Red Seven: Puck Applies Asian Touch to Pacific Design Center [CLOSED]

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Architecture Los Angeles

Red Seven resides in Center Green, which joined Pacific Design Center in 1988.

The Pacific Design Center packs in 130 fashionable showrooms, which more than allows the mammoth blue and green complex to live up to its name. For the first time in memory, expense account shoppers and chic salespeople finally have an equally stylish lunch option, courtesy of Wolfgang Puck. Red Seven hasn’t generated much buzz since opening last year, but given Puck’s track record, and due to the enticing Restaurant Week menu, we were still optimistic.

The celebrity chef-owner of Spago Beverly Hills and CUT debuted Red Seven in 2007 on the ground floor of the PDC’s Green building. Puck chose the name because it’s the seventh restaurant he’s opened in Los Angeles, seven is a lucky number, and the restaurant opened in 2007. It’s “Red” due to the proximity to the Pacific Design Center’s impending Center Red expansion.

Approaching the complex from San Vicente Boulevard, a palm lined walkway led past the MOCA annex to the back entrance of the contemporary restaurant, designed by Martin Vahtra. The long, airy space featured clusters of wood branches, orange banquettes, a coffee shop-like counter and white chairs. We were treated to a semi-private dining room, surrounded on three sides by black walls with geometric cutouts.

Chef de cuisine Yoshinori Kojima is preparing seasonal pan-Asian cuisine. In addition to the dineLA Restaurant Week menu, we received the regular menu and a printout of sushi and sashimi market specials. All six of us ordered from the three-course Restaurant Week menu.


Asian Food Los Angeles

Five of us gravitated toward “Seared Hamachi Salad, Cilantro, Jalapeño Ponzu Vinaigrette.” Three seared slices of silky yellowtail were each topped with a dime size sliver of jalapeño. The spicy vinaigrette infused the crisp Asian cole slaw, a blend of julienned vegetables. It was a light starter with just enough pop to get me excited about the rest of the meal.

Asian Food Los Angeles

The lone dissenter opted for “Chicken Lettuce Cups, Thai Basil, Orange and Pine Nuts.” The cups were fashioned from iceberg lettuce, topped with fried strands of rice vermicelli, lacquered chicken chunks, pine nuts and shaved scallions. The Thai basil sauce drizzle looked intriguing.

Soup Los Angeles

Known as a man whose never passed up a cup of soup, Adam ordered one of the daily specials: coconut milk shrimp dumpling soup with mushrooms and spinach. He endorsed the Thai style soup.


Asian Food Los Angeles

Four out of six people selected “Miso Broiled Butterfish, Chili Orange Noodles, Sesame-Miso Vinaigrette.” The fatty bass-like fillets were caramelized on the outside and came apart in luscious sheets. The fish was plated on creamy sesame-miso vinaigrette. The firm noodles were seasoned with chile and orange juice and topped with crisp sprouts. This dish alone would be reason enough to return to Red Seven.

Hamburger Los Angeles

Adam argued that it made no sense to order a burger anywhere else but Father’s Office, which he views as the pinnacle of burgerdom. Despite his bold statement, he still proceeded to order the “Kobe Burger, Wasabi Aioli, Teriyaki Onions, Jalapeño Jack Cheese, Sesame Bun.” The cheese and aioli had clearly been broiled to inviting crustiness. The two people who ordered the burger reported that it was fairly flavorful.

French Fries Los Angeles

For reasons that were unclear, we received a dish of sweet potato and French fries. Both were crisp, but slightly dry and certainly nothing special.


Dessert Los Angeles

After selecting “Iced Mango Pudding, Candied Cashews, Fresh Fruit,” our waiter pronounced the choice “perfect.” The pudding was certainly good, but perfect? Not exactly. I could have done without the coating of whipped cream, pineapple chunks and blueberries, which all detracted from the winning mango flavor. I could also have used more than three candied cashews, for texture.

Dessert Los Angeles

“Milk Chocolate Ovaltine Bar, Jivara Chocolate, Puffed Rice” was basically a milk chocolate bar plated on a smear of dark chocolate sauce, topped with whipped cream, puffed rice and a sheet of milk chocolate.

Dessert Los Angeles

“Almond Roca Samosa, Caramel Banana Chocolate Dipping Sauce” looked a lot like sugar-crusted empanadas along the lines of churros, drizzled with dark chocolate-banana sauce and served with a single slice of fried banana.

Red Seven was a dineLA Restaurant Week success. While all of the dishes are available at the restaurant on a regular basis, I wouldn’t have eaten lunch there without the reduced prices. The hamachi alone normally runs $16. The butterfish: $18. We were clearly treated to a meal deal, just $22 for three courses. Thankfully, Chef Kojima didn’t reduce the flavor. Wolfgang Puck may be a celebrity chef with interests scattered across the country, but Red Seven isn’t suffering for it.


Joshua Lurie

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

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