Is Craft worth it?
I've recently been hearing mixed reviews about Craft...both food and service, and also about it "not being worth it". We were planning to have dinner there after the theatre this coming Saturday, but are now having second thoughts. Has anyone been there recently? What did you have, and what did you think of the place? Is it worth it...or should we go to someplace for sure dependable like Sona or Melisse?
My husband, adult son and I were there three months ago for our thirtieth wedding anniversary. I found the prices well in line with the other top notch restaurants, the service very pleasant but unobtrusive and the food to be very good - not excellent, but certainly above address. I don't know if we ordered enough because I was not completely sated - always an issue when you order dishes to share for the table. I personally prefer ordering my own meal (OK with sharing dessert or app) but I would definitely go back for another meal there. I'd give it an 8 out of 10.
I went there with in-laws and my husband recently. The food is excellent and the service unbelievably friendly and relaxed. There is indoor and outdoor seating. My sister in law was pregnant and the waiter heard her say she was uncomfortable, and immediately had a pillow brought. We ordered six appetizers, four entrees and two desserts between six people and it was $50 apiece (no drinks, in-laws are teetotalers). I can't remember everything we got. The pig ears--odd choice, we did it to experiment and were glad--were great; the sea bass flavorful and succulent; the short ribs were winy and exceptionally well prepared, absolutely melting. Scallops were perfect. Anything with fish or meat was excellent. Salad was delicious, however not exceptional. They have a terrific variety of ice cream, the desserts we ordered (I remember the peanut butter cup tart) were not up to the standard of the food, but were yummy. You could get the desserts just as well at Alcove for maybe less (maybe the same) price. I highly recommend, especially if you are going to order a variety. Portions are small--you will eat well and not feel stuffed.
It may just be me, but in reading this board (and other reviews) I find more consistent satisfaction for Craft than either Sona or Melisse. If you are concerned about sticker shock but still want to check out the experience, I understand that Craft is now serving a more casual and much less expensive bar menu as well -- I don't know how restricted it is as to location or hours.
To answer my own question...yes, definitely!!
We went to Craft last night for dinner and our impression was one of overall excellence. We came away feeling that Craft may well be the best restaurant in L.A. right now, and if not, it is certainly in the top two or three.
Although we are not hugh fans of the Zagat guides, but their rating system is useful. It gives 30 points for essentially unattainable perfection, and 0 points for the worst imaginable...in three categories, food, service, and ambiance. We would give Craft between 27 and 28 in all three categories. The food was excellent, and unlike another CH's comment that the portions are small, we found them more than adequate. We were served nothing that we didn't think was terrific from octopus, to salad, to fish, to duckling, to sorbets, to an incredible sundae. All was great. The service was warm, unfussy, not at all pretentious, and very polite, fun, knowledgeable and professional. The room is contemporary, but with much warmth. The furnishings are functional, comfortable and beautiul, the lighting close to perfect, and the tables properly spaced.
Overall this is one terrific restaurant. It is not cheap, but we left feeling that we received pretty good value considering the high standard of everything we experienced.