Gordon Ramsay status?
My non-foodie in-laws want to go to Gordon Ramsay at the London West Hollywood while on a visit from Texas in November.
This is so not my style of dining, but beyond that I was under the impression that Ramsay -- who is the only reason they would want to go -- wasn't even involved in the restaurant anymore.
I couldn't find any recent posts. Does anyone know what's up with this place and if it's worth a visit for celebrity-stricken Texans? Or, if there's no Ramsay at the Ramsay, if the food makes it worth a visit?
Yep, he had to sell the restaurant back to the hotel to restructure his financially overextended chef's tongs. His involvement however is probably similar to what it was prior to the sale- which means not much at all. Even in the opening weeks Ramsey was barely present.
I agree with Hobbess, there are plenty of other places in LA where you could get a much more satisfying scratch for the celebrity itch.
He was there (although not cooking, just working the crowd) for the one-year anniversary party several months ago, which took place post the restructuring of his assets, but I assume he's only there on ocassions like that.
If they are Top Chef fans, they could check out the Bazaar, where Marcel works, The Gorbals (Ilan Hall's restaurant), Stefan's restaurant, the Farm, or Betty's place, Grub.
What everybody's trying to say is that given how little Ramsay was involved in this endeavor in the first place, its unlikely that you're going to see much change. If you liked the food before, you'll still probably like it. And, if you didn't like the food before, you're still probably not going to like it now.
Andy Cook is still the chef de cuisine, and he was going to have the biggest influence on the food, much more than Gordon Ramsay would have. If you're really concerned about the food, you might as look look up what people said about it before Ramsay sold it.
And, if you're just going for its connection with Gordon Ramsay, it still has his name on the restaurant... I doubt your in-laws will even know that Ramsay sold the place. If your in-laws were expecting to see Ramsay, then they were never going to see him anyways unless it was for some special PR event.
And, according to the article you linked, Ramsay is still connected to the place- he's still responsible for menu development and creative control. Now, that he's sold the place, I doubt Ramsay will do that much.
But, then again, I doubt Ramsay did very much in the first place when he still owned it.
I had dinner there for the first time last night.
They started us with several complementary bites, salmon in a bite sized crispy cone, fried goat cheese in a beet sauce and a parmesean puff. The goat cheese with the beet sauce stood out for me.
This was followed by an amuse bouche of a shot of pumpkin foam with mushrooms. The flavors of this were a bit bland and understated for me. Seemed underseasoned.
The bread was an unremarkable white country loaf and a very remarkable bacon brioche. I dreamt about creating a breakfast sandwich on that brioche, but, that would have meant I didn't eat them all and managed to take some home.
For starters, we had a dandelion greens and sunflower seed salad, which had nice, if somewhat forgettable flavors. This was followed by a fried mushroom risotto. We actually ordered the special risotto of the night, which was a truffle risotto. Thankfully, as we overlooked asking the price, the waiter returned to our table just before placing the order to confirm that we wanted the $100 dish. Personally, $100 is just too much for a starter in my world, so they kindly cancelled that order and offered us the non-truffled risotto that had a much kinder pricetag. It was the cheesiest risotto I've ever had, which is pretty much an endorsement in my world.
One of our dining companions was a vegetarian and they were kind enough to offer her a non-menu-listed plate of roasted vegetables. Unlike so many simple, often dull roasted vegetable plates, this one came with lovely dipping sauces throughout and a very good mix of different items.
Meanwhile, my SO got the pork plate, as it were, which consisted of pork loin, pork belly and "pork head" which was a fried cake of pork head meat. The pork belly got a resounding thumbs up for its delicacy and flavor, the other two items were only ok, lacking in much depth.
Our final companion, who is all around a picky guy got steak, which I have to say, looked absolutely delicious. But I got the feeling that since it didn't come with a side of steak sauce, he wasn't going to find it particularly amazing, if you get my drift. I did steal a bite of the horseradish mashed potatos, big yum.
Even though the plates were small, we were all somewhat full at the end of the meal and didn't want to commit to eating a whole rich dessert, so we skipped that. Nonetheless, I was pretty delighted when they brought us out a complementary plate of vanilla, chocolate and raspberry macarons. It was a perfect end.
All in all, it was a lovely meal, a nice dining experience. Nothing blew me away or left me desperate to go back and have more, but I also can't say I didn't enjoy anything. Oh, and the service was very friendly and attentive, which gives it an overall boost.
Great review, thanks!
I'm curious about a couple of things...
First, how busy was the place in general on a Sunday night?
Second, I've heard that they've changed one of the rooms into a slightly cheaper, more casual space with a separate menu. Did you spot that area by any chance, and if so any details?