I was invited to a media dinner last week at this newly renovated caviar boutique (and now cafe and restaurant) on the tony strip of Robertson where you will find all manner of upscale restaurants and shops. Apart from the lively dinner conversation that revolved around the primetime lineup on Bravo, we had come to learn about the unrivaled selection of caviar (at least in Los Angeles) they offer, and to sample the cuisine of the new chef, 27-year-old Benjamin Bailly (who bears an uncanny resemblance to Viktor Krum). Bailly has worked with Ducasse and Robuchon, among others, and seems keen to whip up some magic. Some of his dishes, like the bright pink borscht, were phenomenal, whereas others, like the foie gras creme brulee, could have used a lighter touch. Ah well, I was paying more attention to the caviar anyway.
Though I went home full, it was not until the following night, when I ran into another writer who had been at the dinner, that I realized just what an array of gourmandises we had gone through: champagne, caviar, blini, steak tartare, foie grass, short ribs, chocolate...and those were just the things I remembered off the top of my head!
I think that as Bailly finds his footing, the restaurant should solidify its concept, but in the meantime, there are worse things than a cup of champagne and a scoop of caviar (on a mother-of-pearl spoon, no less!) to enjoy at the end of the day.