Cooking is the most massive rush. It's like having the most amazing hard on, with Viagra sprinkled on top of it, and it's still there twelve hours later. -
Gordon Ramsay, 2003
Gordon Ramsay @ The London website
There have many been many times in my so-far-short-spanned life where I have tried hard to scrutinize and find flaws in something only to be left a little perplexed. One instance was that beautiful blue-eyed flaxen cheerleader in high schoool. Perfect curves, perfect grades and a syrupy smile to match. An evil bitch in disguise? No such luck. The angel just so happened to be a Special Ed TA.
Tonight is another one of those instances. The day starts as a typical FML day, where basically everything that can go wrong does go wrong. The much anticipated Bistro LQ dinner reservation was dropped last minute due to reasons too graphic to be disclosed on a food blog. After much dismal meandering about on Sunset Blvd, we stumbled upon Gordon Ramsay At The London. Well, "stumbled" is hardly the word. One can not really stumble upon a secluded restaurant in an ivy-cloaked hotel without doing some last minute Yelping. Alas, I was less than enthusiastic about this place. Firstly, I have no idea of who Ramsay is besides being the foul tempered chef on a show called Hell's Kitchen. Secondly, I am dubious of chefs who run competitions in a studio. Last but not least, restaurants in hotels? Maybe not.
The establishment is divided in to two areas; the front being a more casual cafe, and the back for formal dining. The ambiance is swanky, chic and gold tinged.
A feast for the eyes, but not the stomach?
And then two amuse bouches are served. Not your run-of-the-mill amuse bouches, but a decadent foi gras pate sprinkled with black truffles and crispy parmeseans with red peppercorns!
Ok..bluffing I see. It can't get any better than this?
Foi gras pate
Pureed Spinach amuse bouche
Confit rabbit leg agnolotti with marinated cherry tomatoes, Shiitake caps, grain mustard emulsion
Sonoma Lamb duo, sweet onion compote, cherry blossom, creamy polenta, jus
Nebraska beef tenderloin with braised escarole, short rib jam, Carrot vichy and bone marrow sauce
Pineapple soufflé with Thai curry ice cream, toasted coconut
As the dishes slowly but surely roll out, I start to fold and the cynicism melts away like hot wax. All the entrées show Ramsay's impeccable standards and done with such flourish. The only dissapoint is the dessert. The pairing of curry icecream seems like a bold statement, but only leads to a perfunctory "ok.." Other than that, I love Ramsay's twist to each dish. Subtle as they are, but yet also very deliberate.
*Thank you J for a wonderful night*
The London West Hollywood1020 N San Vicente Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069