A while back we went to both restaurants and found Aix to be far superior. It was incredible. Somehow we just knew it could not get much better than that. From the aroma, the plating, to the actual taste, everything was first class. A few days later we went to Ouest and it was quite a let down. While nothing was horrible, everything was just so-so average, no better than a careless day in the kitchen by myself. We could not understand why Aix consistently got bad reviews while everyone prefered Ouest. Very recently we revisited both restaurants. How things have changed! One of the dishes we ordered at Aix was the same as the last time we were there, namely the roasted chicken, but only in name!! It was superb the first time we were there. This time, my my, the meat was tired, it looked a bit watery, the plating was also not nearly as neat, and the taste was completely lacking. The soup we had first time was bright and fresh. This time, though a different soup, tasted like supermarket cream of mushroom with a little bit of fresh cream and overcooked/oilly fancy mushrooms added. It was supposed to have some chestnut... oh, ever so faintly, when I tried really really really hard did I manage to sense any. We also ordered fish and venison. The red snapper dish was decent, but nothing spectacular, anyone with a little experience in the kitchen can easily duplicate. The venison was simply boring. We did not even bother with desserts at that point. The first time we were there, the dishes had to be prepared by a first rate chef, this time, well, I would not hire him to cook in my kitchen. The service was still good however.
Ouest, on the other hand, was too salty and overcooked the first time. In our recent visit however, it has improved, if not dramatically. The beef short ribs was excellent if not inspiring. The couscous was wonderful, though a little too rich, especially when served with the short ribs. I had rabbit 3 ways, all excellent as well. It was served with creamy polenta, delicious, but a bit heavy for my taste, especially when there was nothing acidic/bitter/spicy/fruity/veggy to balance it. In short, nothing there made us want to close our eyes and lose ourselves, but everything was competently prepared. Overall, while we were somewhat satisfied, it is not a spot we will look forward to.
We were both very disappointed with Aix, it is not worth the money anymore. Which is too bad because we work fairly close to the area and it could have been a semi treat-ourselves week night place if the quality had not gone down so much since then. what happened?!