Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Grace Restaurant - Appetite Stimulus Dinner

The other Appetite Stimulus meal that I had through Open Table had to be somewhere where I wanted to go for a long time, and so I chose Grace Restaurant. I was really jazzed to be able to go to a restaurant I knew would normally cost me an arm and a leg...the appetite stimulus price was still a bit more than I'd like to pay for a usual meal out, but to have the chance to eat here! Whoo! Anyways, enough griping about my food budget (which is pitiful nowadays!)...let's get on with the post!

The restaurant had accidentally canceled my appointment right before I was about to leave the house...I frantically called them back and said, YES I'M GOING TO BE THERE please do not deny me a seat OMG...! They brusquely apologized and reinstated my reservation...whew...! Upon arrival, they even made light of the situation, mentioning that yes, in fact I WAS there, heh.

The place itself had very dim lighting, which is not really my preference in lighting schemes (I like seeing my food, maybe not in blaring fluorescent lights or anything, but maybe a little more lighting would have been nice), and we luckily had a table instead of being seated along the half booth, half chair side of the wall. The other patrons there looked rather cramped and sitting very close to one another. Sometimes I like that, but I didn't feel too chatty that night. I was there for the food, and ready to chow down...
A very nice glass vase full of water (still) was set at our table, so we could easily refill our water glasses when we so chose. Props to the nice choice of glassware - I love the shape of this carafe. I also got an iced tea, as they did not have lemonade to make arnold palmer. Owen got the wine pairing, but I neglected to take pictures of that, as it was...wine in wine glasses. But I'll discuss what he had, from what I remember...
The appetizers started coming. I can't resist any kind of salmon, especially if it's a raw or smoked kind. And when I saw this on the menu, I absolutely had to order it - House Cured Salmon, which consisted of roasted beets, heirloom tomatoes, horseradish crème fraiche, and of course, the house cured salmon. The creme fraiche added a nice contrast to the flavors of the salmon and tomatoes. I usually don't care for beets but these were done very well, and didn't mind them. I also noted the nice use of microgreens on top- very pretty!
Owen got the Fall Squash Soup, with a topping of duck confit and pistachios. The wine that came with this soup was a glass of 2005 Silvaner “Trocken,” Wittmann, Rheinhessen, Germany. Owen really loved the this course, everything worked really well together. The texture of the soup was beautiful, the duck was the salty that the slightly sweet soup needed. I even think I liked this more than my salmon dish - and I love salmon, so that's saying something. The wine was very well matched to this soup (says Owen).
Owen's choice was Oven Roasted Leg of Colorado Lamb, with Byaldi confit, and olive infused lamb jus. I knew he'd order this one, whenever he sees lamb on a menu he'll usually go for it. The lamb was super moist and cooked perfectly. The taste that I had was excellent. The au jus that came with it was the perfect accompaniment, as were the very thinly mandolin-sliced veggies. The wine, however, Owen did not like as much as the first one that came with the soup:
2003 Madiran “Vielles Vignes,” Château Peyros Southwestern France.
The beef dish (I forget the exact name of the dish!), an additional 10 dollars add on to the appetite stimulus meal but worth it. Cheese and onions were melted over the top of really succulent beef (very small amount though, a few more bites would have been perfect!) The green beans were good too. I wiped this plate clean.
A blown out photo of Owen's cappuccino, which was a pretty sight - love the way the foam curls like a cartoon version of fresh snow. I'm sure it was good, but I don't really like foam too much. My loss, I know.
Dessert! Owen's choice was obvious to me, right when I saw it on the menu: Boca Negra Cake Affogato - dark chocolate cake, vanilla malt ice cream, espresso, brandied orange slice. Chocolate PLUS espresso? That's melding two things Owen loves dearly. However, he could not finish this, as it was way too rich. The one tiny bite I had overwhelmed me with flavors - I personally like more subtle flavors, so this wasn't for me. The wine that went with this was a
2005 Banyuls Rimage, Les Clos de Paulilles, Languedoc, France. Owen did not finish his glass. He was way too full at this point.

I went with the Apple Upside Down Bread Pudding - buttermilk ice cream, apple cider syrup, cranberries, brown sugar walnuts. The carmelization on the top of the pudding stuck to my teeth immediately, so I was concentrating on trying to dislodge the stuck caramel from my poor molars after the first bite. Also - maybe it was a bit TOO tart for me...I don't think I'd order this again if I had the choice, maybe a simple sorbet or ice cream would have done the trick.

I would love to revisit this restaurant, perhaps for one of those burger nights on Sunday I saw advertised on their website...anyone interested in joining me for a Grace burger night?

Grace Restaurant
7360 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 934-4400

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