I don’t write online reviews and hardly ever read online reviews before eating out. Way too many people give single stars and leave negative comments just because one little thing was wrong- like a “rude” hostess or something. And when it comes to tasting menus, many a dilettante just doesn’t understand smaller portions nor are they used to higher prices.
I have ordered tasting menus all over the world, and this was by far the worst dining experience (of any variety) that I have ever had.
All the negative reviews on here are true- from the service to the food. I felt so shocked at what transpired I was compelled to create this account.
My wife and I went for the “two-night only culinary performance … a very special culinary event, “Chef2”, featuring legendary Michelin starred chefs Stefano De Lorenzo and Morihiro Onodera as they artfully fuse Italian and Japanese cuisine. “
Sounded a bit pretentious, but intriguing. Although I thought it a bit of a red flag when I saw that 3 courses of 10 (plus a fourth with white truffle) of the $125 per person prix-fixe menu had mushrooms in them. I love mushrooms, but thought it a bit unimaginative for the lack of variety.
But throughout the meal, it was obvious that these guys have absolutely no concept of how blend flavors or balance ingredients. The cooks at any given Macaroni Grill have a better idea of what food should taste like. And the portions were so ridiculously small- even by LA tasting menu standards.
We began by ordering a $198 bottle of Amarone- worth every penny.
After that the service went right down the tubes.
A quick list: I had to ask for bread when others got it upon seating. Waiter said unsolicited that he would bring oil and vinegar- I had to ask several minutes later for it since he forgot.
Had to give him the menu- he did not take it when he refreshed our wine glasses- yes, we finished a glass before the first course came. And I mean really, there was no choice of dinner. Just take our menu so I could use my bread plate on the small table.
Our meal came so slowly that our first bottle of wine was gone by the 3rd course, at which time we ordered a different bottle at $98.
Here’s the gory details of the food:
Abalone: Tasteless 1-inch piece. It came a small morsel of cucumber-wrapped crab that was saturated in the marinate of the cucumber, rendering the crab flavor a complete mystery.
Matsutake mushrooms, Parmesan broth: Again, tasteless. But I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt, hoping the chefs were taking a Japanese minimalist approach.
Trout, morel and shiitake: Best thing we had, although the morels were somehow not very flavorful.
White truffle risotto, seaweed broth (first crop rice from Mori’s farm, Uruguay): The risotto itself had absolutely no flavor- and the risotto was way undercooked. Many grains of rice had a crunch as if not cooked at all-completely dry!
Duck ravioli, Tokyo negi, espresso sauce, grapes: The single, one-square inch piece of pasta was a ham-fisted effort at best. Instead of an elegant duck meat and fat mélange, it was filled with a bludgeoningly over the top duck pate.
It was at this point I realized that the Lasagna course was supposed be served before the Ravioli- they simply forgot to bring it out!!
Furthermore, I noticed that at least 4 couples that were seated at a minimum of 30 minutes after us were 3 courses ahead of us!
Luckily, the one thing that was generously proportioned was the breadbasket. We had to actually ask for a second and we were still starving.
When they brought out the sorbet I asked about the Lasagna- I just got looks of bewilderment.
So after 2 ½ hours and what amounted to about 8 bites of food plus bread we cut our losses at the half way mark (declining the sorbet) –eating only five out 10 courses- and asked for the check.
We paid $488, drove the hour it takes to get to back to our house and fixed ourselves dinner when we made it home at 10pm.
They did comp the $98 bottle of wine since we only drank about a glass-worth of it.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.