Monday, November 9, 2009

Thanks Dine LA! (Spago, Beverly Hills)

The fine dining train keeps on rolling! When can you get a three course meal for $44 at Spago? Got to love Dine LA! If it wasn't for L.A's restaurant week, I don't think we would have gone to Spago's. I guess we would have for a special occasion one day, but to go for no reason, it would have never happened. It was probably the best deal out of the 200+ participating restaurants.

Again. we made the earliest reservation time available because of "baby gohan". When we arrived they were still setting up tables :) That's how early our dinner reservations were. When we were seated at the outside dining area, we were a little skeptical because some leaves were falling from the trees onto our table, but as the night went on the breezes calmed down and the falling leaves were in the past. The night had turned out to be very pleasant. I have to say....the outside dining area is absolutely beautiful and romantic. We really enjoyed the atmosphere. We were a little concerned that Spago might be a little snooty, but to our delight that was not the case at all. It was the same experience at the Spago's in Maui. The staff was excellent and the restaurant was very inviting. All in all, we had a very enjoyable evening out. Thanks to Dine LA :)

Heirloom Tomato Soup
"Mrs. Gohan's" sister ordered this starter on the recommendation of our waiter. I'm not a tomato person at all, but I have to say that this had a very clean flavor and finish to it. I really enjoyed it and I'm glad someone ordered it so I could try some :) I enjoy trying different dishes, I just have a hard time ordering stuff I'm not accustomed to ordering for myself. That's where other people come in handy. lol

Crispy Monterey Bay Calamari
Yet, here is another example of me being happy that someone ordered this dish. This was "Mrs. Gohan's" appetizer. I would never order this for myself as I am not much of a seafood person, but I'm sure glad I ate some. This was the best appetizer that our table ordered for sure. It was delicious!

Maine Lobster & Spinach Ravioli
This was my order. The Maine Lobster & spinach ravioli. I have to say this was my least favorite of the appetizers. It sounded very good, but it didn't live up to my expectations. It wasn't very flavorful and I didn't get the taste of too much lobster :(

Sweet Corn Agnolotti
This was what they called a mid course. This was my favorite of the night! This was the supplemental dish that we ordered. And boy...was it worth it! The texture of the Agnolotti was just right. The sweetness of the corn was balanced perfectly with the saltiness of the Parmesan Reggiano and was tied together with the butter sauce. This was excellent!

This was probably my least favorite entree of the night. I thought the halibut was a tad bit on the dry side and a little tough. The mushrooms and pancetta with the foam, however, were quite tasty and yummy.

Kurobuta Pork Chop
The Kurobuta Pork Chop with pear-ginger compote, stir fried green beans and confit pork, Chinese 10 spice and port-licorice reduction was quite delicious. The Kurobuta (Berkshire Pork) was perfectly cooked and seasoned.

Wood Oven Roasted Poussin
The Poussin (young chicken) was prepared with caramelized garlic and preserved lemons and served with fingerling potatoes. The skin of the Poussin was very crispy and the meat was very juicy and flavorful. It was one of the best prepared "chicken" dishes I've ever had!

Apple Upside Down Cake
I really enjoyed this dessert. I thought it was one of the best apple desserts I've tried. It was nice and flaky and the apples were not too tart or sweet. It was very delicious.

Chocolate Purse
The chocolate purse was comprised of a crepe filled with a chocolate ganache. The top portion of the crepe was crispy which added a nice contrast in texture with the smooth velvety ganache. This was very rich and decadent.....and oh yes, it was very good!

Berry Short Cake
Although I'm a chocolate lover, I think this was my favorite dessert of the night. Maybe I'm being biased since this was my order :) Although, I find myself enjoying the non chocolate desserts more often than not recently. hmmm.....maybe my palate is changing. Anyways, this dessert was very refreshing yet very satisfying. It even had golden raspberries, which were a treat. They were very good!

Spago Beverly Hills
176 North Canon Dr.
Beverly Hills, California 90210

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy 3rd Anniversary! (Craft Los Angeles, Los Angeles)

Me and Mrs have been on a real roll recently. After "baby gohan" came along, the meaning of dining out to us was going to places like Carrows or IHOP :) But, recently we've been going out to eat at a lot of really nice restaurants. Luckily we had a gift certificate for Craft and what better time to use it and celebrate our 3rd Anniversary. I have to say, that might have been one of the cheapest fine dining experiences I've had in a long long time :) Needless to say, we both were very excited about going. We've wanted to eat here ever since Tom Colicchio opened his restaurant here in Los Angeles, but it almost didn't happen. "Mrs. Gohan" was sick the whole week, but luckily she recovered in the nick of time.

As we approached the restaurant, the appearance from the outside really didn't have that much appeal or character. As soon as we entered, we knew it was a different story. I was pleasantly surprised by the decor and atmosphere of Craft. The colors were warm and inviting but yet had a real contemporary feel. The shape of the dining area was very unique as well. Well, enough of that......On with the food :)

Shishito Peppers
These were some of the biggest shishito peppers I have ever seen! These were nicely seasoned and sauteed. Nothing too special about them. Pretty straight forward

Potato Gratin
The potato gratin was the second side dish we ordered. Too bad they didn't have gohan (rice). LOL. Again the potatoes were nothing mind blowing, but I have to say it was very creamy and good!

Kobe Sirloin
I just had expressed to the Mrs. that online menus have in some capacity diminished the surprise element of going to new restaurants. But at the same time, it does come in handy as well :) Having said that, when we made reservations, we had our minds made up to order the ribeye for the table. After arriving, we were informed that a special item was on the menu. The Kobe Sirloin steak for the table. We jumped at the opportunity. Although it was very tasty and PERFECTLY cooked, I think we should've stuck to our original plans since our favorite cut of meat is the ribeye. But having said that, it was very good. What would have made it better? Rice of course!

Grapefruit Gelee with Prickly Pear
I was not used to having complimentary desserts from the pastry chef. In fact we got two desserts compliments of the house. I only took a picture of this one though. This was a grapefruit gelee with prickly pear. It was very delicious and refreshing.

Chocolate Souffle
I am the biggest fan of chocolate souffles! I basically grew up eating chocolate souffles and that has not changed one bit. Craft's souffle was very light and scrumptious. On a scale from 1-10, I'd probably give it a 7. Nothing beats the one at Moustache Cafe! Sadly it's no longer around :(

Craft Los Angeles
10100 Constellation Blvd
Los Angeles, CA. 90067