DineLA - Gordon Ramsay
Gordon Ramsay was offering their menu for $44 pp plus we opted for the wine pairing at $22pp.
First of all, the restaurant is at the newly renovated London Hotel in West Hollywood. The space was beautifully done and the hotel looked great. There were 3 choices for each course. They did offer an amuse bouche as well as a pre dessert course which a lot of other restaurants participating in DineLA don't.
They started our meal off w/ a steamed bamboo and shitake mushroom chawanmushi. This had a nutty flavor and almost like a flan texture. A pretty good way to start off a meal.
I opted for the rabbit and smoked bacon ballottine as my appetizer. I've never tried rabbit before but we all know bacon makes everything taste good. I didn't expect the meat to be served cold. It wasn't gamy at all, and kind of tasted like a cold pork dish with a hint of chicken meat. Better than it sounds.
My gf got the confit beet salad w/ ricotta cheese and beetroot dressing. I've had similar beet salads done with mozzarella or burrata cheese before. I don't think the creamy texture of the ricotta cheese worked too well. It also lacked flavor and was very bland. Could have used some salt.
For the main course, i got the braised ox cheek w/ port wine and horseradish creamed potatoes. The meat was very tender and flavorful and the horseradish flavor in the potato complimented the richness of the meat really well.
Gf got a crispy sea trout with white cabbage and pickled ginger. Call me stupid but i never knew sea trout was an orange/pink fish much like a salmon. This dish was very well executed. The saltiness and crispiness of the skin gave great texture and flavor to the fish. I really enjoyed it.
Next came the pre dessert. It was basically a trio of orange flavors in a shot glass. Orange sorbet, puree, and shaved ice or something. It was meh.
For dessert, i got a roasted banana parfait with lime sherbet and vanilla creme beignet. The parfait was very smooth, almost bread pudding like.
GF got chocolate savarin with malted milk emulsion and salted caramel ice cream. The presentation on this dish was amazing as were the flavors. this dish was definitely the winner between the desserts.
The wine pairings were very average at best. I don't remember all the wines served but I wasn't too thrilled with the choices.
Overall, the food was pretty good. The restaurant was beautiful. The service on the other hand left something to be desired. Our waiter was clearly not very knowledgeable about food or wine. I had asked at the beginning that we dont' like dessert wines w/ our dessert and wanted to substitute it for some type of blanc and he seemed genuinely confused. When it came time for our dessert course, sure enough, the sommelier came w/ a bottle of a dessert wine, so i had to stop him and tell him what i wanted. The pacing of the dinner was also really slow. Sometimes, we waited up to what seemed like 15 min between courses.
Total came out to $170 with tip, which i felt like it was a good deal. We probably saved about $25 by doing the DineLA menu. Not a huge discount but it was a good reason to try out some new restaurants.
A friend and I went there last night for the Dine LA menu. Food was excellent - I got the mushroom velouté to start, followed by the trout and then the panna cotta, while she ordered the rabbit/bacon ballotin, risotto, and the roasted banana parfait. Receiving also the amuse and "predessert" items was a nice touch. There are no complaints about the food - everything was executed very well, and I'd return for the food.
Well, I'd return for the food if the service was better. We found service to be deplorable. I ordered the wine pairing; my friend did not. Yet they kept bringing out the pairings for her, and we had to continually correct them and tell them that it was I who had ordered the pairings, not her. I didn't receive my first pairing until I had finished my appetizer due to their confusion, so they nicely poured me a glass to go with my pre-dessert. After this initial hitch, where my wine came late, they thereafter would pour my pairing (of course, after first mistakenly pouring wine for my friend each and every time) as soon as the plates from the previous course were cleared - but we experienced the same wait between courses as the OP did, except ours were more like 20 minutes. Why was the wine poured so early? So the whites could warm up to room temperature? So I'd finish the red before the course even came? So the bubbles in the moscato d'asti could disappear? In fact, at least 35 minutes passed between the entrée and predessert, and we probably would've waited longer had my friend not flagged a waiter down to tell him we'd been waiting. People who were seated 40 minutes after us still left earlier than we did.
I am not usually a complainer, since I know that there are blips in good service. Last night, however, it was ridiculous and really took away from our enjoyment of the meal itself, which was a pity because the food itself was quite good.
