Thursday, January 31, 2008

DineLA: Grace...and majesty.

7360 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Dinner: Tues- Thurs 6:00PM - 10:30PM
Fri- Sat: 6PM - 11PM
Bar open until 1AM
Sun: 6PM - 10PM
(323) 934-4400

Being that this is my first post on Grace (which is a shame since it happens to be one of my favorite LA restaurants hands down) I will get in a fair share of my thoughts. Ever since watching Iron Chef a while ago and really started getting into how creative food could be I started paying attention to the chefs who would compete against them. Sometimes on rare occasions the competitor won. One such winner was Neal Fraser of Grace and BLD fame.

This time around, he was one of the participants and not to mention champion voices of DineLA's restaurant week. We showed up (late may I add by a lot but they were kind enough to hold it for us) and sat down amongst the celebrities and powerful who were amongst the people who were checking it out on the cheap for DineLA. If you haven't been inside Grace, let me just say in short that it typifies what fine dining in LA is about. Not overdone or pretentious but you can tell that they spent some time making this the right environment for an amazing meal.

Being that I went with Celeste we split the pre fixe choices between us to maximize on the experience as I'm sure most of you are doing as well. The breakdown for the appetizers were Shrimp Cavatelli with peas and Chantrelle mushrooms and the other other plate was roasted Kabocha squash soup with pumpkin seed oil. The entrees consisted of grilled Filet of Beef Farro with Morcilla and red wine sauce. Can I say just say what a wonderful meal this was without being understated?

The Shrimp Cavatelli plate was light and a refreshing thing to be had with the light cream sauce and peas. For me it was a nice way to kick things off as I don't really ever have peas with shrimp. The Kabosha squash soup was pretty epic. A soup that I must admit I wish could be bottled for everyday use. I loved both plates and with that became even more anticipant with the entrees to come.

Maybe the moons were aligned just right and it was a wonderful late night for just that, but my steak was easily one of the top 3 I've had in my life. I paused and thought about that for a while as I saw Neal come looking particular cheery to a larger party at the end of my row. It was seriously one of the best steaks hands down I've ever had the exquisite pleasure of eating. The morcilla was great in the fact that I didn't know it was blood sausage at the time. I was pondering what was this amazing morsel of sausage that laid atop my steak? Yup...blood sausage and it was dynamite. Neal you've helped me conquer another fear! The plate was to say it simply, "perfect".

Celeste had the King Salmon which she gladly shared as it was a huge serving. Skin on and when I say done to perfection I mean "is there any other way a salmon should be done I mean really?" I loved how you really got a sense of the river this fish came from in each bite. Not like it tasted like river water but it had the essence of fish life in it. It's something that's hard to really ever capture because too much of "it" tastes too fishy and not enough of it makes it seem fake. The plate was well crafted and balanced with the well chosen choices of Quinoa (for texture) and the lobster nage for a flavor that married well with the salmon. Really a remarkable plate that was prepared simply and let the salmon shine.

Lastly were his often talked about donuts for dessert which this time out was a take on Mexican hot chocolate. The donuts themselves were dollar-coin sized and had a cinnamon glaze that came with a hot chocolate side that was straight bitter chocolate with a sweet cream pillow on top of it to balance it all out. All and all a great way to end the meal.

If you're going here for DineLA, "congratulations", you're going to love it and if you're not going, believe it or not the prices aren't through the roof expensive for such a culinary experience so you can catch it when reservation open up again because right now Neal has been booked since two weeks prior to DineLA! Bravo Neal and thanks again for helping to make all this happen.

For those that haven't seen that episode of Iron Chef I was talking about, I dug it out for you:



Blogger teenage glutster said...


January 31, 2008 at 9:04 PM  
Blogger Aubrey said...

Haha...ok. I'm done. Sorry you couldn't make it for Grace BUT keep checking in because someone bailed on Open Table last second and they got an 8 o'clock slot for themselves on the same night. Also, closer to closing tables opened up on the quick because people weren't so much hanging out like they normally would.

February 1, 2008 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger triplecreme said...

Glad you got over your fear of blood sausage - it is one of my faves!

February 4, 2008 at 2:54 PM  
Blogger Aubrey said...

I've still been thinking about how good it was! Can you recommend anyone's blood sausage plates around town?

February 4, 2008 at 3:49 PM  

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