Went to Brassserie Figaro on Vermont Wednesday evening and had the worst meal I've had yet in Los Angeles. Got there about 8:30p and the outside tables were all full but only about 3 tables inside - should have been a tipoff. I was a little shocked by the prices - considering they were even higher than Stella's which is much better (even though I'm not a huge fan of Stella's food - at least its fresh!)
The bread basket was the best thing. It went downhill from there.
I had the lentil salad to start with, a mushy mess that was overly tart (tartness seemed almost to have come from fermentation rather than from the undistinguishable vinaigrette) and then the oxtail. That was the crowning achievement of bad food - the oxtail was buried under mashed potatoes that tasted as if they came out of a box, and the meat was tough, tasteless and stringy. It tasted exactly as if they had cooked this and frozen it, with the meat getting a touch of freezer burn, then reheated it in the microwave. I could only bear about two bites. BTW, this was the dish that the waiter said was the best dish in the house!
My friend started out with the tuna tartare that was a bit off tasting, and toast points that were soggy. The fish was a little fishy - not fresh, but soaked in lemon juice seemingly as a cover up. His main course -a lentil stew served in a squash, was unmemorable, the lentils were once again mushy and the squash was so ripe it was about to rot.
With two glasses of Cote de Ventoux that had oxidized, I figured, after being set back close to $100, that we were the biggest suckers of the evening.
Service was quick and clipped, not bad, but nothing to write home about.
As we were leaving we heard another couple complaining about cold and dry roast chicken!
Being from the hood, I was hoping for a lot more. Maybe it was just an off night, but with the quadruple whammy and the bad wine, I'm inclined to think otherwise.