Rios Restaurant Rule # 2, recently formulated, states:
Hipness of a place is inversely proportional to how easy it is to find the entrance.
Boy, this place is hip.
We were at odds to figure out which of the 3 openings leads from the street into BOA.
We naively, and wrongly, picked the large one, which goes into the hotel.
From the hotel lobby make a left, a small door accesses the back of the restaurant.
Follow a meandering transparent floor koi pond à la Crustacean, mercifully dry (sans koi), all the way front to the hostesses desk.
Small spaces, tiny tables, incredibly small bar. Somehow seems out of place in the vastness of the angelenas Pampas.
Ms.Rios, in her usual tart humor, sentenced the decor: Italian design. By which she meant: fancy design, zero functionality.
Very nice Caesar salad($10), if a little too garlicky, prepared tableside by a guy with wits.
Very decent escargots($13) in an interesting vinaigrette.
I got a sublime New York steak($39), prepared just perfectly. This was a heavenly act of communication btw customer, waiter and cook. All I basically said was "au point", and divine magic acted upon wonderful raw material.
Ms.Rios didn't like much her veal chops($37) (which looked very thick and tender to me, but I was too busy to try it).
Sides on demand. I ordered the twice baked potato($7), in fact a baked puree with a slight crust, I liked it.
Sweets: we tried the apple cobbler ($9) and ice cream($9). Deserts are not BOA's forte.
Weak and unprofessional list, with the standard high markups.
I complained to the waiter that the least you can ask for a $1295 Romanee Conte (sic) is correct spelling.
Luckily, I followed the advice of this Board (Many thanks, Kurt!).
My 2000 Lucien Le Moine Mazis-Chambertin went magnificently with the steak.
And it served to materialize the single known case where the Shock and Awe approach actually worked: the guys comped the corkage ($20). Not only that, we got on top of it a Manager Discount of $18.
a) Great Steak.
b) For $40 a slab, I want more real estate.
c) I get goosebumps trying to imagine this place's payroll. It's very hard to figure out why would you need an army of workers for so few tables.
d) Why is Le Dome, barely two blocks away, languishing into oblivion? Hard to fathom are the ways of The Name.