Archive for February 2008

Chaya Brasserie – dineLA

February 8, 2008

Our first dineLA experience was at Chaya Brasserie in Beverly Hills.  I was intrigued by the description of the restaurant on their website, “distinctive East/West cooking by Executive Chef Shigefumi Tachibe, who first introduced Los Angeles to Franco-Japonaise cooking.”  http://www.thechaya.com/bhindex.htm

We were thanked for arriving a few minutes early for our reservation and seated immediately.  The first thing I noticed about the drink menu was their title for cocktails.

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How adorable!  I ended up ordering a glass of wine though. 🙂

Our server was very helpful and informative about the menu and wine choices.

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Boyfriend chose the grilled asparagus with parmesan cheese as his appetizer.  That is exactly what he got:  grilled asparagus with parmesan cheese on top.  No frills.

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I chose the lobster ravioli with basil pesto sauce.  Each of the two ravioli were stuffed to the brim and it was obvious they were going for quality and not quantity.

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We were excited about the entrees.  Boyfriend went with the pan-roasted New Zealand White Sea Bass, braised greens, sweet bell pepper, Andouille sausage, with basmati rice.

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My entree was wonderful.  I chose the slow braised short rib with champignon truffle oil risotto.  The meat was incredibly tender and the risotto was amazing.  Boyfriend loved my risotto too, as it probably would’ve been better paired with his fish than the basmati rice they served.

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There were only two choices for dessert (one being a VEGAN option that our server advised against) so Boyfriend and I both chose the chocolate ice cream sandwich.  There were no complaints here but I couldn’t help but think that this cookie/ice cream sandwich was probably five times more expensive than the ones I get at Diddy Riese in Westwood…

While I was impressed with my appetizer and entree, Boyfriend was left wanting a little more.  He probably could’ve made the grilled asparagus at home and we both would’ve chosen another starch to go with his sea bass.  I enjoyed the Japanese bamboo garden decor in the center of the restaurant and the staff were all very friendly.  I wouldn’t mind trying out Chaya San Francisco once we move up north!

Final rating: three and a quarter stars

Table 8 – dineLA

February 7, 2008

Last night we had the pleasure of partaking in our second dineLA experience. We were thoroughly impressed with the food at Table 8 but not so much the service.

Upon entering the restaurant, our hostess took my name and told us we were the first in our party to arrive. Somehow, my reservation for two was mistakenly entered as “party of four.” We were seated as soon as we cleared up the misunderstanding and looked over the special dineLA menu we were handed.

Warm bread and olive tapenade

We started out with warm bread and olive tapenade.

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My appetizer was actually much, much better than it looks in this picture. Roasted baby broccoli with prawns and herbed hollandaise topped with toasted breadcrumbs. Exquisitely divine!

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Boyfriend went with the warm boucheron with roasted balsamic onion soubise, flageolet beans, arugula and herb salad. The cheese (boucheron is aged goat cheese as we learned) was pretty salty.

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My entree: grilled prime beef shortrib with potato gratin, crispy bacon and creamed swiss chard

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Boyfriend’s entree: Duck Confit with braised savoy cabbage, beluga lentils and quince marmalade

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My dulce de leche chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream was super rich. Luckily, Boyfriend wanted something rich to eat.

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So he traded my chocolate cake for his vanilla panna cotta with honeyed blueberries. It was perfect!

We were both so impressed with the food that we had decided to give Table 8 four and a half stars out of five. However, we did have to wait for our water glasses to be filled on more than one occasion. Our server actually came to the table next to us with the water pitcher but skipped our table even though my glass was practically empty. We also had to wait quite awhile for our check. The restaurant was fairly busy but we did notice our server standing around talking for a bit. Our dessert plates had been cleared but our check was not brought to us for quite awhile.

Final rating: four stars


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