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Great Dinner @ Bashan [w pics]

burumun Sep 24, 2008 08:00 PM

Photos are on my blog post: http://tinyurl.com/52w55o

Bashan sits on a quiet street, with not much around it. In fact, at dinner time, as far as I could tell it was the only thing open.
From the outside it looks like a cozy, charming cottage, but as you step inside it is actually decorated in a pretty hip/modern and sophisticated style. Such a contrast (see picture).

They only had 1 waitress working and at 6.30 pm only had three tables filled with customers.

We placed our order and were served these watermelon amuse bouches.

I've heard great things about their Crispy Veal Sweetbreads so of course I had to get them for my appetizer!
Mmmazing. Crispy skin, smooth silky sweetbreads on the inside. The sundried tomato was a great complement to it all.

Also got some Scallops with beets:
The scallops were nice, big and juicy. I would've liked a little more beets though! After we had run out of beets, the scallops were getting boring to eat by themselves.

For my entree I got Maple Leaf Farm Duck Breast
Let's see. I love duck. I love figs. This dish was great. The duck was particularly tender and flavorful, you can say gamey, even. It was cooked perfectly and also paired very well with the broccolini and the figs.

My companion got the Scottish King Salmon, which was perhaps one of the best salmon dish we've had, as you can probably see why from the photo.
Nicely cooked and still raw in the middle. Tender tender, juicy piece of salmon!

They had a special dessert that night which was this peach napoleon:
It was a pretty light and small dessert, but refreshing even though subtle.

We also got theChocolate Bread Pudding, since I feel like I need to have chocolate.
Decadent would describe this well. Richer, denser, and more chocolatey than any other bread pudding I've had. Very rich and chocolatey, I don't know if I would even call this bread pudding ... more like a chocolate cake. But it was quite good and satisfied my chocolate craving for sure.

I really liked this restaurant. I wish it isn't so out of the way for me, as I would like to come back more frequently.

  1. n
    nosh Sep 24, 2008 08:49 PM

    Really enjoyed my first time checking out your blog. Good photos, nice brief descriptions, and a pretty good sprinkling of westside, BH, Pasadena, and other SoCal areas. The two additions that would make it a lot more useful to me would be a mention of prices or overall checks for your meals and a link to the restaurant website.

    1 Reply
    1. re: nosh
      burumun Sep 24, 2008 09:04 PM

      Thanks nosh! I'll remember that and make a note on the prices next time :)

    2. g
      Griller141 Sep 24, 2008 09:59 PM

      Thanks for the nice review.
      The street is quiet but this is not the only thing open. On the same street 4 doors down is La Cabinita, packed every night for dinner; Zeke's two blocks up is a barbecue destination, though I have never fully appreciated it; Divina Cucina is two blocks north across the street and is jammed at 6 pm daily; Taylor's is about 1.5 miles away and impossible to get into without a day ahead reservation; Numerous other busy places a block or two away include Harvest Moon, a few Mexican places, and Pasta Precioso. I mention these only to raise the issue of chefs from the Westside opening places in the 'burbs to attract patrons starving for interesting innovative food, and then failing.
      Bashan was a sensation when it opened two or so years ago. I wrote an enthusiastic review on this board mentioning some of the same dishes (veal sweetbreads, etc). Since then the menu has been stagnant and the prices seem to me to have risen from a non-bargain level to begin with. It has become boring and one feels increasingly that the chef is just making a living and the prices are not justified. Bistro Verdu, which occupied the site previously and failed, was more innovative and a better bargain.
      People decry the lack of places in the outlying regions, but they are absent for a reason. While the Westside patrons seem willing to pay for the scene and let stagnant menus and high prices go by the boards, suburbans seem more money concious and want more value and are quick to sense a lack of ongoing inspiration.
      I am afraid that we will need to learn to be happy with Taylor's and La Cabinita - no complaints from me - and go West for our foodie fixes. I don't think this place will survive.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Griller141
        tatertotsrock Sep 26, 2008 10:49 AM

        Wow Griller141,
        I must be completely clueless, but I have been going to BASHAN since they opened and I can hardly say that the menu has gotten stagnant.
        In fact, I went a week ago Thursday, the we were there again on Saturday, and again the next Tursday...each visti was excellent!
        The new salmon prep on Saturday was outstanding, the first Thursday I got a brand new Halibit prep that kciked my ass, the tuna tartare and the beautiful gaspacho was like nothing I've ever gotten to enjoy in quite some time.
        I can never tire of their sweetbreads or their prokbelly...always wind up with duck...last Thursday, "jet-set-playboy" and I ordered oysters, sweetbreads, tuna tartare, gaspacho, pork belly, duck, and the (amazingly perfect) 28-day dry aged beef...hmmm, far from a stagnant line-up...ohm I almost forgot, e had the peach napolean too...so good!

