We arrived at Beacon on Friday night with a little hesitation. Reviews on this board were mixed, so I prepared myself for the worst.
We were greeted warmly at the door but then the phone rang and the host immediately turned her back on us to take the call. Oh no! I thought, we are doomed! Then, just as my blood was starting to boil a wonderful cheery girl turned up and whisked us onto the back patio. We were seated right next to the water feature in a cosy and quiet back patio area. Things were looking up.
Our waiter was attentive and offered some suggestions on the menu. But I was already prepared with my chowhound list of do's and don'ts tucked away in my purse (thanks to all who offered advice!)
We started with the kaki fry and the chicken wings.
Now, I am a late bloomer in the world of oysters. Just a year ago I wouldn't go within a mile of them. However, I have recently dared to jump into the world of these slimy and briny little suckers and I truly am warming up to them. When I tell you that the kaki fry was my favorite dish of the night, you know that's high praise coming from a not really oyster loving kind of person. These smallish oysters are deep fried, wrapped in butter lettuce and drizzled with ponzu and mayonaise. I wonderful eruption of flavors in the mouth. The crunch of the oyster the coolness of the lettuce the richness of the mayo the little kick from the sauce. This worked so well for me.
As for the chicken wings - why did nobody warn us?! They were almost inedible. Fatty and salty with very little meat. The sauce was a sickly sweet mixture of teryaki and something else I couldn't put my finger on. Just did not work on any level for me.
Next up was the mushroom salad and the hangar steak.
Steak came drizzled with a sauce that looked suspiciously like the chicken wing sauce but fortunately did not taste as bad. Meat was cooked perfectly. Came with a side of potato salad in that same rich creamy mayo from the kaki fry. Now this was not a bad dish at all. It suffered a little for me as a meal does when you feel like you are being served the same dressing on every course you order. A little of that mayo goes a long way!
The mushroom salad was great. A wonderful selection of mushrooms, tasty manchego cheese and a nice kick to the dressing. It was different from anything I've ever had before, and it was delicious.
Desert was a no brainer. Trio of creme brulee for me. Cherry pie for my man. I'm not a lover of cherry pie. I just don't really get pie at all. But husband was in heaven. He said the crust was light and the cherries fresh from farmers market. Served with a dollop iof creamy vanilla ice cream. He polished this dish off in no time then started tucking into my brulee!
The creme brulees were outstanding. Three flavors, coconut, green tea and red bean (I think). I would go back for those alone!
Over all our experience was pleasant enough. Service was very attentive and not at all rushed. Food really was hit or miss for us, but I think there were some interesting enough dishes for us to warrant another visit.
Overall for me, Beacon definitley does not suck, but it still has a way to go.
3280 Helms Ave.
Los Angeles, 90034