by E. B.
December 28, 2003
I read online reviews of the place. The reviews were mixed. I felt a little uneasy, but the food was good, although expensive. All the comments made the patio area sound extraordinary, but it was just nice. Lots of lights made it festive since it was two days after Christmas. There was a papier-mâché monkey hanging from the wooden beams. I thought that we would be able to see the night sky, but the wooden beams blocked all the vision of the sky. The beams were wrapped in vines to look almost like a winery. There was dim lighting to create a romantic atmosphere.
We had a merlot from Frog's Leap that was quite good. I ordered the roasted beet salad, which was very good. I then ordered the marinated lamb, which was very good, too. For dessert I ordered the apple tarte tatin, since others have raved about it online. It was quite ordinary, but I did like my friend's pear tarte, which had better flavor.
The bill came out to over $400 for five people, so it was about $80 per person. I have paid less for better food, so it was definitely on the pricier side. It was very noisy, as others have claimed in reviews. I did have to shout across the table. It would be better for a couple. You can whisper to each other easily, whereas a bigger group has to shout at each other. I think it's worth trying out, but I will not be back. I could have spent less money to eat at a Wolfgang Puck restaurant or even Alice Waters's four-star restaurant, Chez Panisse, where the food was divine, not just good.
Service was good. Others have claimed that the service was terrible, but I suspect that they were not properly dressed for the occasion. This is a restaurant for fine dining. The staff is a bit pretentious, so you must look like you have $100 to drop for dinner. You could have easily spent $200 on a bottle of wine there.
There is valet parking, but I did not bother to park valet. I parked on the street a block away. The streets are metered, so if you have a reservation after 6pm, you can park on the streets.
From journal Los Angeles: Where a Foodie Loves to Dine