After missing out on this year’s acclaimed “Blogger Prom”, I was very much excited to get called in to duty for a set media dinner at the Andaz West Hollywood‘s reputable hotel restaurant: RH, manned by the French-trained Sebastien Archambault of Michelin Star fame.
To build anticipation for dinner, we were first introduced to the unique concept of the ritzy hotel, a brief tour of their “Corner Rooms” and stunning roof-top views.
Rooms are minimalist, well stocked and impressive; comfortable if you will, with inspirational quotes stamped on the windows that purvey some quite astonishing views of the Southern Angeles basin.
The poolside, rooftop bar with equally spectacular views motivated me to make good money in life.
Back to the food and booze.
The wine of choice for the group was a summer-perfect crisp and cool Tariquet Blanc, “Classic”(Côtes de Gascogne, 2008) from the South West region of France.
Market Driven is a term synonymous with almost every contemporary restaurant in Southern and Northern California nowadays. But so far, Sebastien Archambault‘s approach to it has been the most apparent.
For example, along with artisan local sourdough and bread & butter, we received a plate of seasonal crudites–which consisted of Purple Graffiti varietal Cauliflower, spicy Radishes, tart Cherry Tomatoes and assorted heirloom carrots–all served with a Cool Ranch style Creme Fraiche dip.
The menu definitely centered on the French attitude towards food: rich, elegant, petite but arduously nuanced in its elaborate flavors.
Perigourdine Poached Egg ($14) is the epitome of this vision. A perfectly coddled egg (also of farmers market origin) was topped with foraged field mushrooms, a healthy amount of foie gras–and keeping true with summer–a nice layer of summer truffles, the less-potent of the truffle’s family.
Main courses vary between the innovative – Foie Gras Ravioli – to the classic comfort of good ‘ol ‘meat and potatoes’ variations. Braised Beef Cheeks with Rainbow Carrots gets my personal thumbs up, very reminiscent of Short Ribs including that signature fork-tender texture.
Whether you’re lodging, dining or just walking by Andaz on Sunset Boulevard, their Triple Fried [Goose Fat] Fries are an essential part of your L.A. diet, these crispy things are addicting, paying true homage to the “betcha can’t eat just one” slogan of other fried spud products.
Attention to desserts and tea is also high. A time honored, elegant Summer Berry Gelatin made with Port was requisite after a rich meal, light but brimming with Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries etc and a creamy sorbet.
Rum Baba was a cream filled Spiced Rum Cake with sweet Mango, Papaya, Banana relish that kept the richness train rolling.
Its times like these, I was eternally grateful for the simple splendor of fat cutting tea. Their subtle green tea is godly.
Andaz by Hindi definition translates over to English as “personal style”…a weighty title that the Andaz hotel has exceptionally lived up to.
Javier Cabral has a website of his own at The Glutster