damn that is a fine side dish! One in our party got the ribeye, again nicely seasoned and perfectly cooked but I thought for once the filet had more flavor. Another got the scallops and tiger shrimp again perfectly cooked and devoid of the over-sauced or mucked up preperation that has me ordering seafood less and less these days...don't want any damn fruit on my seafood! The fifth in our party got the roasted chicken, always makes me nervous as it is rarely done well but this was tender, juicy and exploding with chicken goodness, really lovely and the aspargus on the side were sweet, snappy and delicious.
Desserts were all really tasty as well, not too sweet and a really refreshing way to end that wonderful meal. So all in with one bottle of wine, (we brought 3 with us) the total came to just about $325.00...dude....seriously? Cannot remember the last time I felt like I got such a deal.
Diggin' the new chef and cant wait to go back!

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    nosh RE: bubbles4me Jul 13, 2008 02:42 PM

    First, bubbles, let me compliment you on a nice, detailed review. You describe the strengths of a number of dishes quite well. Cliff's Edge has an admirable space, but if I recall correctly a number of earlier reviews have labeled the service as uneven or worse.

    But I need some questions answered: How many people were in your party? Was the $335 inclusive of tax, tip and corkage? I get the impression you brought in three bottles of wine and ordered one -- what price range was that one? Cocktails? And did you have to use a valet?

    Most important, I object strenuously to your depiction of smoking as "very L.A." Only to the paparazzi crowd. Where does the restaurant permit smoking? And does it waft into the nonsmoking sections?

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    1. re: nosh
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      bubbles4me RE: nosh Jul 13, 2008 03:15 PM

      Nosh,
      I have always had really great service at Cliff's, relaxed service so I never feel rushed...very important to me when dining with friends, we tend to spend hours. That being said I have read other reviews with less than favorable comments on the service.
      There were 5 in our party and the 325 was before tip and we bought a wine that was aprox $40.00. We did in fact use the valet but I did not include that charge as there was some street spaces available but being a terrible parallel parker I opted for the valet.
      One diner had an after dinner cocktail and one had a glass of port with her chocolate dessert.
      I understand your point on the smoking, doesnt bother me as I have never even smelled it when dining there...only seen it and they only allow it on the patio. The LA vibe I wanted the out of towner to get was whole paparazzi kind of feel so that is what I meant about the smoking.

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