Chowhound Presents: Table Talk with Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh of Sweet: Desserts from London's Ottolenghi | Ask Your Questions Now ›

Restaurants & Bars

Los Angeles Area

Blue Velvet, Somewhat Disappointing


Restaurants & Bars 7

Blue Velvet, Somewhat Disappointing

kproq323 | Jan 14, 2007 10:03 PM

So after the positive reviews from my friends, I took it upon myself to gather a few friends together and check it out. Granted it is a fairly new place and needs time to work out the kinks, but I have to say that some of the things that happened during our experience was unfortunate.

We made reservations for 6 and started out by being in the bar. First off, I have to say that the design and vibe of the place is great. Hostess was extremely friendly and the bartender was great. So we were all happy to start out the night with some cocktails, looking forward to a great dinner. When seated, we were guided to a gorgeous table, illuminated by tons of candles and somewhat private from the main dining area. Nice way to set the tone.

It took about 10 minutes for anyone other than the busboy to acknowledge us. Finally a cocktail server came by and took our drink order which took another 10 minutes to arrive to our table. Finally the waiter greeted us and started to explain the specials. In the middle of his presentation, a manager rudely interupted him and told us that he needs him for a minute. We were all taken aback, as the manager should had been courteous enough to wait until he was done. Again, we waited another 10 minutes to have the waiter come back and take our order. We had asked for bread since one of our friends was extremely hungry and kindly asked for something to sustain him. The manager then came back to our table and rudely informed us that this was not their general policy to serve bread, but he supposes that he will accomodate us. Again, we could not believe the attitude. The waiter was obviously very green, but nice so we tolerated the manager having a moment.

Finally after another 30 minutes our appetizers arrived to the table. The fondue salad was quite good, the lobster cassoulet was extremely salty and we had to down a glass of water with each bite. Hamachi was good, but way overpriced for (2) extremely small pieces of fish. I do not even think that it was an ounce worth of fish. Foie gras was cold and undercooked. But we realize that the chef is probably still working out the kinks and is getting the swing of his staff. Not to mention they seemed to have a private party and were a little understaffed to begin with.

Now comes the entrees. One of our friends ordered the venison. Again was salty and tough. We had the fish special - Sea Bass with a Green Garlic Sauce and Micro Greens. That was not bad. Our other friend had the filet, and said it was not warm. Nothing is worse than getting a warm piece of filet mignon for dinner. It was clear that our waiter was stretched out so we could not even find someone to resolve the situation. Plus it was almost midnight and everyone was starving at that point.

The best part was the chocolate roulade for dessert. Finally when the bill came we saw that they had also charged us $5.00 for 6 pieces of very thinly sliced baguette that they gave to us as a bread order.

We all typically try to be as understanding as possible when trying out new places. Perhaps going on a Saturday night was not the best idea. But when you're paying over $100.00 per person for food and drink, it's a little hard to swallow no matter what.

I think that the place has a nice concept, but they definitely need to work out the kinks. I'm sure the daily candy posting is slamming them with business, but they need to be a little more prepared. I will wait at least 3-4 months before returning for dinner. But I'm sure I will be back very soon for a cocktail. I suggest to anyone go there early on a slow weeknight to ensure good food and service.

Want to stay up to date with this post?

Recommended From Chowhound