No Morning Coffee Post today, but here’s a roundup of some upscale restaurants in the LA area.
Mozza 2 Go – The LA Times restaurant critic called it the best take out in town, and it certainly was delicious. Not quite as good as in the restaurant, but still excellent. My only gripe is that the hostess was a bit snotty, even after forgetting to give me one of our appetizers. She wasn’t very apologetic as she agreed to credit my card because I didn’t want to return for the item they left out. Funny how you start to get immune to bad service, though – we’ve had issues in the past with restaurants refusing to credit a card for an omitted item, so I was simply relieved at the time that I didn’t have to fight for what’s right. And although we haven’t been impressed by the desserts in the Pizzeria, the Butterscotch Budino gave us a whole new perspective on butterscotch. (I just realized that they never issued the credit . . . grrr!)
Bottega Louie – I’ve been wanting to go to Bottega Louie for months and we finally made it earlier last month for lunch. The food was fantastic, as I expected it would be. The service was spotty at times, but considering the upscale feel and relatively downscale prices, I was more than satisfied. The entrees were on the small side, so it was surprising that the chocolate soufflé cake was so big. But I think it’s supposed to serve 2, which it certainly did – though it could have used a little more vanilla bean sauce.
Bouchon Beverly Hills – One nice thing about Beverly Hills: Unlike the rest of Los Angeles, you can easily find free public parking. And famed chef Thomas Keller’s newest restaurant, Bouchon in Beverly Hills, sits right on top of a free public parking structure. (You can also valet your car. But wouldn’t you rather spend the money on dessert?)
I was quite excited about our lunch date at Bouchon, and had made the reservations a month in advance. I’ve begun to read Ad Hoc at Home,which was one of my holiday gifts, and Carol Blymire’s first blog, French Laundry at Home, has made me familiar with Keller’s food. So I had high expectations. And they were met. The food combinations are unexpected, but work well together – like the crab crepe, which contained a filling of crab, marscapone, tiny chopped carrots, and was garnished with pink pickled onions. As a general rule, I hate onions. But I ate every piece of onion that was served to me at Bouchon. The cutting board of charcuterie came adorned with a line of pickled vegetables – adorable florets of cauliflower, tiny carrots and whole sweet pickles, radish, and more. I’m actually considering learning how to pickle.
The only disappointment – and it wasn’t really a disappointment, my expectations were just so high – was the bread and the dessert. The bread, because it wasn’t anything special – the artisan bread I’ve been baking is just as good. And the dessert, because I ordered the restaurant’s signature bouchons – little chocolate cakes that were just that – little chocolate cakes that were like brownies with a crunchy topping, nothing very special.
Overall, though, the food was good enough to make me put Bouchon on a very short list of fine dining restaurants I’d happily go back to again. (Pizzeria Mozza and Lawry’s being the only other ones.)