By: Peter Marc Jacobson
So, I’m driving down Sunset Boulevard, and I notice a new restaurant that is about to open on the famous and chic Sunset Plaza area of West Hollywood. From the outside, the restaurant gives of a quaint and charming vibe.
“They spent some buku bucks here”
I say to myself.
I don’t see a sign, but it has a French bistro look, with imported mature olive trees, planted around the outside patio. Being the restaurant fanatic that I am, I couldn’t wait for it to open.
A few days later, I see some people sitting inside, so I figure I’ll grab some lunch. I saunter over, and the host tells me they’re just having a soft opening, and they not open to the public yet. Trying to hide my disappointment, I slink away.
The next day I see the restaurant is buzzing with patrons. This time, I rush over to get a table. The door won’t open. I keep pulling on it. I am told they are just having a friends and family night. I’m about to slink away (again), but this time, not before asking to see a menu. The hostess tell ms that they don’t have one available to the public yet. I’m thinking, “Public?! Don’t you know me already?! I’m the man with no life waiting for your restaurant to open! I’m hardly the public!” Regardless, I was informed they will be open on Wednesday.
Well Wednesday couldn’t have arrived fast enough.
“I know, I’m a freak.”
I tell the same hostess I have seen every day this week.
Finally, the day had arrived, and I had just gotten back from my yearly physical. I was told not to have caffeine for 24 hours before, so I was in a particularly foul mood. Let’s just say, if they had told me one more time that they were not open, a cappuccino would have gone flying. Luckily for them (me) they greeted me with open arms. “Welcome to Butcher, Baker, Cappuccino Maker!”
They sat me in a beautifully designed room, looking out toward the patio. I really, really needed some caffeine by this time and the lovely waitress who seemed to be no older than six, brought me some rich coffee that they grind fresh on site.
I stared at the dessert case filled with parfaits, some heathy with fresh fruit, and some other amazing looking concoctions that if I had eaten two days prior, would make me wind up with very different results at my physical. However I did try the chai pudding with caramelized fruit on top. I’m not a huge fan of Chai, but something inside of me was telling me that I had to try it, and I am glad I did. No kidding, it was so rich and creamy, I thought I would have dreams about (and I have, by the way). Once the coffee hit after my, what seemed like one year hiatus from caffeine, I got up and told them I would be back to check our their restaurant soon.
Well, soon was tomorrow. The place has a great energy, so I went back for lunch and sat outside. This time, I wanted something healthy. They had a grain bowl, filled with all kinds of grains and sautéed tofu, so I went with that.
Hey now, don’t cringe! It was the best tofu I have ever had, and I am not a tofu person. Mixed in were preserved lemons, fresh grapefruit and avocado. The chef, upon my request, added a perfectly cooked chicken breast (the strictly tofu thing didn’t work for me)
This being in LA, I feel like I also have to add that I was very impressed by the portion (this coming form a guy who grew up in Flushing Queens, New York). As I took the last bite, I was saddened it was all gone. But wait, I had dinner plans to come back that same evening with a friend! (I think I’m starting to believe the saying, “people want what they can’t have”). At night it takes on a whole new, but great vibe. We split the potato bites: perfectly crisp chunks of potatoes with two dipping sauces. We also had the Brussel sprouts, which were combined with sautéed apples. On top of that, we had Dorade, that was cooked perfectly, and we ended the meal by splitting a Tres Leches parfait, topped with caramelized Merengue (by split, I of course mean hee had two bites, and I ate the rest). Despite being in one of the most coveted areas in town, the prices are not crazy and there is also a very nice selection of wines to choose from. They were having some issues with their credit card reader, and we had to wait a little longer than usual, so management sent over a raspberry tart as an apology. It was a very nice gesture. I was really hoping it would have taken them even longer, and they would have sent over another Tres Leches! But alas, the check came, and we left, but will definitely be back (my friend, in a couple weeks. Me, probably tomorrow)