Bastide, Alen Lin, 9/14/07
According to Miss Irene: "Bastide is back." But it's Bastide "unbuttoned," less formal, more fun. Since Joe Pytka reopened after an almost two year hiatus, the buzz has been mixed; people either love it or hate it. Miss Irene says service is as good as it gets in LA; she's wowed by the sommelier, the linens, the crystal stemware. Pytka's definitely pulling the strings, as he's want to do, keeping everything in its place, right down to offering only two tasting menus with little room to color outside the lines.
Famously uncompromising as a director, he's just as much a perfectionist when it comes to his restaurant. His pockets are deep enough to get whatever he wants, and it's always the very best -- an accomplished chef, splendid wines, the best ingredients available.That's Walter Manzke, who she feels has brought Bastide back to new levels, but not quite the four-star days of yore. Bastide gets---wait, we don't know how many stars it gets because the web editors forgot to add the extra info for the restaurant. UPDATE: Three stars. [LAT]
Manzke, the new chef, is a Patina alum who garnered attention with his custom-tailored tasting menus as chef of L'Auberge in Carmel. Here, his cooking is polished and understated. It's very good. It's very correct, but, at this point, missing the strong personal stamp that makes magic on the plate.
ELSEWHERE: The Knife was burned by Mode but found Colori Kitchen; Caroline goes to Boule Atelier; venturing to Traxx at Union Station is a worthy diversion; Fantasy Eatery a good way to ease into the SGV Chinese restaurant scene; Wakasan, authentic enough for the Westside.