We wanted to take advantage of yet another great restaurant during dineLA week. There were 5 of us women. My nephew's wife, Deepa was in town so she met us there. It was her birthday yesterday and she didn't want anyone to know including me. This was a red flag; it just means "make a big deal."
The menu was overwhelming. Too many choices which is a good thing so it took some time to study it. The prefix menu was $45 which of course excluded beverages, tax and gratuity. We were to pick one small starter, 3 other plates (baby mini entrees) and a dessert.
We would have ordered wisely if the menu stated how many pieces in a plate. Some had 5, some just 2 ; so we were very disorganized. The only thing the server brought to our attention was that we would have too many Croquetas de Pollo since 3 or us ordered the same thing, and there were 5 pieces in one order.
For our starters we shared what we all ordered except for Sandi since she ordered the California Cone which is just one cone. Well, she probably did not want to share her starter. It was a beautiful "singular sensation"...a cone with pureed avocado and tomato pulp on top. She said it was o.k., nothing to write home about. That's what happens when you don't like to share.
They brought out the Philly Cheesesteak which was described as: Air bread, cheddar, Wagyu beef. We all (except for Deepa, the vegetarian) thought this was the best thing. I have had it before and it amazed me once again. Air bread really describes the very light crunchy shell with an empty filling, so it seemed, then a you all of a sudden were chewing on the beef and cheese. For vegetarians, there is a make-believe Philly Cheesesteak called Hilly Cheesesteak which is the same thing but instead of the Wagyu beef, you get the royal trumpet mushroom.
The Ottoman Carrot Fritters came next; with apricots and pistachio sauce. These looked like fried cheese balls but they were healthy carrots with fruit and a nut sauce. It was very good. Deepa ordered the Papas Canarias which were salty potatoes with mojo verde for dipping sauce. I have had this before and loved it. Crunchy outside, these little tender potatoes were soft inside. Luckily, I was sitting next to her and she finally offered me and the others to try it. As I took one, I told everyone that we were just to try one as this was to be her main dish. I have to confess that when someone else was talking to her, I was able to take a few more.
Two orders of Sea Scallops came (2 on a plate) and it was just perfect for 4 of us. They were good but not exciting. The Sauteed Cauliflower "Couscous" was delicious followed by Wild Mushroom Rice with Idiazabal cheese. We also had the Braised Wagyu Beef Cheeks; so tender it melted in your mouth. Someone ordered the Brussels Sprouts with lemon puree, apricots, grapes and lemon air. What could lemon air be? My guess is they squirt lemon in the air and what lands on the food is lemon air. How should I know? Oh, maybe that was the sudsy foam on top. I am not a fan of foam; it looks like someone washed their hands and left the suds right on top. This was not anyone's favorite. The second favorite dish on the menu was the Croquetas de Pollo; chicken and bechamel fritters. They didn't look exciting till you had your first bite....and then a burst of bechamel sauce exploded in your mouth....
When we were almost done, I told Ana while Deepa was busy, to remind the waiter to put a candle on Deepa's dessert. Shortly after she spoke with the server, the idiot approached Deepa and said: "Happy Birthday." Of course she was surprised and asked me how he knew and I just gave her a dumb look. Nothing like someone ruining a surprise.
Another server came to fetch us and lead us to another area to have our dessert. Different setting...we all ordered the same thing. Pan Con Chocolate which is a chocolate flan with caramelized bread, olive oil and brioche ice cream. This is the weirdest description because you would never know it when you get the actual dessert.
It didn't taste like flan. It was more like a very good, high quality chocolate pudding, the ice cream looked like it was rolled in something chocolate, the caramelized bread was the toasted thin slice of bread. The olive oil was somewhere in there. We all loved the dessert; chocolate lovers would rejoice.
When they brought the dessert, they served Deepa first with a candle on her Chocolate.
We all had to sing Happy Birthday, which embarrassed her.........
Mission Accomplished. Deepa; hope you had a nice birthday.
I am happy to report that we didn't have to eat the scones Ana brought us in case we didn't get full from our dinner. We all ended up having it for breakfast this morning.
Thanks to Ana; ever so thoughtful.