        As for Verdu, the place did not "fail", the owner went on to other things, nothing to do with "failing', Verdu was packed every night.

        As for the "sleepy-ness" of the neighborhood
        Bashan was packed on Saturday as well as on of the Thursdays...to top it off, what I love the most about the place is that you'll see plenty of returning faces who are always super-friendly, wine-loving people. It's not going to be packed every night of the week, it is on the higher end of dining, but well worth it.
        Another great thing about BASHAN at this moment is taht there is a young lady who is in charge of the wine list and she is dead-on with food/wine pairings.
        On Sat, we did the WINE and DINE LA tasting menu, with wine pairing, and it knocked our socks off!!! There is no attitude with the wine list, just considerate selections that will showcase/compliment the food...the just got a few new dessert wines-yum! They are also great when you bring in your own bottle...I love that there is a place so close to me where I can celebrate a bottle of wine (good wine should be celebtated...with good company and good food) and know that there will be someone there who will know what I have brought and wilol be happy to make great suggestions on what to order to enhance the wine or let it just sing with the food.

        Hi Diana, love your opinion on plenty of places, but I goota tell ya, BASHAN rocks!!!...the portions are perfect, far from tiny...the pates they use are pretty big and the portions of any animal-bit are prett hefty...considering the richness of each dish, quality of ingredients, and the artistry of the presentaiton...holy cow, I would die if the protions were any bigger..then again, we like to order many different things.

        1. re: tatertotsrock
          g
          Griller141 Sep 26, 2008 10:42 PM

          Quite the breathless reply. Your enthusiastic loyalty will prompt another try, especially to look for the new entrees. Can you tell me what the corkage policy is? A reasonable fee will prompt me to raid my cellar and use Bashan as a place to celebrate special bottles. I would so like to have a destination nearby. Glad hear that Verdu actually prospered there - I did not have that impression - and left to build on their success.

          1. re: Griller141
            tatertotsrock Sep 27, 2008 09:47 AM

            Good Morning Griller,
            I'm beginning to creep myself out now...a friend came in from the west-side last night and wanted to "try that new place by La Cabanita"...yep, she meant BASHAN...went again last night (these people are gonna think I'm crazy-showing up all the time)...I let my friend choose everything since she hadn't been...wound up with the pork belly (this one was exceptional), sweebreads, gaspacho (golly, even better than the last time-my friend just wanted to have a tall glass to drink) duck (she said "well, I've never really liked any duck, I wanna try this one to see if it is any better...she barely shared it with me) the duck has these delicious little figs that I could eat like candy, and the halibit...this was the regular portion size-wow-excellent, and we had the peach napolean for dessert.

            I'm not too sure about the corkage, I don't think it's more than $15...I think it's waived if you buy a bottle from their list too.

            I hope you get a chance to try it out again.
            I'd love to know what you think since it's obvious from many of your posts that you have great taste.

            I do know that one of the reasons I adore the place is because of the hospitality...we are never rushed-sometimes spending 4 hours to chat, sip, and nibble.

            Gotta go kayaking...gotta paddle off the pork belly.
            Have a great weekend.

            Oh, maybe you should try a visit tonight...Rosso wine, the little place next door is having their anniversay party from 4-8pm...start there, end at Bashan.

            1. re: tatertotsrock
              g
              Griller141 Sep 27, 2008 09:57 PM

              Thanks for the info. I will give it another chance in a week or two. Missed Rosso's party.

        2. re: Griller141
          lotta_cox Sep 27, 2008 12:57 PM

          I stopped going to Bistro Verdu after a couple very mediocre meals. I had previously been a somewhat regular client.

        3. lotta_cox Sep 25, 2008 02:35 PM

          Your reviews make me laugh...and the photos make my mouth water. Thanks for the great review. I will be heading there sometime soon. Bashan is not too far to go for people on the eastside. Just a hop skip and a jump up the 2. The salmon and the duck both look fantastic, as did the scallops.

          1. d
            Diana Sep 25, 2008 03:04 PM

            Those portions are TINY. You only get that at some places with long tasting menus, and then, it's worth it

            I think I'll skip Bashan

            1 Reply
            1. re: Diana
              burumun Sep 25, 2008 09:07 PM

              I don't think they were really that tiny - the duck and salmon pieces were quite substantial.
              Not gigantic portions, but I was definitely full by the end.

            2. tatertotsrock Sep 26, 2008 10:56 AM

              burumun,
              Great pictures!
              You have great taste.
              This is one of my top 3 favorite so-cal spots, for many reasons.
              I noticed you've had the great fortune to visit L'Atelier in Paris...envy envy envy...been to the Las Vegas on 6 times now...love it, obviously...I do adore Bashan's sweetbreads even more than L'Atelier (don't tell anyone).
              Have a great day!

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