If you’ve ever watched Hell’s Kitchen or Kitchen Nightmares, than you are aware of Gordon Ramsay, the hot-headed master chef who berates the contestants and restaurant owners in order to toughen them up in the kitchen. What Ramsay is truly known for though is his mastery of French cooking, his attention to detail, and his insistence on providing a pleasurable experience at his many Michelin star rated restaurants around the world. As luck would have it, one of those very restaurants is located in Los Angeles at The London West Hollywood.
A night here, tucked back from the Sunset Strip, is truly a special event, a memorable occasion to share with someone who has an adventurous palate, and is appreciative of a cozy, well-appointed atmosphere. The dining room, designed by David Collins, has the allure of old Hollywood but with a certain modernity and grace as you sit in an amber glow. The menu, created for a tasting with nine course meals, allows you time to savor each portion and sensation. The servers are top-notch and extremely knowledgeable about each dish, taking time with every table to describe ingredients and preparation methods. You'll be pampered by many of the staff, inlcuding the sommelier who will pair a glass of fine wine to complement your food selections. Kitchen tours are also available if you ask. Don’t be too afraid of cost as the pricing is surprisingly reasonable considering the location and reputation of this establishment. You would expect to spend almost the same amount out for a night at Morton’s Steak House, but the pay off here is far greater. A nine course dinner tasting that includes a glass of wine and a decadent dessert is $90. You may also choose to order a la carte with a recommendation of at least three courses and pay quite a bit less. The tasting is quite the experience though and worth your while.
You may be wondering if the fare may be too exotic, too over the edge in culinary flair, but the flair is part of the fun. Each plate is a work of art, and each flavor a reason to love food for all the varied ways it can be prepared and savored. Make sure to try the Scottish Salmon with horseradish cream first course, it will melt you the moment it enters your mouth. Other items include their famous lobster risotto, diver sea scallops, and the sweetbread and mushroom pithivier with smoked bacon – which is a unique and special treat. I do recommend staying away from one item if it is still on the menu which is the “not your grandma’s carrot cake.” Although it’s an interesting presentation, it was a bit too eccentric for this diner – carrot cake should be spongy and topped with cream cheese frosting, rather than deconstructed and pureed. Try the petit fours or the dark chocolate with olive oil gelato instead. The rest of the meal though was overwhelmingly fabulous and unique, an extra special night out.
Try Gordon Ramsay at the London. You don’t get to eat like this every day.
Gordon Ramsay at The London West Hollywood is located at 1020 N. San Vicente Blvd., corner of Sunset and San Vicente. Valet parking is $10 with restaurant validation. For more information and a sample tasting menu: Gordon Ramsay
Romance Tip: Close your evening with a nightcap at the rooftop bar. Sip on a Pimms Cup, A white sangria, or micro-brew while overlooking the Hollywood Hills and an expansive lit up Los Angeles. Cuddle up on a couch near the fire and enjoy. If you are dining at the restaurant, the front desk will provide you a key for access to the rooftop. You may even consider making a whole night of it here at this highly-rated Sunset Strip hotel. For more information: www.thelondonwesthollywood.com
Cost Savings Tip: Try Gordon Ramsay at the London at the bar which is an intimate locale with similar ambience as the dining area just a few feet away. The bar menu is less expensive and looks every bit as delicious. To view the bar menu: Ramsay Bar
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