So I went back for tea. And I gotta say, that was the best tea I’ve had in a long time. There are lots of bad afternoon teas being served around L.A., and profferred off as good teas, and people somehow buy into it. But the Ramsay tea was actually very good.
The sandwiches were freshly made, all with high quality ingredients. For instance, the mozzarella in one of them was a beautiful fresh mozz, not some cheap supermarket sliced stuff. And the basic lox was also excellent.
The sweets were also very good. I didn’t get to try all of them, as they don’t give you one type per person, which makes sense, as they would just be sugar overload.
The teas themselves were very nice. Everyone gets their own pot of tea.
And get this—you can get seconds on the food! Unheard of! I must say, this is very generous of them. Of course, no one should be a toad and try to eat their day’s allotment of food at one tea service.
Service: overall good. Some of the servers seemed nervous. There was a mixup of teas. All the teas came out on a tray, each in the same nice wrought iron pot. I think all but two of us got the right tea at first. For mine, it took three tries. But they were accommodating and polite.
However. Flies got into the dining room. All restaurants really need to find a way to keep the damn flies out. I’m not eating in the streets of a third world country. I’m paying top dollar for food at nice restaurants. I shouldn’t have to deal with flies landing in the whipped cream.
3.5 stars. Food was good, solid. Some of the flavors were too strong. I like big flavors, but it seemed like they were trying too hard to say look we’re not afraid of bold, instead of remembering to simply complement flavors well.
I had called twice specifically to ask about tm and a la carte. Both times I was told, if the party is less than 7, then everyone could order as they pleased, tm or a la carte. I thought that was very unusual, but they assured me. When we got there, we were told no, that’s not true. Fortunately we all wanted to do a la carte.
I waited for my friends at the bar; had to try one of their overpriced drinks just because. Got the $16 pineapple mojito: muddled fresh pineapple w/ mint, spiced rum. It was a really nice drink. But not $16 nice.
The bar menu has some small plates,sushi. I wanted to see what their uni would be like. The price was $6. Then I found out that was for ONE piece of sushi. The uni was excellent. The rice was good. But $6 for one piece of basic sushi, give me a break.
Dinner. I had many different parts of a pig.
1. Chilled English pea soup with cured salmon, creme fraiche and caviar. The soup was wonderful, beautiful fresh peas flavor. The salmon was good. The two together, not so much. The salmon was too salty for the soup. Even though it was a tiny mound of salmon, the soup was a very small pour, so the ratio was off. There was too much salmon to soup. The salt just overwhelmed the delicate pea flavor.
2. Smoked pork belly with roasted scottish langoustine, celeriac and apple. It was garnished with some sort of very sweet preserved fruit, I think. The singular piece of langoustine was grossly undercooked. The pork belly was very tender, very good. The sweet fruit thing garnish was too sweet for the dish, it just made the whole thing even heavier.
3. Broiled black cod, pig’s tails, celeriac puree. The pig tails were chopped up, just crispy like bacon. Again, heavy dish. According to the menu they sent me there’s supposed to be kumamoto oysters in this dish; don’t remember what the menu there said, but there were no oysters.
4. Braised pig’s head with English peas and some sort of small mushrooms. I shared this with a friend, fortunately, because this was very very rich. It’s shaped into a little loaf. Again, from sent menu, the mushrooms were supposed to be chanterelles. Don’t remember what the menu there said, but those were no chanterelles.
What I recall trying from my friends’ plates:
1. Wild asparagus risotto with chive flowers. Wonderful! Great flavor and nicely cooked risotto.
2.Pacific yellow fin tuna w/ pickled daikon, crab beignets, sesame soy dressing. The beignets were smaller than the size of a dime. And they tasted like apples heavily dusted with cumin.
I thought I picked a lot of other food from my friends’ plates—or maybe they picked a lot of mine! :)
They have six desserts. We were a group of six. We ordered all of them except the creme fraiche panna cotta. Instead, we got the special: tarte tatin. We shared all of them.
1. Meyer lemon pudding cake with confit blueberries, tarragon and buttermilk sherbert. The cake was too dense.
2. Pineapple souffle with toasted coconut thai curry ice cream. Nice souffle, too much curry.
3. Chilled coconut tapioca with passion fruit, candied ginger, milk chocolate and star anise gelato. Very good, great flavors. But somehow I don’t remember the star anise flavor.
4. Cara cara orange four ways, cinnamon ice cream and rose water sabayon. This was my favorite! Especially the rose water sabayon—beautiful.
5. Milk chocolate sticky pudding with roasted banana and black cardamom ice cream. This was a hit with some of my friends, but I thought it was ok.
6. Tarte tatin. Very nice, a little too sweet for me.
I was very full. The small plates, which aren’t that small are grouped into three pricing categories: $14 (pea soup), $18 (black cod), $22 (pork belly). The pig’s head was a market special at $18.
The space. There sure is a lot of chrome. Big wide big pieces of chrome. Very 80s. The ceiling in the 2 dining rooms are light colored wood slats & beams, sort of like an east coast beach house. The 2 small private rooms had stamped ceilings, glaring gold chairs. There’s also 2 big private rooms. We sat in the back dining room which I think is the much better of the two, since there are two walls of big windows (chrome shutters), and it’s removed from the hotel hallway.
The banquettes and booths are powder blue or powder pink vinyl, pleather-like. Mine had a big mess of ink stains.
Overall, decor was so cacophonous. Too many disparate elements.
Well Gordo, your brand that you try to push is perfection; this was not that. And you really oughtta pay attention to your first L.A. venture. It’s really insulting that you only came around once, and briefly, since your restaurant bearing your name opened.