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Dinner at Chez Kristof on June 24, 2008

June 14th, 2017 by philippe · No Comments

Chez Kristof

Chez Kristof
111 Hammersmith Grove
London, W6 0NQ
UK

+44 (0) 208 741 1177
www.chezkristof.co.uk

French cuisine

Restaurant: 3/5

Chez Kristof is located in Hammersmith, in London west side. The restaurant has a very nice cozy decor and is very comfortable.

Chez Kristof

Service: 3.5/5

Service was excellent. Our waitress not only made genuine efforts to please us but was able to recommend a bottle of wine which was not only reasonably priced but truly excellent.

Food: 2.5/5

I started with the Bagna Cauda (that literally translate to hot bath). The Bagna Cauda is a hot anchovy and garlic dip served with raw vegetables. The anchovies in the dip were not too salty and didn’t overpower the dish. It was both good and original.

Chez Kristof - Bagna Cauda

Chez Kristof - Bagna Cauda

As main course, I had the Corsican braised rabbit. The rabbit, served with a lemon sauce, carrots and a side of spatzle dumplings was truly excellent. It was perfectly executed. The spatzle dumplings, soft and tasty, were as good as the rabbit.

Chez Kristof - Rabbit

Chez Kristof - Spatzle

For dessert, I had the profiteroles. While the profiteroles were prepared as they should (vanilla ice cream stuffed pastries covered with hot chocolate sauce) they were the disappointment of the meal. The pastries were hard and neither the vanilla ice cream or the chocolate sauce was excellent.

Chez Kristof - Profiteroles

Value for money: 3/5

Around $100, including drinks (mineral water, a bottle of red wine shared between the 5 of us and coffee) and tip. Considering the location (London is very expensive), the restaurant, the service and the current exchange rate (close to 2 dollars for a pound at the moment), Chez Kristof definitely offers good value for money. I will come back.

→ No CommentsTags: London · United Kingdom

Lunch at Wagamama on June 24, 2008

June 13th, 2017 by philippe · Comments Off on Lunch at Wagamama on June 24, 2008

Wagamama

Wagamama
30 Kensington Street
Brighton, BN1 4AJ
UK

+44 (0) 127 368 8892
www.wagamama.com

Japanese Cuisine / Ramen Bar

Restaurant: 2/5

Wagamama is located in the heart of Brighton, on the British south coast. While they did make an effort to create the decor, it feel more like a cafeteria than a restaurant. The comfort is minimum as the emphasis is on practicality.

Service: 2/5

Service was relatively good. While our waiter made some efforts, he was very busy as he was catering to a large number of tables. They certainly could do with a bit more staff.

Food: 2.5/5

I ordered an Ebi Raisukaree which is a Japanese style rice dish. It is stir-fried black tiger prawns served on rice with a curry sauce and garnished with ginger, galangal, chilies, coriander, red peppers, green peppers, spring onions, mangetout and lime. The presentation was very good and the taste of the dish was very well balanced. One note: I would have preferred the curry sauce to be a bit thicker. That would make the dish easier to eat as the rice quickly goes apart in the sauce.

Wagamama - Ebi Raisukaree

Aside the Ebi Raisukaree, I ordered a fruit juice which is a fruit cocktail composed of apple, orange and passion fruit. While it is very good, the orange juice dominate the mix and hide both the apple juice and the passion fruit juice.

Wagamama - Fruit Juice

Value for money: 3/5

Around $30, including drinks (fruit juice) and tip. Considering the food and the current exchange rate (nearly 2 dollars for 1 pound), Wagamama offers good value for money. I will come back.

Comments Off on Lunch at Wagamama on June 24, 2008Tags: Brighton · United Kingdom

Lunch at Saddle Peak Lodge on June 15, 2008

June 12th, 2017 by philippe · Comments Off on Lunch at Saddle Peak Lodge on June 15, 2008

Saddle Peak Lodge

Saddle Peak Lodge
419 Cold Canyon Road
Calabasas, CA 91302
USA

+1 (818) 222-3888
www.saddlepeaklodge.com

American Cuisine, Wild Game

Restaurant: 4/5

Saddle Peak Lodge is located in Calabasas, in the middle of the hills not far from Malibu. The restaurant has a very nice hunting lodge decor and is very comfortable. They have very affordable valet parking in front of the restaurant ($3.5 plus tip).

Service: 3.5/5

Service was very good. Our waiters made genuine efforts to please us. They moved the table to make us more comfortable and were kind to accomodate while we were waiting for the other guests to arrive (about 45mns, you should know that you can’t predict traffic in Los Angeles).

