Restaurants & Bars

Whist redux

Just Larry | Aug 15, 2002 11:19 PM

Took my wife and the in-laws to Whist wednesday night as I thought (correctly) that they would be reviewed in the Thursday Calendar section of the LA Times. Another spectacular meal. This time I started with the Spinach and Merguez Sausage salad, the sausage taking the place of bacon in a typical spinach salad, and wife and in-laws had Heart of Palm. For entrees, wife had the Gnocci with Wild Mushrooms (excellent), I had Skatewing (achingly fresh fish, perfectly seared moist) with fingerling potato and artichoke. In-laws had Petite Fillet, sides of French Fries (frozen?) and Sauteed Mushrooms (reminded me of the old days at La Toque when Ken would do his wild mushroom menu). The steak had the unmistakable taste of having been cooked (perfectly medium rare) over hardwood coals, just like at the Hitching Post. It was the most tender piece of Beef that I had ever tasted. The wine we ordered was a very fairly priced 1999 Hitching Post Meritage. The stemware is excellent and appropriate glasses are supplied for the wine selected. They even use different glasses for a Pinot Noir than they would for a Meritage. We met Paul who confirmed our choice of wine. Up until this point everything was perfect. Dinner plates were cleared. Service here is relaxed, when the dinner plates were cleared we had been there 1 1/2 hours. We waited almost 30 minutes before we flagged down another waiter to bring coffee and have our server bring dessert menus. We ordered one dessert to share (we were pretty full at that point and it was getting late). I tipped 25% on Saturday so she knew I appreciate good service. When the
dessert(s) arrived, they brought us 3 different desserts to make ammends. The Valrhona Souffle Cake was as good as before, this time instead of Prune Iced Cream they actually put 2 Prunes on the plate. The Chocolate Pot Au Creme was creamy with a more subtle chocolate flavor, real comfort food. The Bananna dessert had fresh bananna slices, a caramelized sugar crust and a custardy/cakey base. All was forgiven, generous tip was reinstated and we left very happy...
2 1/2 hours after we arrived.

Personally, after the glowing review in today's paper, I am in no hurry to return. They are not ready to handle large groups of people at this point. I am afraid that the food and especially the service will suffer. The staff that was working last night with a almost half full restaurant is not ready to serve a full house. I am afraid they will try to book 2 seatings a night and then it will really be a nightmare. I am so glad that I had 2 excellent meals there before the review was printed. I would rate the food at last night's dinner as some of the best I have ever had.

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