Last year was the first time I heard about Dine LA, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to go because of my traveling schedule. This time around, I took advantage of the fact that I have been in town for a few weeks (which hasn’t happened for quite some time) and pre-planned a Dine LA experience! You guys all know how much I LOVE food and I love finding out new places to go to. I chose three restaurants that I have been wanting to try because I heard they were a must visit. When choosing a location, atmosphere is very important to me. The way the food is presented and the decor definitely is a huge part of our dining experiences and when choosing a place to go with the ones close to me it is important that the ambiance brings positive energy and good vibes to everyone. The conversations then flows better and everyone’s happy!
1. Lunch @ Gordon Ramsay (Lunch $25 per person)
The first place I visited was Gordon Ramsay, which is located inside The London Hotel. I’ve been here once before for my dear friend Chriselle’s baby shower, and the interior is absolutely gorgeous. It is simple yet so elegant with the right amount of gold touches everywhere!
First course: Mushroom risotto: mascarpone and parmesan cheese, Spicy tuna: crispy rice cake, & Crispy chicken dumplings: with hoisin, pickled cucumbers and sriracha.
Appetizers came and I couldn’t wait to try it. I’m a pescatarian so I didn’t try the crispy chicken dumplings, but everyone else Loved it.
Second course: Albacore tuna, melted fontina cheese: frisee salad on toasted bread, chicken paillard: frisee, radish, whole grain mustard sauce, & Flat iron steak 9oz: potatoes, brussels, bacon dressing. I liked the salmon and the veggies on the other plates. We also had parmesan truffle fries and kale, almond salad which were so, so good.
Third course: St. Honore cake: Cream puff, strawberry and whipped cream, English sticky toffee pudding: Mascarpone cheese and brown butter ice cream, & coconut panna cota: Mango sorbet, peanut brittle. I liked the English sticky toffee pudding the most!
2. Dinner @ Mari Vanna LA (Dinner $50 per person)
First course: You get a choice of: Beetroot salad with mixed greens and Balsamic sauce, Russian country salad with fresh veggies, and Mimoza salad.
Second course a choice of: Russian style macaroni with beef and prunes, Mediterranean soup with salmon and veggies, and ‘Pojarskie’ kotletki (beef) with mash potatoes. The cooked salmon was my absolute favorite.
3. BLD dinner (Dinner $30 per person)
One of the casual yet trendier places I’ve been to, atmosphere was comfortable. Thanks to Anwar we had a great experience.
First course: Brussels Sprouts: bacon lardon, crispy potatoes, chilies, Dijon vinaigrette. Lamb meat balls: anson mills polenta, tomato confit, pecorino sardo. Pear saladk: mizuna, candied pecans, golden raisins, cherry tomatoes, feta. Cherry Stone Clams: Spanish chorizo broth, spinach, house made fries.
Second course: Roasted Cornish Game Hen: butternut squash, haricots verts, pomegranate, demi-glace. (chicken was moist and well marinated according to my guests.) Spinach Risotto: black kale, wild mushrooms, masacarpone, sage (the bestttttt I’ve ever had, perfectly seasoned and well balanced with the mushroom and spinach. The color was so pretty and vibrant). Bacon Wrapped Pork Belly: anson mills grits, roasted baby root vegetables, pork jus. (My friends loved it, they say it was perfectly seasoned and didn’t have that weird porky taste.) Pan seared scallops: heirloom beans, braised greens, romesco which were cooked nicely medium rare.
Third course: Guinness Ice Cream Terrine: Jameson fudge, sugar cone crunch, toasted almonds. (melted too quickly during our shoot so didn’t get to try.) Honey Buttermilk Glazed Doughnuts: Steamed chai milk. YUMMY Stuff!! Can’t explain how moist and delicious it was. It melted away in 2.5 seconds.
Overall, my first Dine LA experience was awesome especially because you can try out new restaurants for a decent price and most of the restaurants put out their best sellers on the fixed Dine LA menu. For those in L.A. let me know what some of your favorite spots are!