Food: 3/5

I started with the chilled heirloom tomato gaspacho. The gaspacho was served with cilantro and cucumber slaw. The texture was extremely smooth and the taste was perfect. It was an excellent interpretation of the classic recipe.

Saddle Peak Lodge Gaspacho

As main course, I had the roast beef sandwich. The roast beef (prime angus) sandwich was served open face with caramelized onions, tomatoes, watercress, arugula, lemon rosemary aioli and sweet potato fries. The beef, very tender and well complemented by the onions, was extremely tasty. The fries, perfectly cooked (crispy outside and tender inside without being oily), were a good complement. While the dish itself is not very original, it was very well excuted and had a nice twist.

Saddle Peak Lodge Roast Beef Sandwich

For dessert, I had the Cappuccino style coffee creme brulee with home made biscotti. I am a big fan of creme brulee and this one was a bit disappointing. The top of the creme was not properly carmelized and the biscotti was not dry enough to be crackling as it should. Fortunatly, while it was more on the chocolate than the cappucino side, the overall taste was excellent.

Saddle Peak Lodge Creme Brulee

Value for money: 3.5/5

Around $90, including drinks (mimosa, a bottle of white wine shared between the 5 of us and coffee) and tip. Considering the restaurant, considering the service and considering that it was father’s day (Celebrations are always more expensive), Saddle Peak Lodge definitly offers good value for money. I will go back.

Comments Off on Lunch at Saddle Peak Lodge on June 15, 2008Tags: Calabasas · California · Los Angeles · United States

Dinner at Vermont on June 10, 2008

June 11th, 2017 by philippe · No Comments

Vermont

Vermont
1714 North Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027
USA

+1 (323) 661-6163
www.vermontrestaurantonline.com

Comtemporary American Cuisine

Restaurant: 2.5/5

Vermont is located in the Los Feliz, between Hollywood and Glendale. The restaurant has a nice spanish classical decor and is fairly comfortable. The lighting is particularly nice late in the evening, so don’t go there too early. As parking is difficult in the area, you may want to use their valet parking located behind the restaurant at a cost of about $6.

Service: 2.5/5

Service was good but not remarkable. Our waiter made some efforts to please us.

Food: 2/5

The bread selection, served with a pesto sauce, was good but again, not remarkable.

Vermont - Bread

As main course, I had the oxtail. The oxtail was served with baby spinach and carots. While the oxtail was very tasty, there wasn’t much meat in the pieces and they could have been prepared a bit better.

Vermont - Oxtail

For dessert, I had the apple tart. The apple tart, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream was very good. Between the apples and the crust, they use a layer of almond paste that work very well.

Vermont - Apple Tart

Value for money: 2/5

Around $60, including drinks (lemonade, a glass of red wine and coffee) and tip. Vermont is not a particularly good value for money. Considering the restaurant, the food and the service, you can definitly find better places in Los Feliz.

→ No CommentsTags: California · Los Angeles · United States

Dinner at The Tower Bar on April 1, 2008

June 10th, 2017 by philippe · No Comments

The Tower Bar
Sunset Tower Hotel
8358 Sunset boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069
USA

+1 (323) 654-7100
www.sunsettowerhotel.com

Hip Bistro Cuisine

Restaurant: 3/5

The Tower Bar is located in the heart of West Hollywood on Sunset boulevard. The restaurant has a nice cozy classical decor with his wood paneling and is relatively comfortable. The view of Los Angeles is particularly impressive. You will have to use the valet parking at a cost of $14.

Service: 0.5/5

Service was poor. It seems that every person we talked with had better things to do and that we were really bothering them with our outrageous demands like having some bread (we had to ask three time only to get lavash bread as they didn’t had anything else left).

Food: 1/5

I was really surprised by the menu which is very simple and bistro like for that kind of establishment, especially at that kind of price.

For starter, we shared a grilled artichoke. The artichoke, accompanied with salad and mayonnaise, was very good. It would have been nice to get a full artichoke as only half was served.

As main course, I had the lobster Cobb salad. The salad was good but had nothing special. I had the opportunity to taste the truffle and caviar omelet. The omelet was good. The caviar served generously was relatively good and a good complement to the eggs but the truffles (probably cheap canned truffles) were absolutely tasteless. While I was extremely disappointed by the truffles, the salad served with the omelet was very good with just the right amount of dressing.

For dessert, we shared a bread pudding and a glass of port. The bread pudding was very good and certainly the best part of the meal.