Went for lunch. It's the same menu as dinner, but desserts are different. Had the mushroom veloute, a little too rich and creamy for me. Never thought I'd say that. The braised ox cheek with horseradish mashed potatoes was terrific. Great flavors. So was the Valrhona chocolate fondant. No problems with the service. But the decor... what were they thinking???
I am happy to report back that I had a fantastic dineLA experience at Gordon Ramsay (and yes, I confirmed that the correct spelling is "Ramsay").
There were six in our group, and we were seated in a little corner room with a great view out to the Pacific Design Center. We found the service extremely friendly and very well executed. When it was time for a new course, our main server and three others swooped in and placed our plates in front of us at the same time. Impressive! Three of the group ordered wine pairings, and they were served timely as well. The descriptions of the wines were a little hard to catch, but that might be my only complaint.
As for the food: Everything was quite inventive and served beautifully. We were all intrigued by the first mini-course (can't really explain it) because none of us ever tasted anything like that before.
My beet salad was a work of art. (I didn't care so much for the ricotta, but the beets were cooked perfectly.) My boyfriend enjoyed the rabbit and bacon-- can't go wrong serving bacon to my man-- and the mushroom veloute, I discovered, was a rich cream of mushroom soup.
My boyfriend had the ox cheek, which was so flavorful and could be pulled apart with your fork. A fatty cut of meat but delicious. It went very well with the Jerusalem Artichoke risotto that I ordered. In fact, a plate of half risotto and half ox cheek could have been the perfect dinner. I did not taste the sea trout, but it looked quite nice too.
Possibly my favorite component of the meal was the little pre-dessert in a glass. Orange granita, over a rose water-flavored cream, over fresh cara cara orange slices in juice. I don't usually like rose water, but together with the oranges and the cream texture it was a delicious little bite.
For dessert, four of us ordered the chocolate savarin, which turned out to be rather like a flan. I didn't love that, though I did love the salted caramel ice cream accompaniment. Two of our group ordered the quince panna cotta-- wow was that presented beautifully. I think maybe I should have requested the roasted banana instead of the chocolate. Next time, I suppose!
In all, it was a wonderful meal, full of delicious flavors. I felt the food and service were up to Gordon Ramsay standards. And I think in this case, the dineLA menu was quite a good deal.
Avivale - I had a similar wonderful experience last night as well. Service was flawless. I took your advice and split the risotto and ox cheek. What a great combination. The appetizers were not my favorite but the bacon rosemary bread held me over. I had a very nice experience and was happy I was able to experience Gordon Ramsey.
My friend and I went out to Gordon Ramsey last Friday. We didn't have any of the service problems that people seem to have had, but we also didn't order wine. I really enjoyed my time at the restaurant though. I felt like they really took care of us even though we weren't ordering a la carte. Also, the extra dishes were a nice touch.
I liked the chawanmushi, but some of the shiitakes tasted old, just a quibble, it really was delicious.
My friend got the rabbit ballotine; I got the mushroom veloute which had a short rib in it. I couldn't really taste the short rib, though I found it after a bit of searching. I really really liked this soup. It is rich for sure, but the flavors are so strong and well-defined. I tasted the ballotine and it was ... interesting? I didn't really eat enough to have any kind of impression.
My friend got the trout (it is tasmanian). I thought it was odd that the skin was crunchy but didn't break easily. It tasted good though. I dunno why. I got the ox cheek. I actually found the ox cheek to be rather tasteless. Texture was right, but I felt like the meat was accompanying the potatoes? (I forget what that puree was).
Pre-dessert was tasty. I suppose you could call it a cara-cara orange parfait. Too sweet to be a palate cleanser but it was a nice break in terms of textures and temperatures.
Dessert was tasty. He got the banana thingy; I got the quince pannacotta. What was odd about this dish was that (I think) it was quince jam covered by a layer of pannacotta. The pannacotta wasn't infused with quince or anything (as far as I could tell). It also came with a financier that I don't think the description mentioned. Banana is banana. I'm not a huge fan in any case though it came with a mini donut that I wanted to taste but didn't.
Also, slight disclaimer: I was kind of sick when I ate here. I could smell, but my tastebuds were still a little off.
Portion wise: things weren't particularly tiny or huge. I thought the portions were all right. I was kind of dying while eating the ox cheek (large portion and tasteless) and was fairly full, but my friend was definitely still hungry after the meal. yeah, ok I went home and ate something too after the dinner. but both of us have pretty healthy appetites. comes with the genes.
(It seemed like the font of my post was ginormous. sorry. i don't know why)