In the words of the inimitable Delicious Life, “Holy Shiitake!”
This is like a rich man’s Claim Jumper. The portions are HUGE. The appetizer could easily have been the entrée. And the entrée could easily have fed two people. If I were a trailer, and ate at Grace every night, I’d be double wide.
But the marked difference from Claim Jumper (aside from the price) is the quality. These dishes were deeply flavored and complex.
The three soup appetizer is actually three full-sized bowls of soup and a 6 by 3 inch Croque Monsieur filled with goat cheese and coated with panko bread crumbs. The squash soup was rich, creamy and full-bodied, with complementary chopped green onion on top. The tomato and bell pepper soup tasted fire-grilled and was very fresh. And the Thai lobster soup was complex, with lemon grass, tamarind and coconut milk, among other ingredients.
The pork belly appetizer was rich and fall-away tender. The pork had its natural smoky flavor, which was brought out by the slow cooking. The fat melted into the meat giving it a certain bacon-like flavor. It was served over pureed yams, which added texture and provided a nice offset to the sharp pork flavor.
The first course went well with a clean, smooth Sauvignon Blanc.
For the main course, they hoisted a pork shank (the size of a football with the points chopped off) onto a three-way divided glass plate. In the other two compartments were boiled and fried potatoes with onion and prosciutto, and about 2 cups of broccoli rapini. The sides were unremarkable, but the pork shank was nothing short of outstanding. It had a delicious candied crust, with sharp, salty, porky taste. Inside, it was stringy-tender with the apple cider braise taste coming through strong.
The sea bass was less impressive, both in appearance and in taste. It was served with black quinoa, which was flavorless. It also didn’t have a crisp crust, which would have made it texturally more interesting. The flavor of the fish was good, though.
The entrees went well with a flowery red Spanish Clos Floresta wine.
By the time dessert rolled around, we were both full, and were now loaded up with 2 pounds of boxed food to take home… so no dessert this time.
We’ll definitely be back, but next time we’ll know the drill and order more appropriately. As an aside, the table next to us had the chef’s menu, on which the portions were much smaller.
7360 Beverly Boulevard (at Fuller, btwn La Brea and Fairfax)
7360 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036