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going to Jiraffe. Any advice?

zoememel Aug 12, 2008 07:17 PM

i am going tommorrow night for dinner and am super excited. the organic sun dried tomato goat cheese tart looks amazing. i wanted to know if anyone has any do's or don'ts for me before i go. Thank you!

  1. a_and_w Sep 15, 2008 12:51 PM

    Shoot -- I would have said skip the tart, which is one of the few disappointments I've had at Jiraffe.

    1. n
      NAspy Sep 13, 2008 06:48 PM

      second the recommendation on the beet salad, definitely one of the best around (Fraiche rivals it) and if any of the daily specials sound good, go with one of them, .

      I also quite like their bouillabaise

      had a very refreshing cucumber martini (tastes way better than it sounds) ---mmm just thinking about that is very tempting

      JiRaffe is a great restaurant -- fairly casual, high quality food and friendly service.

      I wonder if the chef doesn't just pick someone randomly to grace with extra stuff like amuses-- that happened to us once at JiRaffe (party of three women drinking a lot of wine, but otherwise nothing special) and I think it was just because he thought we'd really appreciate it

      2 Replies
      1. re: NAspy
        silence9 Sep 15, 2008 09:32 AM

        Hi Naspy... Appreciate your thoughts on Jiraffe's chow and agree its tops! .. But do you really think a 'party of three women drinking lots of wine' is a random choice for anyones' notice, socially and in public, particularly if them that's doing the noticing is male and/or a chef?? A 'random choice' for an amuse offering would be more like the wallflower eating alone in the corner reading a book on the history collective bargaining agreements. Now that's random :-)

        1. re: silence9
          a_and_w Sep 15, 2008 12:53 PM

          The chef is a big schmoozer -- he did the same to my party (all men) once.

      2. dotrat Aug 13, 2008 03:08 PM

        On my last trip there I enjoyed the beet salad (which is more unusual than any other beet salad I've had) and the loup de mer (the special fish that night). Both were amazing. My husband had the foie gras & the same fish. Everything I have ever had there has been wonderful, even the chicken!

        1 Reply
        1. re: dotrat
          zoememel Sep 13, 2008 06:25 PM

          the chicken was the most moist chicken i have ever had! i loved it completly

        2. b
          big mouth Aug 13, 2008 01:37 PM

          The sweet corn ravioli with crab cake appetizer is outstanding. And I think it's a semi-regular special – osso buco. Heavenly.

          1. d
            dinami Aug 13, 2008 11:28 AM

            Their chocolate truffle cake is the best chocolate dessert I've ever had!!

            1. s
              silence9 Aug 13, 2008 09:58 AM

              Hi.. I enjoyed the ribeye at Jiraffe even more than the one at Jar (which I liked immensely)... Only one small 'off' moment, when we were there in May: some of the tables downstairs are a bit near to each other (again, like at Jar). So, the kitchen sends out an amuse (fresh and simple) to both our table and to the folks sitting very near to us. I felt very well treated, until the chef (owner?) immediately swoops in and offers a second and even more special amuse to the folks sitting so near to us. The charming chef proceeds to describe just what makes this second amuse so very special, and why the special folks will truly enjoy it. Apparently, he knew (or knew of) the folks dining right beside us, and this was his way of really showcasing his kitchen's top form. Now, if we were'nt just twelve inches away from the special folks, it would not have been a big deal or even registered with us; after all, we did recieve the first amuse, which was lovely and of course gratis. But in an instant, due to proximity, it was made clear that we were a 'rung' down the ladder from the folks who had the chef's special favor. I was happy for the folks who got the superlative amuse, but felt very uncomfortable being so nearby. Honestly, there was so little room between our respective tables, it was _almost_ as if one side of a table received the special treatment and the other side of the table was ignored. Now, I always feel grateful for an amuse, as they are usually so unexpected to us. It was simply diminished this time, due to unfortunate proximity to the diners whose opinions apprently mattered more. No way around such moments, and I even feel petty for having noticed, but if you were there, you would have noticed too... Still, a wonderful space with great food. Get the ribeye...

              2 Replies
              1. re: silence9
                Nicole Aug 13, 2008 11:29 AM

                I prefer sitting upstairs, where it's quieter and I think the tables are further apart. Might prevent scenarios like the above! But some may find the downstairs more festive, so it's personal taste. Have fun and enjoy!

                1. re: silence9
                  zoememel Aug 13, 2008 02:03 PM

                  i know exactly what you mean. I hate when restuarants chefs or owners treat people sitting right next to you like they are something special and then treat you like chop liver, though it is really minor. The best amuse i have ever had were at craft in century city. they gave us delicious and refreshing amuses after every course and when we left they gave us each a free carrot cake on our way out. it was lovely and i highly recommend it!

                2. g
                  glutton Aug 13, 2008 08:45 AM

                  If they've got a farmers market driven menu that night, then go with that. They know how to cook in a way that just accentuates the natural, fresh flavors of just picked produce.

                  1. ElJeffe Aug 12, 2008 11:20 PM

                    Yep, don't eat lunch:) It's been too long to remember, but you are in good hands.

                    1. f
                      FoodKitCat Aug 12, 2008 11:14 PM

                      It's one of the more civilized and lovely restaurants in this city, I love it. The rack of lamb with rock salt is a mind blower. Sit in the window and watch all the pretty Santa Monicans walk by. Make sure you pair your wine with food; the somm will be happy to do that for you. Be grateful for a quiet restaurant. :)

                      1. westsidegal Aug 12, 2008 10:40 PM

                        everything i've ever ordered there has been good.
                        the only advice i can offer is to enjoy yourself.

                        1. e
                          Emily227 Aug 12, 2008 10:36 PM

                          The purple gnocchi is excellent! Highly recommended.

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