A last minute event came up on Saturday night in West Hollywood. Never ones to waste an opportunity to try a new place, my SO and I immediately decided we'd try to grab two of the seven coveted bar seats at Animal. They open at 6pm. When we we walked in at 6:02pm, the bar was full and two other couples were already waiting.
We didn't have the time to wait it out AND make our event.
Slightly grumpy and definitely hungry, we spent a few minutes throwing out ideas of alternate places when I suddenly had a flash, Cayenne is not too far from here, let's go there.
Though I hadn't been here in over a year and the decor had changed a bit, it was still a lovely, inviting place. Our waiter was friendly, kind, knowledgeable and took every care to make sure each element of our experience that he could control was a good one.
We started with the feta caprese, simple slices of feta wedged between nice firm tomato slices with an herbed oil drizzled on top. Very nice, if not life changing.
This was followed by a mediterranean sample platter that went by some name or other that I can't recall.
Simple but tasty falafel, a nice hummus, some of the better taboulleh I've had in LA, spinach pies and possibly the best grape leaves I've come across. They were somewhat denser and more savory than most manage to acheive.
This was followed by steak au poivre with garlic fries for my SO. The steak was a absolutely perfect. I tend not to eat much red meat, but this beef was so flavorful and perfectly cooked, I couldnt help but steal a bite or two. The fries were good, not as memorable and underseasoned for my taste, but we weren't there for the fries anyway.
I had the Faroush Salad with perfectly cooked chicken breast. The whole thing is covered with a healthy dose of sumac, really delicious and the half portion was large enough to feed two people.
Though I don't get out there too much, I have to say that I have never had a bad item at Cayenne. I believe the owners are French and Lebanese and the menu items reflect this. There seems to be a lot of care put into each dish. I have also always found the service to be impeccable and the space to be comfortable and inviting.
I don't see Cayenne mentioned much on these boards, so I wanted to take a moment and give them some chow-love.
Oh, and it seems they're just now adding a wine list, but it's rather undeveloped. Your best bet is probably still to BYOB.
7169 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036-2548