Value for money:1/5

Around $90, including drinks (sparkling water, glass of champagne and coffee) and tip. The Tower Bar is a very poor value for money. Considering the food and the service, you are better of going to Le Petit Four a bit further west on Sunset. Because of the view, I may come back for a drink but certainly not for dinner.

→ No CommentsTags: California · Los Angeles · United States · West Hollywood

Dinner at The Little Door on March 29, 2008

June 9th, 2017 by philippe · No Comments

The Little Door
8164 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
USA

+1 (323) 951-1210
www.thelittledoor.com

French Cuisine with a Mediteranean flair

Restaurant: 3/5

The Little Door is located on 3rd street between the Beverly Center and The Grove. The restaurant has a very nice French provencal decor and is relatively comfortable. It is a very hip place with, of course, a very hip clientele (the usual crowd of models, celebrities, etc…). You probably will have to use the valet parking as parking is difficult to find around there.

Service: 3/5

Despite having a reservation, we had to wait about 20 minutes for our table. Apart from that, the service was excellent and our waiter made genuine efforts to please us.

Food: 2.5/5

To start, we shared the seared foie gras and the meze. The meze was good with a low point of a very dry fallafel. The foie gras, served on French toast was truly excellent.

As main course, we shared the osso buco, the chicken tagine and the sea bass. Everything was good but nothing was exceptional: The osso buco cream sauce was good but the meat was a bit too fatty. The chicken was good but the coucous was swimming in the tagine. The sea bass was a bit too dry.

I didn’t order any dessert but I had the opportunity to taste the ice cream (honey, pistachio and vanilla). Again, the ice cream was good but wasn’t exceptional.

Value for money:2/5

Around $90, including drinks (sparkling water, a glass of wine and coffee) and tip. The decor, the food and the service are good but The Little Door is expensive if not overpriced (there is a minimum of $35 per person for dinner). Still, I may come back as the place is charming and the crowd interesting.

→ No CommentsTags: California · Los Angeles · United States

Lunch at Purple Fusion on February 29, 2008

June 8th, 2017 by philippe · Comments Off on Lunch at Purple Fusion on February 29, 2008

Purple Fusion

Purple Fusion
The Promenade at Howard Hughes Center
6081 Center Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90045
USA

+1 (310) 568-9736

Chinese Cuisine

Restaurant: 3/5

Purple Fusion is located on the upper deck on at The Promenade at Howard Hughes Center just at the edge of Culver City. This unassuming mixed-bag of shops and quick-bite eats has been my happy lunch-hour provider for the last four years. So it’s a joy when somewhere new opens, especially if they bring the promise of well prepared food you might want to eat on a regular basis.

Service: 4/5

Very friendly, if a little chaotic as they get started. Don’t expect expensive utensils or fancy surroundings. They’ve just opened, and the spartan feel presents a fresh startup feel that has plenty of potential. The service is a little disorganized, but again, they’re finding their feet.I would imagine they’ll tweak things around a little in the coming weeks and months.

Food: 3.5/5 – Based on dim sum menu

It’s rather interesting that it’s pitched as a “fusion” restaurant, as there are really two halves to the menu. The unusual mix of Asian and western food blended (as seems to be all the rage), but also a wonderful little dim sum menu that stays true to its roots. I chose to skip the fusion, and go for the dim sum. Out of interest, I was interested in the reaction of a Malaysian co-worker who knows a thing or two about growing up with Chinese food.

The dim sum menu is short and sweet, around 12 simple dim sum dishes are available, ranging from pork rolls, shrimp dumplings, turnip cake, ribs with black bean sauce, and other dinky little dishes that go down easy. If you’re not careful, you’ll have ordered four or five dishes before you know it, and be nicely satisfied. If you’ve ever lived near a big-city Chinatown (such as LA or Chicago), you’ll know the craving for dim sum never leaves after you’ve had it once!Like all good dim sum, it’s not meant to be anything special, but the joy here is that it’s wonderfully fresh and tasty, made by a friendly family who’ve been in the business for three generations.

I’m reserving judgment on their various curry dishes and eclectic fusion menu until I’ve had a chance to dive in. But for now, I heartily recommend a 30 minute stop at Purple Fusion if you want just enough to fill you up, but don’t come away feeling stuffed stupid.

The mango lemonade is interesting too.

