Refined Palate’s Roving Reporter:
Andaz is the Hyatt’s new small hotel group. There are 5, London, San Diego, West Hollywood [the old Hyatt on Sunset], and two in NYC. The restaurant at the Andaz is RH with Sebastien Archambault as chef.
The first impression is Holy-S-T, this is noisy as hell. The noise level was almost unbearable. I guess we got used to shouting across the small table to be heard.
The server, Blair, was pleasant, attractive but obviously an amateur. It took 15 minutes to get my vodka Gibson. When it came there was one lonely onion…I had to ask for a few more. For $ 11.00 you would think the veggies would be abundant. My friends Tanquery martini was $ 12.00.
The menu is interesting and generally well presented and very flavorful. Chef Sebstian Archambault is charming and definitely committed to doing a great job. The open kitchen features the chef front and center.
Open kitchen sparkles. The chef is really proud of it.
BYO wine… from Provence. After 30 minutes in the decanter, this was perfect.
Escargot and Yukon gold potatoes…we split…excellent and a good starter. No amuse was offered.
My friend had the oysters… Six Fanny Bay Oysters, shallot vinegar, roasted pork sausage. The sausage was a really major bonus, delicious, fabulous and I got a taste.
Perigourdine poached egg, field mushrooms, foie gras, black truffle with buttered bread spears–terrific…this is a dish I would go back for. A good dinner might be the egg and a salad with a great white wine. The Red worked but a flinty Chablis or White Burgundy would have been fabulous.
Boothbay Harbor lobster open ravioli, bisque sauce. My friend had this; I did not have a taste, but he liked them.
12-hour-cooked boneless suckling pork, rosemary jus. The pork was cooked perfectly. The potato under the pork was not impressive so I added two vegetables that both worked well. At $ 7.00 each this was worth it.
Braised artichoke hearts–this was the weaker of the two vegetable dishes. It was good, but not great…the hearts were a little mushy.
Real wild rice–excellent and perfect with the suckling pig…a treat…we don’t get real wild rice very often.
Later a charming woman from Orange, CA who had spent the day at Cedars Sinai hospital with her Dad sat next to us. We shared our vegetables with her. As the portion size was so huge, there was still 1/3 of the serving left to go to waste.
RH is definitely a “keeper”. The noise level is really annoying. The crowd is young, but not foodies. There seemed to be some sort of convention over in the main hotel which probably added 50% to the oppressive noise. The amateurish service could be tolerated. She definitely tried. The maitre d’ did come by a couple of times. I was very impressed with Chef Sebastien and would like to ask him to cook a tasting with small portions for us. His background with Ducasse and others in France sets him up to be one of the best real chefs in LA. He certainly has the money and resources with a great open kitchen.
Would I go back? Yes, with Lizzie. I missed her Refined Palate, but my friend was fun and we did enjoy ourselves.