I was at Pinot Bistro last night for a business dinner, and I must say I was pretty disappointed in the food.
The evening started out nicely at the bar. I was not sure which red I wanted, and the bartender set up a tasting of 3 different wines for me. I ended up with a nice Syrah -- quite delicious, and not on the regular by-the-glass list from what I could tell ($12.50).
I ordered the chef's tasting menu ($36 for 3 courses), which started with a seared scallop (2 large scallops) appetizer. The first bite I took was incredibly salty -- almost inedibly so. Thankfully, the rest of dish tasted "fine". It was nothing spectacular, but it wasn't bad either.
The main course was rack of lamb, which consisted of 3 small lamb chops on a bed of lentils. The lentils were in a brown gravy-like sauce, which did not have much flavor. The lamb itself was tender, and like the rest of the food, seemed "fine" to me, but just not anything to write home about.
Dessert was a cinammon rice pudding -- a very large portion that pretty much resembled a gigantic bowl of oatmeal upon presentation. I am not a rice pudding person, but I really wanted the scallops and rack of lamb...and thus, ended up with the tasting-menu dessert. I ate one bite, and that was all I could stomach.
A dining companion had the twice-cooked pork; our waiter informed us that the first cooking was in its own fat (if you are going to be cooked, might as well be in your own fat, don't you think?). It was served with potatoes, saurkraut, and come crispy fried onions on top. It tasted "fine" to me. Since I had abandoned my own dessert, I helped out with my friend's croissant bread pudding with Wild Turkey sauce. It was too hot to eat when served. After we let it cool off, we found it to be "fine", but the chocolate pretty much overwhelmed all of the other flavors.
Overall, I did not find Pinot Bistro to be impressive. There was nothing horrible about the food, but there was nothing great either. For the same money, I could think of dozens of other L.A. restaurants I'd prefer to go to.
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