Purple Fusion - Lotus Leaf Rice 1

Purple Fusion - Lotus Leaf Rice 2

Purple Fusion - Spring Rolls

Purple Fusion - Shrimp Dumpling

Purple Fusion - Shrimp Rolls

Purple Fusion - Pork

Purple Fusion - Pork Buns

Comments Off on Lunch at Purple Fusion on February 29, 2008Tags: California · Los Angeles · United States

Dinner at Massimo on January 27, 2008

June 7th, 2017 by philippe · No Comments

Massimo
9513 Santa Monica Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
USA

+1 (310) 273-7588
www.massimobh.com

Italian Cuisine

Restaurant: 3/5

Massimo is located in the heart of Beverly Hills. The restaurant has a nice cozy classical decor and is comfortable. If parking on the street is the problem (usually it is), try one of the Beverly Hills city public parking.

Service: 2.5/5

Service was good. Our waiters spilled some wine and some soup but I will attribute that to the moon as they were very professional and made genuine efforts to please us.

Food: 3.5/5

I started with the minestrone. The minestrone, prepared with fresh vegetables was excellent. While I had to add salt, the vegetable were perfect cooked and the broth was really flavorful.

As main course, I had the Gnocchi Verdi, one of Massimo’s signature dish. The gnocchi, served with a porcini mushroom sauce, are made with spinach and ricotta. They are surprisingly light. Absolutely delicious and definitely some of the best gnocchi I’ve had.

For desert, I had the special which was a dark chocolate custard. The custard was served with a decoration of raspberries and mint. It was very good.

Value for money:4/5

Around $60, including drinks (sparkling water, wine and coffee) and tip. While $60 is a lot of money, the location, the athmosphere and the food make Massimo a very good value for money. I will certainly come back.

→ No CommentsTags: Beverly Hills · California · United States

Lunch at Du-par’s on January 1, 2008

June 6th, 2017 by philippe · No Comments

Du-par’s

Du-par’s
6333 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90036
USA

+1 (323) 933-8446
www.dupars.com

Diner

Restaurant: 2/5

Du-par’s is located in the very popular farmer’s market of West Hollywood, at the corner of Third and Fairfax. The restaurant, renovated in 2006, has a typical diner decor and is relatively comfortable. The patio is very nice and I highly recommend to get a table there if the weather is clement enough. Du-par’s is conveniently open 24 hours a day.

Service: 2/5

Service was good but definitely slow. It’s a very popular and crowded place. They definitely could do with a bit more staff.

Food: 2.5/5

I had a very typical diner dish: the meat-loaf sandwich. The meat-loaf sandwich is served as an open sandwich with mash potatoes and mushroom gravy. The both the meat-loaf and the mash potatoes were very good. The mushroom gravy works very well with the meat-loaf. One regret, the meat-loaf was a bit cold.

Du-par’s - Meatloaf Sandwich

Value for money:2/5

Around $20, including drinks (orange juice and coffee) and tip. Du-par’s is a bit expensive considering the quality of the food and the service but it’s a Los Angeles institution with a good location and a nice atmosphere, so I will certainly come back.

→ No CommentsTags: California · Los Angeles · United States

Lunch at The Ivy on December 1, 2007

June 5th, 2017 by philippe · No Comments

The Ivy

The Ivy
113 N Robertson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048
USA

+1 (310) 274-8303

New American cuisine

Restaurant: 3/5

The Ivy is located in the heart of West Hollywood. The restaurant is comfortable and has a nice shabby chic decor. The patio is very nice and definitely the place to be. If you can get a table on the patio (I had to push), you will rubbing shoulder with the Hollywood crowd. It’s the place for power lunches and paparazzi. Because of the celebrity clientele, I didn’t take pictures of the food as I usually do. Parking in the area is difficult. Think about using the valet parking if you have a nice car or as default use the public parking structure a bit lower on Robertson.

Service: 4/5

Passed the maître d’hôtel who tried to put us in the back of the restaurant, the service was fantastic, prompt and professional.

Food: 3.5/5

I started with the daily special, the italian seafood soup. Served in a small bowl, the soup made with salmon, cod, squid, muscles and clams in broth was terrific. Simple but delicious.

As main course, I ordered the spinach and ricotta raviolis, served with a basil and tomato sauce. Obviously homemade, the raviolis were very good. I would have preferred a bit more ricotta in the raviolis but it’s a minor detail on a very well executed dish.

As desert, I had the tarte tatin. The tart was terrific. Certainly one of the best I had. The apples were perfectly cooked and really flavorful.

Value for money:2.5/5

Around $90, including drinks (champagne cocktail, still water, capucino and espresso) and tip. The Ivy is an expensive place but considering the food (simple but perfectly executed), the location and the beautiful people crowd, I will certainly come back.

→ No CommentsTags: California · Los Angeles · United States