After one reader's preview of Gordon Ramsay at the London West Hollywood, it wasn't clear if the restaurant would be ready for prime time by May 27, but we received a few reports from last night's soft opening that suggest otherwise. Two things we know for sure: Ramsay is not here for the opening week, as previously suggested, but we hear his New York chef de cuisine, Josh Emett, is. Emett, of course, has worked with Ramsay for years and took over at the London New York when opening chef Neil Ferguson "left." And that circles right back to why Ramsay is not in town: He doesn't have to be. Consider that at least one of these preview/reviews has a high shill likelihood and act accordingly.
1) "Call me easy to impress, but the overall experience was amazing. We each ordered the six course tasting menu, each of which was completely delicious. The Yellow Fin Tuna and Broiled Black Code [sic] were especially tasty. Also just a note on the seemly inexpensive menu – all dishes are served “tapas” style and the waitress recommended at least 3-4 per person when ordering A La Carte. Unfortunately the man himself was not seen in attendance, which was somewhat obvious upon walking in as the staff seemed oddly comfortable for opening night. Nonetheless service was impeccable the entire time, and the marble and gold room all lit up at night is gorgeous!"
2) "Based on tonight, it's my new favorite restaurant in LA, and here's why: friendly staff, consistently exceptional food throughout dinner and pricing that isn't outrageous, esp for the quality, although it's not cheap by the time you're done. Still got away at least $30 cheaper than I normally would at Craft or Mozza. Could change based on future visits, but if they keep it up, this will be my go-to spot. No staff attitude like Mozza, and no wildly varying quality like Craft.
Menu is pretty accurate to what the preview menu said...I don't know if the kitchen was just on an off night for the person who reported from friends and family, but tonight, the food was stellar. Period. Every single course, consistently, and comments around the room were the same. Highlights: Monkfish in lemon thyme consommè. Beef with shortrib. Honey quail with foie gras. Risotto. Veal. Didn't see any sushi nor were we offered a sushi list, although maybe it's on the bar menu. Service was a little all over themselves with a lot of people milling around, but to be expected on first night, and they've literally only been doing services for a week. Our server was absolutely spot on, and the food runners were polite and well trained as well. It's somewhat a throwback in terms of service for LA - not in an overly ostentatious way, but to remind you you're in a place that values the niceties of good service.
The decor is interesting - feels sort of English/ Victorian, and doesn't feel L.A. at all, which may or may not be a good thing. Leaning towards not at the moment...Said they'll be tweaking menus for a couple days still, and they're booked solid this week, although there is still lunch availability. GR is not in the house - won't be until the opening party next week." The restuarant is open all day starting today. Expect at least a few detractors any day now.
· Gordon Ramsay at the London Revealed [~ELA~]
· RamsayWire: Resto Debuting Without Ramsay? [~ELA~]
· Josh Emett Installed at Ramsay, Ferguson Heading Back to UK [Eater NY]