Tuesday, January 6, 2009
As I mentioned before that you should definitely check out each of the DineLA Restaurant websites before going there. I had checked out The Foundry's menu before we went but little did we know that they offer a special deal every Sunday. So it wasn't a good deal at all that Sunday since they offer a 3-course meal for $39. The only difference is that you can choose the Crispy Pork Belly for the appetizer and Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding for dessert. Being that PK, Ms. Lin, and I were smart and worked well together that we coordinated the best combo to get the max deal. Burumun also worked out a great combo for her meal. My "dates" lol .... and I chose to order 2 of the $39 menu and one of the DineLA menu to allow us to try everything. It was the smartest and sharpest plan to maximize the food we can try at the right price.
When we arrived there weren't that many people and we were seated immediately. The staff seemed friendly. We sat in the back, which is outside, and kept warm with heat lamps. I was sort of roasting because it was so hot! It seemed like a cozy place to dine, minus the heat. They started off the night by bringing freshly baked bite-sized Bread with Tomato, Parmesan, and Herb. It was a nice tasty morsel.
Next came another complimentary bread course. Instead of giving you a bread basket they serve you with trays of bite-sized bread. This time it was hot Foccacia with a Smokey Sauce. I thought the bread looked good but lacked any flavor. The texture was soft and delicate but they needed to add more seasonings. I know that there is a dipping sauce but it couldn't save the taste.
As fate would have it that the appetizers each person ordered was their favorite of the 3. Ms. Lin chose the Spicy Albacore Tartare with Pears, Honey Soy Vinaigrette, and Radish. Maybe I got the wrong end of the bite, but I felt it was super fishy and not fresh. They both thought that it was good and a good combo of flavors. I was the odd one out and was not too impressed. It could just be that I got a bad bite, but still... fishy un-freshness... blech that did not go well on my palette.
PK ordered the Roasted Calamari "a la Plancha" with Olive Tapenade, Shaved Fennel, Grapefruit, and Piquillo Peppers. The presentation was nice and colorful. I didn't think there was much flavor in the bite I got. Luckily PK really enjoyed it because that is good that we all happened to ordered what we liked the most out of all the choices. The calamari was tender but a bit bland for my taste. I like the contrast of grapefruit, or to be exact, the only flavor that stand out.
For my choice I chose the Crispy Pork Belly with Grapes, Almonds, and Eggplant. This was not anything spectacular but I liked it the best of the 3. The Pork Belly was nicely marbleized and had a soft texture. I thought the accompaniments were not overpowering and added a different texture to the whole bite.
Sadly the photos went downhill since the lady next to us complained to us about taking photos. This annoyed me, but I respect those around me so we all stopped flashing... still... Yes, it can be annoying but we respect your wishes by limiting our own freedom? That still upsets me... not as much as PK was. She cracks me up! ^_^ I do have to say thanks to the annoying couple next to us that we all figured out a new feature for our cameras! Woo hoo! We will now be able to take clearer photos in dim settings. Of course we didn't figure this out until the end of the meal, but still.. yay! I do have to agree with PK, the couple next to us was weird! They didn't talk throughout the whole meal.... weirdos lol In between they served us more bite-sized Biscuits with Herb blended Butter. The flavor was pretty good.
My starting dish was the Roasted Hangar Steak with Mushrooms, Fingerling Potato, Arugula, and Anchovy Butter. OMG, this dish was gross! I think it might have been the Anchovy Butter because it just tasted like a rancid sauce. The meat was cooked nicely with a red center. For me, the sauce is what killed the whole dish. I almost wanted to run to the bathroom and we all know how much I love my steak, but it was just gross to me.
PK ordered after me and she again ordered a Salmon dish. She got the Crispy Skin Salmon with Fork Crushed Potato, Orange, Olive, and Fennel. I liked this dish best because the flavors were safe and tasted nice. PK commented that the Salmon here was grilled better and more tender. Orange and Fennel actually goes pretty well with Salmon. This was a much lighter and refreshing dish.
Ms. Lin was left to order the Chorizo Crusted Jidori Chicken with Mashed Plantain Mofongo, Red Onion, Avocado Citrus Salad. Don't worry we split everything so everyone got an equal share of all the different dishes. This dish was just not memorable and not executed well. They give you 3 pretty generous pieces of chicken, which was convenient. The crust lacked a crisp texture because it just tasted like regular cheap bread crumbs that you put on. Still, the flavor was better than that scary Hangar Steak I had.... **shudders**
At this point I was not impressed with the food, people sitting next to us, and how slow everything took. The Honey Crème Brûlée with Candied Fruit and Orange Sherbert was a huge failure because it tasted like a thick badly cooked egg custard. This was the last dessert I ate since everything else was hot and normally I am a big Crème Brûlée fan... but I took one bite and that was it. I agree with Ms. Lin that the Orange Sherbert was very tasty but I just couldn't finish the "Crème Brûlée" part. It was thick, heavy, eggy, and gelatinous... all qualities that would fail to qualify as a Crème Brûlée.
The Spiced Doughnuts with Pineapple Saffron Sauce, and Chocolate Hazelnut Sauce was decent. I don't remember tasting any spices on the doughnuts itself.... the sauces were definitely needed to give the extra flavor. Side note, I keep noticing all these typos on their menu... they really need to have spell check! These were just your normal fried dough and two dipping sauce. They weren't anything special but they weren't bad. Each order came with 3 pieces, which was very convenient to share. I personally would rather have a nice beignet over this.
I almost messed up what dessert I was suppose to order and Ms. Lin had to "remind" me while I was ordering lol Last but not least was the Chocolate and Banana Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce and Rum Raisin Ice Cream. This was probably the best dessert out of all the choices. The bread pudding had a nice texture and the flavor was decent. It went well with the ice cream.
All in all the food was not that impressive and missed on many points. The servers were very friendly and I thought it was cute that they served mini-bites of different bread throughout. Although some other people thought that it kind of sucked that you could not have more if you liked it. To each their own I guess. Warning, they are soooo slooooooooooooow! I knew we had a long long long time to wait for dessert as the annoying couple next to us sat there forever waiting for their dessert. I was hoping that they'd finish and scram so I can have freedom to take photos. It seemed like they were going to finish soon, but then dessert took almost over 30 mins to be served. We also had to wait a LONG LONG time for dessert and the check. Ms. Lin and I were a little antsy and wanted to get out since it was getting late and it was Chinese New Years. Apparently they WAY OVERCHARGED PK for the bill that night. I am hoping she will get it resolved. Even more minus points for making PK worry and have to fix their mistake. I don't think I will ever be back to this place because the food just wasn't that impressive. Also, it didn't turn out to be that great of a deal if you dine Sundays... so if you ever want to try them out for a deal just head on over Sunday. Sorry, but they are definitely not getting my stamp of approval. I couldn't wait to get out of there. =P
Los Angeles, CA 90046