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Los Angeles Area

Cliff's Edge, Tantra, The Courtyard reviews


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Restaurants & Bars Los Angeles Area

Cliff's Edge, Tantra, The Courtyard reviews

chica | | Aug 4, 2006 06:03 PM

Over the past week, went to these three. Lumping my reviews here!

Cliff’s Edge.
I love this place. Indoor or outdoor dining for a lovely, romantic evening. Service is top. I ordered the seared scallops in a peach-basil sauce, with braised leeks and asparagus. The latter was a bit too drowned in oil for me, but the scallops were hot, tender, and delicious. I loved the sauce, too - a bit sweet, but a wonderful accompaniment to the rest of the savory plate. Shared the chocolate pot o’ creme and poached red pear with marscapone ice cream for dessert. The pot o’ creme was too rich for me, but the pear was soft and just the right degree of sweetness to end the meal. Overall, the experience was superb. I’d love to return!

Across the street! So is Jade Café. I hope to go there next. Anyways, returned to Sunset Blvd. to try Indian food. Great decor, love the lounging area and Indie films playing. They had the music loud, so, unfortunately, the sound to the Bollywood movie was off. Started with the Tantra Sampler. Beautifully plated with a small piece of salmon on yogurt-dill sauce, chicken in green curry, fried vermicilli prawn, spinach and tofu samosa, and, in the middle, a sweet and sour potato salad. Each item lied on top of a sauce, and was topped with a different one. I love this dish. My favorite was the chicken and samosa, but all of them were very full of flavor and gave a unique impression. For entree, I had the charbroiled monkfish with Tulsi salad, onion, and a cool tomato-based yogurt. This is possibly one of the best monkfish dishes I’ve had. It’s hot and spicy, yet delicate texture was a fantastic contrast to the cool yogurt (which I wish I had the recipe for) - a party in the mouth. Ended with ice cream - mango, cashew, and rose-saffron- and the tandoori ananas, charbroiled pineapples with mango ice cream. Funny, the pineapples tasted like an entree - like a tandoori chicken, only it was sweet, and with ice cream. I think it was the charbroiled nature and sauce that made it that way. In any case, it was gOOd.

The Courtyard
Started with the shrimp in spicy tomato sauce. It was hot. The chiles and sauce swamped the shrimp. Tasty, but I’ve had better spicy - and larger - shrimp at Chinese restaurants, with their heads attached, too. ;-) Next was the watercress salad with marinated beets, cheese, and candied walnuts. Honestly, one can find this dish anywhere, but it was still my favorite. Simply executed. Also ordered the scallops on the half shell - they were completely baked and covered in this most delicious buttery, fried sauce, and it reminded me of the Japanese dynamite. I know someone recommended that we not order the salmon, but my friend likes seafood, so we went ahead and got it. The dill and olives were a good attempt, but it was much too buttery for me.
Ended with a dessert sampler with chocolate mousse, mango and banana rice pudding. I love the ambience of the place, but truthfully, some of the food is underwhelming. I think its namesake helps make the place a quintessential LA outdoor dining hotspot, but for very impressive small plates/tapas, I would go elsewhere. My experiences at oh, say, AOC or Ciudad’s Sunday tapas night are, for example, much more about the food.

I also had lunch at East Japanese Restaurant in Little Tokyo yesterday. Tiny hole-in-the-wall place, but caters to quite a few downtown LA patrons. They have great lunch bento box deals. My sashimi with soup, salad, rice, and veggie roll was $8. Seating and tables, however, is very crowded.

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