When looking for a new place to try this weekend, we settled on Jackson's Village Bistro in Hermosa Beach - based only on proximity and a brief Zagat description. I haven't seen anything on chowhound, about this place -so thought I'd share with you. Please chime in if you'd had other experiences here.
Here's my review:
goat cheese crostini with sun-dried tomatoes and white truffle oil -- strong, bright flavors, beautifully prepared, very small portion
Leek ravioli in a roasted red pepper sauce with fried onions as garnish - this was table-wide hit, portion was medium sized.
French onion soup -- really diff. from standard preparation, good, but sweeter than usual - explanation was that onions were heavily carmelized before soup was made.
Bread with hummus - and also butter (for the allergic Mr.!) hummus was good, but no Zankou.
1 Ossu Buco - very tender, flavorful meat served dry, on the bone with potatoes, turnips and veggies. Not the best I've ever had, but much better than I could do at home and a great value -- solid bistro faire. Portion was large enough for a second meal the day after.
2 Rissoto with filet mignon tips, mushrooms and white truffle oil - Wow! this is an amazing dish; I'd go back again and again just for it. Beyond creamy texture, without tasting of cream, rice was not mushy at all, meat beautifully cooked - mushroom bits throughout and the scent of truffles. Both people took meal-sized portions home, too.
1 Ceasar Salad with Chicken Breast - guess my friend wasn't hungry. I didn't taste this one, but she liked it and she's pretty picky with salads. Chicken looked moist and lettuce seemed crisp.
Dessert - Three of us split the dark chocolate souffle with berry sauce. Fantastic
Service: Suberb, friendly, professional. Pleasant moments included experienced wine opening/pouring, holding to-go boxes without comment until we left, and not bringing the check until we asked for it. We lingered over our meal for more than two hours.
Wine: When we called for a reservation, our query about corkage was met with a "Spring and Summer special" of no corkage. Our server said that usually corkage is $10, which is waived if another bottle is purchased from the wine list. Because we had brought our own (a lovely Chateau Neuf du Pape and a not quite as yummy Napa Merlot), we did not see the wine list.
Decor/Appearance: Simple wooden tables and chairs, white tableclothes with low candles - no flowers, approx.20 tables - including covered/heated patio, calm and elegant decor. Ladies Bathroom - very clean and smelled good, although the toilet handle was broken.
Rating: When we arrived, most of us missed the "B" in the window. Later, we discussed this and agreed that it was likly the result an off-day inspection -- rather than a rating for a "B" place. The overall impression is that the chef/staff are working twice as hard to do things right, because of the rating. (as compared to places like the divy Indian joint down the street which repeatedly earns its B and I know that this is because of the greasy walls and other ickiness I can't see.)
Price: Reasonable: $155 with tax and 20%tip for four adults
Parking: free parking in the library/police station lot a block Southeast of the restaurant
Location: Good location to meet people - fairly central to OC/Long Beach, points east off the 91, or the Westside, about half an hour from downtown in good traffic.
Bottom line - We all left extremely happy and I'm definitely putting this place into more regular rotation.