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In Photos: Opening Night at Gordon Ramsay at The London West Hollywood

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In Photos: Opening Night at Gordon Ramsay at The London West Hollywood

kevin h | May 29, 2008 04:53 AM

The soft opening of the new Gordon Ramsay was this Tuesday night. And it was definitely soft. Ramsay wasn't there; the Hell's Kitchen winner wasn't there; no media either. In fact, there weren't even that many customers. The restaurant was less than half full when we arrived at 8:00p, and it looked like they only wanted to turn around each table once for the night.

A note on Hell's Kitchen: The winner was supposed to get an executive chef's position at the restaurant, but from what we were told, it's going to be more like a sous chef position. We were told that "he" hadn't started yet, so does that mean the winner will be male?

The Chef's Menu in brief:

1: Pacific yellow fin tuna with pickled daikon, crab beignets, sesame soy dressing
2: Burrata mozzarella with heirloom tomatoes, cape gooseberries, basil pesto
3: Hand-dived sea scallops, cauliflower purée and sherry vinegar reduction
4a: Pan-fried Arctic char with orzo, pickled Japanese mushrooms and dashi
4b: Beef filet and Kobe short rib, cipollini onion, baby beets
5: Confit Meyer lemon and basil gelée, sablé Breton and olive oil gelato
6: Pineapple soufflé with Thai curry ice cream, toasted coconut

One thing to note was that each dish was extremely small, so we had to supplement with eight additional courses. This was between two people, so we each had the equivalent of 10 courses. Our server recommended 3-4 courses per person; perhaps the WeHo crowd would be satisfied by that amount, but there's no way my dining companion or I would be (and I'm not a big guy at 5'9"/165lb). The extra courses:

S1: Apple-cured duck breast and crispy tongue, foie gras with amaranth
S2: Wild asparagus risotto with chive flowers
S3: Swordfish carpaccio with heart of palm, grapefruit and yuzu vinaigrette
S4: Cassoulet of seafood, king prawn tortellini and garbanzo beans
S5: Smoked pork belly with roasted Scottish langoustine, celeriac and apple
S6: Monkfish with crispy chicken skin, lemon thyme consommé
S7: Cheese plate
S8: Crème Fraîche panna cotta with strawberry gelée, acacia honey and thyme crumble

Overall, though I did have a good time and liked much of the food, I think the Gordon Ramsay at The London needs to improve. The dishes for the most part were not up to Michelin-starred levels, and I think that the restaurant is perhaps catering to the "wrong" crowd, trying to be hip rather than good. Unlike the Gordon Ramsays in London or NY, it just didn't seem like a serious fine dining restaurant.

Was anyone else there? Thoughts?

Full report with photos: http://www.kevineats.com/2008/05/gord...

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