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Nov 15, 2009 08:19 PM

Bashan - Tasting menu or a la carte?

Going to Bashan in Glendale for my birthday this coming weekend and would like to get input about the 5-course tasting menu vs ordering a la carte. I read some reviews that indicated that the tasting portions were small (my husband is somewhat of a big eater).


3459 N Verdugo Rd, Glendale, CA 91208

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  1. The portions at Bashan do tend to run on the smaller size -- both a la carte and prix fixe.

    That said, if you do the tasting menu, you're getting 5 courses and while the portions of each 5 course might be smaller than a normal a la carte dish, you're getting more courses so the total amount of food will probably be about the same.

    Don't decide based on food volume. Look at each menu -- a la carte versus tasting menu -- and see which ones appeal to you more.

    3459 N Verdugo Rd, Glendale, CA 91208

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Honestly, I am a pretty big eater and I thought the 5 course was enough food. Definitely get the 5 course va a la carte if you haven't been there before or haven't tried much of their items. The 5 course is a good way to experience their food.

      I was just there last week and have been meaning to write a post.
      Here's my review and a longer one + photos here

      We decided on the 5 course tasting since this was our first time at Bashan and it would allow us to sample most of their dishes. They are pretty accommodating as I listed out all the food that I don't like.

      Amuse bouche
      Shot of cauliflower puree. The cauliflower puree was rich and creamy which was perfect for a chilly night.

      Surprise! Amuse bouche #2, for diners who order the tasting menu.
      Puree of pumpkin soup. A very good dish

      #1. Tahitian squash and roasted garlic ravioli with butter sauce, truffle foam

      #2a Scallops with rice beans, squid, bacon, sherry vinegar
      The scallop was cooked perfectly with a nice sear on top. The rice beans did not have much flavor but I thought it worked really well with the rest of the dish and added a texture to the dish.

      #2b Alaskian halibut, roasted eggplant, hummus, baby artichoke, olive, peppadew pepper stuffed with eggplant
      The stuffed eggplant pepper was interesting and delicious. The halibut itself was OK. I liked the crispy skin but the meat was a tad bit overcooked. The sauce also wasn't anything special.

      #3a Braised Pork belly with daikon, shishito pepper
      The top of the pork belly wasn't as crispy as I had hoped but the meat underneath was very tender and fatty. Yum! I also liked the sauce/marinade which tasted like sweet maple. Overall, very delicious.

      #3b Crispy Veal Sweetbreads with guacamole, crispy shallots, tomato compote and quail egg
      The sweetbreads were cooked perfectly; they were tender not chalky, served warm and you could tell that they were fresh. The breading was lovely: those little morsels were fried crispy and were not soggy.

      #4 Beef two ways
      Hangar steak with house made mole, cippolini onions and figs
      The beef was a good cut of meat and was perfectly cooked- red and buttery.

      Short ribs with chimichurri
      The short ribs were to die for. They were bursting with flavor and melt in your mouth This was one of my favorite dishes but definitely a heavy one..

      #5 Duet of chocolate brioche bread pudding and peanut butter banana sticky toffee cake with toffee sauce, house roasted peanuts.
      My favorite was the toffee cake. I loved the crispy edges which were sweet and crunchy. The bread pudding was very rich, decadent and sweet.

      The service was great, from the warm hello when you first walk in, to the check-ins to see if we needed any more wine or water, and finally for the chef's flexibility with the tasting courses. The food was also paced well. We never had to wait long in between courses.

      Total cost was about $110 per person, including tax and tip for the 5 courses + 3 glasses of wine each. Honestly, I have nothing bad to say about this meal. The food was simple but bursting with flavors. The dishes were well executed and the presentation was lovely. I had a lot of favorite dishes but perhaps my least favorite was the trout. And two amuse bouches? What a pleasant surprise, especially since both were delicious and I wanted to lick off every last drop. The tasting menu is the way to go if it's your first time there because you'll get a flavor of most of the dishes.

    2. I recommend the tasting menu too. I liked the fact that they were flexible in asking us if we had specific likes or dislikes and the Chef prepared our tastings based on that. We wanted to be surprised, but there were a couple of dishes that we thought would not appeal to everyone in our party, so this helped out a lot. It's a lovely place to enjoy a birthday dinner.

      4 Replies
      1. re: terim

        Thanks for all your input! This will be our first time at Bashan, so I'll go with the 5-course tasting. Good to know that they specifically asked about likes/dislikes.

        Stuffycheaks - Great review, I'm really looking forward to our meal.

        3459 N Verdugo Rd, Glendale, CA 91208

        1. re: lileor

          Thanks lileor, have a great time! And since it's a special occasion, maybe cab it and get the wine pairing ;-)

          1. re: stuffycheaks

            Just wanted to report back. We both had the 5-course and it was wonderful. The service was outstanding. We'll probably go back to try the $40 prix fixe during the week.

            We had the following courses. My favorite was the scallop, it was cooked perfectly -- meaty and sweet.

            Amuse #1: Shot of cauliflower soup with red pepper

            Amuse #2: Squash ravioli with some type of foam (can't remember)

            Course #1: New Bedford Scallop with Rice Beans, Piquillo Pepper, Bacon, Squid, Aged Pedro Ximenez Sherry Vinegar

            Course #2: Seared Tasmanian Sea Trout with Roasted Pee Wee Potatoes, Sugar Snap Peas, Chorizo, Mussels

            Course #3: Braised Pork Belly Asian Style with Daikon 2x, Pickled Ginger and Garlic Puree, Charred Shishito Pepper

            Course #4: Steak 2 ways -- Grilled Prime Hanger Steak with Mole, Chayote, Marcona Almond, Cipollini Onion, Caramelized Fig and Braised Short Ribs with Chimichurri

            Course #5: Duet of desserts -- Chocolate Bread Pudding with Chocolate Sauce & Vanilla Ice Cream and Peanut Butter Banana Sticky Toffee Cake

            1. re: lileor

              Thanks for reporting back, and glad you ejoyed it! Hope that was sufficient fodd for your husband