Saturday, October 9, 2010
After a hugely DISAPPOINTING week of Orange County Restaurant Week, I needed some stress relief with tasty food. I am just that crazy to drive up to LA during traffic hour just to satiate my hunger for great food! It was fate that Gourmet Pigs and I were on the same page and both wanted to try La Cachette's Dine LA menu. Greeted right out in front I had a little personal one on one time with the Chef. He saw me taking pics and we were testing out the different lighting areas but to no avail so I had to use flash, but still dark. When Gourmet Pigs turned around, I was nowhere to be found and she didn't know what happened until I returned back. It's a very cozy restaurant with a French flare.
They were super busy so each dish took a while to come out. I munched on the bread for a bit before the dishes arrived.
The main reason I had to come here was because they offered the best appetizer choices! I had my heart set on the Sauteed Foie Gras with Dates, Black Currant Jus, and a Frisée. How can you turn down any restaurant that freely offers up a succulent piece of duck liver that just makes you salivate at the thought? The foie was nicely seared a decent size. I like how the date was so sweet and flavorful that accentuated the savory flavor whereas the frisée cut down the oiliness.
Normally I would NEVER share foie gras but another tantalizing appetizer selection was the Stuffed Zucchini Flowers with Ricotta, Warm Lobster, Artichokes, and topped off with a White Truffle Oil Dressing. OMG I was so torn and tempted to order TWO dinners just for myself so I can taste more! Luckily I always dine with a good partner and we opted to share the appetizers.. reluctantly. lol There was a decent amount of lobster, more than what I expected actually. They were succulent, tender, and flavorful. I found the salad refreshing and flavorful. Almost felt sad when I saw the empty plate! The zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta was, IMHO, the best way veggies should be eaten... stuff with cheese! =D
For the main course we differed on what to order and nothing was sad about sharing. I will have to admit that I wasn't too excited about the main course because everything seemed like it would be overcooked for my taste. In the end I chose one of their signature dishes, the Braised Beef Short Ribs. It seemed to be the them of the night to make healthy food unhealthy by stuffing cheese inside. The beef came with Piquillo Peppers, drizzled with Crème Fraiche, and topped off with a Coffee Cabernet Jus. At first I thought the beef was lacking in flavor but I broke apart all the meat and soaked more of the jus in to fix that problem. The braised beef varied in tenderness among each piece and was not bad, but I have to say I wished they had dishes that weren't braised for a long time.
Look at that massive bone! I wish I had a tiny puppy so I could bring that big bone home and take tons of pictures of a tiny puppy holding the big lamb bone in their teeth! The Lamb Shank with Couscous, Carrot, Apricot, and Lamb Mint Jus was also a slowly cooked dish. My short rib was much more tender but the lamb definitely had more gamey and flavorful. I love having mint to cut down the gamey taste and accentuate the natural flavor of the lamb.
We chose to share the desserts so we can try more. The Organic Carrot Cake with Candied Pecan, Cinnamon Sauce, and Ice Cream was just alright in my opinion. I thought the cake was on the drier side. Don't know if it was because this was an "organic" cake but there was just no oomph, pow, or wow in flavor. I normally adore carrot cake but this one failed to impress.
Luckily we had the Warm Dark Chocolate Chip Divine Cake with Whipped Cream to compensate. This was so chocolaty and heavenly. The cake was moist, rich, and full of flavor. Since it was not milk chocolate, you don't get over sweeted after many bites. The cream that they gave must have freshly house whipped. It was super heavy and would cut down any sweetness. A little to heavy but still a great cream. I wish we had ordered 2 of the dark chocolate chip divine cake.
Found a little surprise in the bathroom. Just had to share it with everyone. (Hey MBA this will be the start of bathroom reviews? lol) A little weird... quirky maybe... but still charming to find this nostalgic French set up... in the bathroom! The table faces the mirror. Can I order a cafe au lait in here? Then look at myself in the mirror or at the Eiffel Tower poster? =)
All in all I like this place and I think the Chef is funny. The whole time I sat there I kept staring at their Charcuterie menu and was drooling. Duck Prosciutto... duck sausage... duck everything! I was determined to get this but then debated on taking home, but decided that I will leave this for another day. I hope the next time I come will be in the day time to take awesome photos and try more dishes. Sure, I may not have been that impressed with main course and dessert, but MAN those appetizers were MAG-NI-FI-CENT! O=) Maybe I am biased because I got almost all of my favorite ingredients in there, but Mmmmm goooood! They have a pretty great lunch prix-fixe menu of a 3-course menu for $15... something to think about. O=)
1733 Ocean Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90401