Tuesday

Bastide
8475 Melrose Place, Los Angeles, CA 90069

Out with the old, in with the new. What’s really new at this fine bastion of dining?

Although our disappointment over Chef Ludo Lefebvre not being part of the scene he helped establish, the new chef Walter Manzke, formerly of Patina, and new sommelier Pieter Verheyde, are both extremely accomplished and it shows every step of the way while dining at the reincarnation of one of our favorite restaurants.

From the moment you are greeted at the entrance of the restaurant, you know you are in for an extraordinary experience proving that Bastide continues to reign as the finest restaurant in Los Angeles. The new Bastide offers more than just superior French dining. We encountered hints of flavors from Thailand and Japan and in experiencing our seven-course meal--a bargain at $100--there was little we did not savor. Be prepared for the unusual, masterfully accomplished by Chef Walter. Also be prepared for an evening out that will often times lapse into three to four hours; no pushy waiters standing at your table so they can fit in a second seating, and no ill-trained bus-boys grabbing plates. At Bastide, it’s an evening swept away by food, wine and the company of good friends.

The Dining Duo started devouring the fabulous breads of four varieties that were lavishly offered to us. Then we tasted the Baja course which included salsa water with a tortilla chip, which was very light and comparable to a shot of a salsa, complete with all the flavors. A Tequila shot with a touch of sea salt naturally, accompanied it.

The tapa course was the only course we didn’t adore, probably due to Scott not being an Octopus fan and Michael’s distaste for sardines. Does anyone really like Sardines (or Octopus for that matter)? That being said, its presentation was artful and led to our Japanese course, which included a kumamoto oyster with green apple jelly. Beyond delicious, Michael could have consumed ten of these (and Scott wishes he had). You know what they say about oysters.

The carrot and coconut soup followed, creatively made with tapioca, crashed peanuts and king prawns. We both could have had a huge bowl as it was quite possibly, the most flavorful soup we’ve encountered and led perfectly into the fish course. Next we sampled the sautéed turbot with cabbage and a lobster truffle sauce and throughout each course a simple but complete explanation was provided, as it’s very easy to lose track.

Neither of us are terribly fond of suckling pig, but we have a new outlook since tasting the preparation by Walter. This crispy roasted pig served over lentils with a frisee salad and sunny side up organic egg was nothing short of incredible.

The coup de grace of our dining experience was the braised short rib splendidly prepared with chanterelle mushrooms and béarnaise sauce and then followed by roasted Sonoma duck with Italian black rice accompanied by spiced beet puree. .There is always room for desserts and there were two, which followed a small but elegant cheese course. Vanilla panna cotta with grapefruit-rosemary sorbet and tangerine soup was chased by Chocolate cake with a banana milk shake. The valets had our cars waiting for us at the curb, just to add the exclamation point on a superlative sentence

Posted by The Dining Duo | 8:14 PM | , , , | 0 comments »

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