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Oct 9, 2008 02:39 PM

Charlie Palmer's: Ouch, Scathing SIV Review

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    Sadly, Ms. Virbila echoes my sentiments exactly.

    I dined there shortly after the place opened:

    It was a letdown, but I kept hoping that the restaurant would improve with age. After reading this review, it doesn't appear that that's the case. Sad really, as I had high hopes for Charlie.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kevin h

      Totally concur. What a beautiful place but the food needs adjusting.

    2. so the ocregister also posted a review on the same day as the latimes review...

      and its basically the complete opposite. ive only had the charcuterie plate, pblt sliders, and 3 different desserts (im a poor culinary student). the sliders was the only item i was underwhelmed by (still tasty, but way too rich).

      3 Replies
      1. re: commisKevin

        Funny you mention the sliders, as I've heard that they're some of the best things to order at the restaurant! I was considering going back just to try them.

        What was your impression overall? As a culinary student, I'd like to hear your take.

        1. re: commisKevin

          i can really only comment on the few items i tried. i thought the charcuterie plate was awesome... in terms of variety, quality, and even quantity (i was full from it). the pâté, rillettes, salamis, prociutto, lomo, chorizo were all good and not too salty like the latimes review said. i'd take this plate over marché moderne's charcuterie in terms of value (but the goose leg prosciutto at mm is a revelation). i kinda wish they did a dessert tasting menu, because all 3 desserts i've had were excellent. really great balances of salty and sweet, and multiple textures and temperatures on the same plates. sliders were as good as sliders can be.

          as a student, i probably couldn't justify paying for the entrees considering the small portions, lack of side dishes, and emphasis on getting wine. another student and i are saving up to try the more elaborate tasting menu at marché moderne.

          1. re: commisKevin

            I have to agree with SIV about the charcuterie. I appreciate the amount offered, and the variety, but the flavors were a bit too heavy handed for me. The desserts, on the other hand, were some of the strongest dishes of the meal. I thought Marché Moderne was better, but we'll see what you think.

        2. I went once - I didn't necessarily have a bad meal. In fact, I thought dessert was a highlight. I was also impressed by the wine list, especially the wines by the glass. But these are Lamborghini/Rolls Royce prices for mid-size sedan level food. Just not a good value, unless you are already burning money at the Bloomingdales next door. BTW, the Orange County Register review - which came out the day after the L.A. Times review - gave CP@B 5 stars!! Maybe the truth is somehwere in between? If so, it's still not worth the money.

          1. Odd writing style for that review. I'm very sorry to see her negative reaction. This year over in Vegas I've been to Charlie Palmer Steak a couple of times, as well as to Aureole, once. I liked Aureole and thought CPS far better than other steak places there -- 99% of infinitely better than noisy, unattractive, and overpriced steakhouse-of-the-moment Cut/Vegas.

            The CPS beef is delicious in an old-fashioned way with a taste that engages, rather than overwhelms or bores, the eater. I was dining solo last time, and the waiter offered two half sides of my choice for the price of one (very large) full side. These accompaniments are excellent, and the kitchen can be accommodating. For example, the menu lists sauteed spinach, but I wanted spinach au gratin. They willingly complied with my request, bringing out one of the best versions of the dish I've ever had. The foie gras terrine was also outstanding as an appetizer, especially when accompanied by the excellent glass of German riesling on their list. Keep in mind, however, that especially in Vegas, restaurant enjoyment can depend strongly on the boorishness of chance clientele.

            Back in Orange County, I was looking forward to the new Charlie Palmer, but with these initial negative reactions, I'll probably wait another few months before giving it a try. I want to believe they can find a way to solve the problems.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sbritchky

              thanks for the headsup on CPS

              I might hit that up instead of CUT vegas