Monday, September 14, 2009

Gordon Ramsay at the London, West Hollywood

Heirloom Lettuce Salad with Summer Truffles

As much as I enjoy watching Gordon Ramsay on TV, I've never really eaten his food. Well, OK...I've eaten a couple of his airplane meals, but that doesn't really count. So we got an idea this morning to try to get a table at his new place in LA (1020 North San Vicente Boulevard, 310-358-7788), and fortunately we got one. Located at a hip hotel off the Sunset Strip, this place was suitably posh, although interestingly without tablecloths. We were definitely looking at fine dining-type prices though.

Seeing how much he frequently screams out orders for both scallops and risotto on Hell's Kitchen, we definitely wanted to give those a try. Both of them fared well, including the single giant scallop (apparently known as a U12 in industry parlance) that had to be sliced into three pieces - and done perfectly in the pan at that. That truffle-topped salad in the photo of course came with all of the associated mesmerizing aroma, while a Berkshire pork belly from Snake River Farms delightfully melted in our mouths.

But there were a couple of items that we wouldn't really have missed, including a squash blossom whose spices just reminded us of Indian samosas, as well as a sweetbread and mushroom pithivier pastry thing whose sweet reduction on the side was something that I got a bit tired of. My first time experiencing sweetbreads was uneventful too; it didn't really taste like one might think thymus glands and pancreas would taste like, but I didn't really find anything too exciting about them either.

Well, my impression of his cooking style hasn't really changed. While I can definitely see why he is so well-respected, his food still came across as a bit "neutral," whereas I got more excited eating at places like Joël Robuchon. So just as with before, I'm probably more interested in Ramsay's TV personality than his cooking style. Then again, I'm not exactly one to know much about fine dining in the first place. It was good to come experience one of his proper meals either way.

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