8555 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90048
310. 358-3979

The Scene: Brand new, hip and happening.
Cuisine: Meat & Potatoes, with a cotton candy edge.
Must Try: Tuna Dynamite
Star Rating: 3 of 4
Average Cost: $22-$38 for Entrees

What happens when you take the Mondrian Hotel scene, mix it with the Abbey, sprinkle in some Asia de Cuba, and shake it all up? You get Simon LA. With seating for 175 inside and on the outside chic terrace, this monochromatic restaurant filled with booths backed by cut wood which reflects like a thousand trees has raced out of the gate as LA’s newest, hip place to see and be seen.
Under the impeccable management of long-time restaurateur Douglas Wickard (Maple Drive and Vibrato), Chef Kerry Simon creates his edible magic in a clean, open kitchen. The interesting and tasty menu offers earlier evening and late night culinary possibilities that delight the senses.
Most of the appetizers dazzled our taste buds. The Blue fin tuna tartar prepared in lemongrass oil with ginger rice crisps was a standout at $16. Grilled gazpacho made from summer vegetables and avocado ($10) was one of Michael’s favorites. We loved the colossal crab cake accompanied by young papaya Asian slaw for $16, although friends at the table thought that the uniformity and crispiness of the cake somehow detracted from the presentation; nonetheless we downed every last morsel.
Don't fill up on the fabulous wood-roasted pizzas, as the entrees are also delectable. The tandoori wild Pacific salmon was prepared with a black bean salad and mango and measured up as one of the tastier wild salmon dishes ($28). The prime meats are Chef Simon’s specialties, and we had to agree. Of particular note was the lamb porterhouse ($38), which was tender, juicy, and seasoned just right. Michael loved the ziti with herb pesto, ricotta salata and tomatoes ($19), while we both managed to down the horribly fattening, yet terrifically delicious buttermilk onion rings. All of this was washed with an exceptional 2002 bottle of Blue Rock’s Syrah from Alexander Valley that was smoky and sensational ($63).
We had already thrown abs to the wind by devouring the delicious breadbasket, so we decided to go for the desserts, many of which are fun and a throwback to our childhood, like a giant cotton candy, cherry pie, cookies and milk, and our particular favorite, Simon’s junk food sampler (all dessert items are $8, except for the junk food sampler, which is $25).
The crowd gay and straight, and skews younger on the weekends. We didn’t care about the crowd as long as we got our grilled donuts and hot chocolate. Our recommendation is to come quick before everyone in LA catches on.

Posted by The Dining Duo | 2:54 PM | , , , , | 0 comments »

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