Friday night driving in Los Angeles is a nightmare. It can take one hour just to go from the Westside to Beverly Hills. So our problem was to stay west off the 405 freeway and find a restaurant that had an extensive menu of wood grilled prime steaks. (One person in our party only eats steaks.) I hadn’t been to Wilshire since Andrew Kirschner had become executive chef, but a number of people suggested that I should try it. What an inspired choice and definitely a restaurant that will be on our “go to” list.
The entire staff was tremendous. Kirk, the sommelier couldn’t have been more accommodating. Nick, the GM, remembered us from Spago. Brian, our server was terrific - he grew up in Kansas, drove tractors at the age of 11 on his dad’s farm and has a passion for food. Chef Kirschner came out introduced himself and told us some of his favorite menu items. How much more can one ask for?
Executive chef – Andrew Kirschner
BYO White Wine
A gift from the chef – Kumamoto Oysters Dynamite, the oysters were encrusted in panko crumbs and deep fried. They sat on a seaweed “salad” and were topped by wasabi tobiko. What impressed me was not only the depth of flavor, but the intensity of the flavor profile that was decidedly Asian.
Steak tartar, quail egg, grilled sourdough – an excellent version.
Grilled sepia, njuda sausage, baby brocolli, lemon, almonds. Njuda sausage is a special type of dried sausage made with black pepper, hot pepper, salt and fennel seeds, typical of Calabrian cuisine from southern Italy – again the depth of flavor was superb – delicious.
Another gift from the chef – we were sharing everything so this was a passing marathon. Red Curry Coconut Mussels, Grilled Bread. I felt as if I were on a trip around the world and what a trip!
The broth was exceptional with the lemongrass adding just the right touch.
Another gift – this was getting better than Christmas. Green garlic and potato soup, black truffle and asparagus – you would think we were regulars – we weren’t, but we have every intention of becoming regulars.
Caesar Salad, Romaine leaves white anchovies, lemon croutons, parmesan
BYO Red Wine
Dry Aged New York Steak with grilled garlic, greens topped with parmesan – a safe entree well-executed with THE extra of shaved black truffles
Mashed potato, yukon golds
Duck breast, farro, stinging nettles, hazelnuts, blood orange gastric – the sauce had just been changed for tonight’s service. That is one of the hallmark’s of chef Kirschner’s cuisine – use what is fresh and organic from the local farmers.
Morrocan Spiced lamb Stew, quinoa, banana raita, pequillo pepper harissa – I didn’t taste this but there wasn’t a drop left.
Photo through the wine glass
Condiments for the lamb stew
Apple Fritters, caramel sauce, cinnamon ice cream
Orange Creme Caramel, creme fraiche whipped cream
Cookies to go – not pictured
Wilshire was a complete surprise and I can’t believe that a restaurant of this caliber is so close to our house. We will be back often.