Paperfish: Patina Restaurant Group Brings Modern Seafood to Maple Drive [CLOSED]

  • Home
  • California
  • Paperfish: Patina Restaurant Group Brings Modern Seafood to Maple Drive [CLOSED]
Restaurant Sign Los Angeles

Paperfish replaced a legendary Beverly Hills power lunch spot.

For about a decade, Maple Drive was one of the premier power dining spots in Beverly Hills, fueled by comfort food classics like meatloaf and “kick ass” chili. In 2007, mega-restaurateur Joachim Splichal from Patina Restaurant Group transformed the space into Paperfish, a cutting-edge seafood restaurant. Opening chef Yianni Koufodontis’ rustic Greek style didn’t meld with Splichal’s vision for oceanic fine dining, and Executive Chef Kevin Meehan promptly replaced him. Based on the five dishes Meehan prepared for this evening’s media dinner, the Long Island native and former Patina sous chef has righted Splichal’s ship.

The space itself, designed by Clive Wilkinson, is much more modern and interesting than Maple Drive, primarily due to its sweeping curves. The ceiling and walls are white, the tables white and the seating (both chairs and booths) are red.

The assembled mass of writers and editors started out at the curved white bar.

Canapes Los Angeles

Passed appetizers included spoonfuls of albacore topped with avocado mousse and microgreens, salmon pastrami toast, lobster-topped cornbread, and seared ahi with minced vegetables. These canapés were fine, but better bites awaited us in the dining room.

Our waiter tong-ed two different warm rolls onto our bread plates. The dark anise roll was similar to pumpernickel. A Parmesan roll incorporated salty cheese shavings. With the rolls, we received a butter confetti dish.

Seafood Los Angeles

The tasting menu started with Maine Diver Sea Scallop Ceviche with cilantro mousse, avocado, pickled red onions. Scallops were silky, topped with greens and the aforementioned ingredients. There was a little bit of spice. Paprika? A mysterious green gelée didn’t add anything meaningful to the proceedings, but it was a good dish overall. With this starter, we received a pour of 2005 Alma Rosa Pinot Blanc.

Crab Cake Los Angeles

Next, we received a Jumbo Lump Maryland Blue Crab Cake with cauliflower puree, capers and grape ragout. The thin sheathed cake incorporated a generous helping of sweet crabmeat. The grape ragout was delicious, featuring cooked fruit that wasn’t too sweet, served with a crunchy crumble of garlic, onions and what looked like broccolini florets.

Fish Los Angeles

Chef Meehan presented the table with an entire roasted loup de mer on a wood plank with an herb bundle. I asked him if the herbs flavor the fish, and he said, “No, it’s just my bundle of love.” He said the fish is normally portioned tableside, but in this case, he brought the fish back to the kitchen to divide it 16 ways.

Fish Los Angeles

The crisp-skinned, moist Loup de Mer fillet arrived with a veritable garden of market vegetables, including multi-colored carrots, string beans and wild mushrooms (Honshimeji, King Trumpet, Chanterelle and Shitake). The fish was supported a thatch of razor-thin scallion shavings.

Our second pour of wine was of 2005 Clos Blanc de Vougeot.

Beef Los Angeles

Paperfish is primarily a seafood restaurant, but Chef Meehan proved he has a handle on meat with his Trio of Beef: Tenderloin, Short Rib, Oxtail Croquette with potato fondant, creamed spinach and cipollini onion.

The short rib square was lacquered with jus and fall-apart tender. The croquette featured a crisp coating and tender oxtail meat that was similarly rich to the short rib. The tenderloin was perfectly cooked, a little rosy in the middle, with a nice outer char. The meat was so tender that it could have been mistaken for filet mignon, but had more flavor. The roasted cipollini onion was caramelized on the outside. The potato fondant was basically a roasted potato tower. Spinach was simple but good. The mass of meat hosted a sprig of fresh thyme.

Our third and final wine was Renteria Napa Pinot Noir.

Chocolate Dessert Los Angeles

Dessert combined Milk Chocolate Mousse, banana cake, chocolate gelato and a coco nib tuile. Diners treated dessert like a shell game, everybody hunting for the cake. Moist banana cake hid under three milk chocolate domes. The center dome was plumed with a horizontal, transparent tuile studded with bittersweet cocoa nibs. Milk chocolate gelato was especially silky.

After dessert, our waiter brought a big glass platter of Mignardises: fleur de sel caramels, shortbread squares, moist coconut macaroons, pates de fruits (vanilla and Harry’s Berries strawberry) and white chocolates filled with mango cream. Everything was pretty good, but the moist macaroons stood out as being terrific.

Whatever problems Paperfish had with their opening chef appear to have been smoothed out under Chef Meehan. Media dinners aren’t natural dining experiences, but certainly reveal what’s possible. Given that, I’d return on my own dime.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Blog Comments

[…] – bookmarked by 6 members originally found by starydawn on 2009-01-23 Paperfish – Beverly Hills, CA – Monday, June 23, 2008 – bookmarked by 2 […]

Leave a Comment