The decor - A+
Beautifully designed space. Great main dinning room with nice tables, comfy leather chairs, and high cielings with a very lovely modern looking chandelier. The bar area is very modern and hip. I feel, as with many LA restaurants, that if this place was in the middle of NY, Chicago, or SF, people would love it.
We got the tasting menu by chef Josef Centeno. Obviously he has top notch cooking skills and our meal was wonderful, but in a city like LA, there are just so many places to get this sorta thing. Some of his dishes were WOW, and others were just VERY good. The food was good, but it wasnt French Laundry good. The tasting menu could have been better although each dish was great. I think the chef should have begun light, peaked in the middle, then drop us down gradually. Instead, the food kept getting richer and more complex as the plates come out and there was no palate cleansing dish. Still very good, just not French Laundry level. Although each dish was very good, only one of the plates was something that is truly memorable. IT doesnt matter though since it is always 10 dollars a plate. For 50 bucks we got a glass of wine, a dessert, and 5 healthy sized courses. Sure it isnt french laundry, but it isnt 150 per person either.
Service - A+
The hostess was very sweet and nice. It seemd like i was dining in a small town instead of a large city. The bartender was very funny and laid back. He joked and discussed each drink with us. He just seemed to love his job. Our server was a little too laid back for such an establishment, but being that we are not stuffy rich people, we didnt mind his laid back attitude. He was jovial and not pushy at all, which we liked. He explained each course very well and set the mood for us to have a very nice casual meal. It was almost like dining in Manhattan Beach or Santa Monica.
The drink menu there is awesome. Like many other establishments in LA, the beer list was great. Unlike other establishments however, the wine list was small but had good coverage and was fairly priced. THe cocktails were the usual suspects, but a few of the drinks were a little more special like the chai cocktail.
All in all it was a very pleasant meal. I will definitely go back.
I understand that there has been a change in the chef and the management. Good service, reasonable wine list, good ambiance, and decent food for affordable prices is a good reason to head down and give it a try.
50 bucks for a tasting menu is not a bad deal at all.