Prompted by a very brief thread on this place a few days ago, we went for dinner day before yesterday. That we're going again tonight says it all (or most of it). Gorikee is in the north-east corner of the Ralph's shopping center at Ventura and Topanga. You get 10 tables inside seating 46 and some tables on the screened patio seating 20. When we arrived at 7:00 Sunday there were 2 tables of four, both of which said they come in twice a week. The patio was filled before we left. The only waitress, Ella, said it had been a slow night. She is really charming. Instead of refilling our iced teas, she brought new glasses, ice, straws, everything.
Upon being seated (table # 7, a four-top) we got warm french bread with an olive oil/garlic emulsion. Delicious. Strangely, no S&P on the table and no offer of ground pepper.
We started with whole garlic confit with hot red sauce. This was copious garlic, perfect for slathering on the warm bread (which was kept refiled with warm). $3.95. The winner was a warm peach salad with goat cheese, balsamic and tiny sweet tomatoes. Mrs. Swift raved over this one. $6.50.
The mains: elephant shrimp sauteed in a sweet and spicy curry. This had a coconut milk, cilantro and mint leaf mixture which first had a hint of sweetness followed by a good peppery finish. The shrimp were perfectly al dente. This was served with eggplant, zuke, red and yellow peppers, broccoli flowerets, green beans and pea pods (way too many veggies for Mrs. Swift) and creamy manshed potatoes. She would have preferred more sauce and served over rice (which they can do upon request). $13.50
I opted for the crispy garlic young chicken with a Pommery Dijon white wine sauce, sprinkled with crispy roasted garlic. My notes reflect: "unbelieveably moist. Skin really crispy. Sauce really good. Veggies al dente." Also with those great mashed potatoes (next time I'll ask for a little extra sauce for the potatoes). The cheapest main on the menu at $9.75.
We also got a little bowl of crispy garlic chips to eat like potato chips. Really tasty.
Corkage is a whopping $3 (take *that* Valentino). Respectable stemware and attentive service from Ella. The chef, Tsuji-San, came to the table twice to accept a glass of the wine we had brought. Probably for that reason our dessert was comped, a delicious milky granita mand-made daily by the chef. It had very little sugar and tasted like the custard for a vanilla ice cream. Very rich and good. Garnished with blackberry and raspberry. Normally would be $2.75.
The bill was presented with wonderful wedges of Fuji apples with a hint of Flur de Sel. Great. The total before tip = $41.83. Unbelievable!
After tonight's visit (with another couple) we'll see if Sunday was a fluke. One of the best cost/quality relationships I've seen in a restaurant. And...it's only 6 minutes from home.
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