First time I ate at CB was about 1990. As many of you know, Tomi Harase had a place on Beverly just east of Vermont that was a gem. The gem moved to Beverly Hills some time ago.
Tomi and his staff, have always been about execution. Tonight was no exception. All three of us enjoyed the tasting menu. The night started with a bit size amuse of roasted golden beet with olive oil and balsamico. Next up, the albacore carpaccio with lemon, olive oil and shaved parmigiano. It tasted more like mackerel, slightly fishy, but not too distracting. Course two was dayboat scallops, seared medium rare, a zucchini wrapped jumbo shrimp over mashed potato in a light broth. Then came the terrine of cucumber, more closely resembling a tsat tsiki mold, served on a bed of baby greens. Course 4 and 5 were the two entrees. First, filet of John Dory with asparagus spears, sautéed in a light beurre blanc with scatterings of tomato, carrot, zucchini and a garbanzo and pinot bean. Then, the roast squab and shitakke mushrooms in au jus, drizzled with mushroom sauce. A wonderful dish. Dessert was any choice of about 8. The table shared a cheesecake with fresh fruit, apple tart tartan and creme brulee.
We brought 3 bottles of wine: The '01 von Hovel estate QbA reisling, '01 Ken Wright Pinot Noir and a '97 Jaboulet La Chappelle. They have red and white stems, both of which are perfectly acceptable (the women taking the reservation had not spoken well of the stemware).
By about 8:30 the room was 2/3 full. The front of house is a two women force that performed flawlessly. All the food was served simultaeously. The staff approached the table when necessary, and did not remove plates until all were finished. It is so refreshing when waitstaff understand the meaning of a crossed fork and knife. The food was awesome. Service was precise. Later, Tomi came out to greet each table.
In my opinion, CB is an institution. Consistency, quality, precision and dedication. These four words best describe CB and why I'll return sooner than later.
3 tasting menus, 3 bottles of wine, 2 coffees
$85/person (including tax and 20%)
9777 Little Santa Monica Blvd