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REVIEW w/ pics: Dinner at Traxx

pleasurepalate | Mar 16, 200811:14 PM

The words "fine dining" and "train station" aren't normally something you'd associate with each other, but for the past 11 years, Traxx Restaurant, appropriately named, has found its home inside the historic Union Station in Los Angeles. On the oft times I've found myself inside the Union Station and walking by Traxx, there's been a bubbling curiosity as to what dining at Traxx would be like. One day, that curiosity finally boiled over and I joined members of my dining group there for dinner. Wanting to do some people watching that included checking out the filming of an episode of the tv show, Monk, we dined in the indoor patio outside the restaurant.

Having heard raves about their Louisiana Jumbo Crab Cake, that became my starter. Sitting on Chipotle Chile Remoulade, the crab cake looked fairly substantial for just an appetizer, which made me even more than ready to dig in. After my first bite, I definitely felt those raves were substantiated. What I enjoyed about this dish was that it was packed to the gills with crab and they used just enough batter so that the crab cake had a crispy outside texture. All you have to do is look at the picture I took of it to see what I mean. I also appreciated the smokiness and the heat coming from the Chipotle sauce. This meal was definitely off to a good start.

I continued my seafood theme by ordering the Pacific Roasted Pacific Red Snapper Fillet which came with black rice and topped with a Charred Jalapeno Vinaigrette. Other than some oiliness that pooled to the bottom of the plate, the fish was wonderful. I really liked how the skin and outer part of the red snapper was crisped and golden brown, but that the fish meat itself was moist and delicate. The jalapeno vinaigrette also added a nice kick in flavor. Unfortunately, although the flavor of the black rice was really good, it soaked in too much of that oiliness I mentioned earlier, so points were definitely taken away because of that.

As for dessert, if I had just stopped at the red snapper, it would have been a pretty good meal. Unfortunately, my Orange Blossom Panna Cotta with Muscat Infused Citrus Segments was just awful. Unless I missed something, a panna cotta is made by simmering together cream, milk and sugar, mixing this with gelatin, and letting it cool until set. Even if there wasn't cream, milk or sugar, at the very least, I expected something more gelatin-like. What I got was basically citrus soup. The "panna cotta" was liquidy. Again, maybe, there's something I'm missing and if so, I'd love to hear some input because I was just plain confused.

At least, some of the other desserts that the group ordered looked and apparently tasted pretty good, so it's not as if I can say that desserts are something that should be passed over at Traxx, but if you happen to see that Orange Blossom Panna Cotta on the dessert menu, you might want to pass on it.

Overall, I'd say that my meal was pretty good. I certainly enjoyed the ambiance and hustle and bustle of people walking through the station and the added bonus of watching a tv show being filmed certainly added to the atmosphere. I would go back to Traxx, although with the many hundreds of restaurants out there that I still want to try, it wouldn't be anytime soon.

To see pics, go to:

Traxx Restaurant
800 N Alameda St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 625-1999

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