It’s always taken some effort to find the right place to take my teenage son for his birthday. I usually pick wrong. It can’t be too trendy, he didn’t enjoy Chaya Venice or Katsuya in Brentwood from recent past birthday dinners. He likes restaurants that have a personal stamp by the chef. He loved the recent article on passionate, obsessive David Chang’s of Momofuku fame in the New Yorker. This past weekend I scored in my son’s book with the meal we had at 2117 Restaurant in the Sawtelle area of West Los Angeles. The restaurant which is located in a mini mall on the same street as Hide and Orris. It is a great value. For a little more than you would pay for a meal at Houston’s you get a terrific dinner experience. The big menu is filled with Asian influenced food with classic French and Italian techniques.
An example of the successful execution was the Japanese tai snapper carpaccio that my son loved. It was flavored with a subtle sesame soy vinaigrette and texturally was inhanced with thin fried crunchy noodles (7.95). There are around 16 appetizers or tapas that average around 8 to 9 dollars. The standouts were fried calamari with a garlic parsley sauce (7.95). Half duck leg confit (8.95). And a blue crab cake with sat on a layer of egg tartar sauce (7.95). For the entrees there are about 20 choices that vary in price from 13 to 28 dollars. My younger son who is a pasta fanatic enjoyed the spaghetti with fried calamari (13.95). The green onions and ume shiso made the dish interesting take on the Italian dish. The classic French influenced dishes of grilled angus beef mignon in a red wine reduction sauce (21.95) and the sliced duck breast with a peppercorn sauce (23.00) were perfectly executed. The birthday boy loved the four large scallops sitting on a layer of lemongrass sauce (20.00). The stacked Blue Crab salad that had a tasty sweet vinaigrette. For dessert there are about 10 choices. Our favorites were the crème brulee (6.50) and the apple cinnamon pie with vanilla cream (6.50).
Excluding wine for the five of us it was around 200 dollars. The meal was a great value for what you get. A chef working hard to give you a meal that has his own personal touch all over it. The restaurant also has a prix fixe menu for 36 dollars. You get a choice of any two tapas, an entrée, and dessert. For some of the tapas and entrée there is a surcharge. We will be back with our appetites to try more of the restaurants dishes.