Because we're in a photogallery kind of mood, please peruse our preview dinner at RH at the newly opened Andaz Hotel last night. It was basically media, friends, family, staff with a few actual hotel guests thrown in for good measure, but all in all a big hit. Without seeing the menu, getting a press release with buzz words like "market-to-table" and "seasonal" certainly isn't groundbreaking in these parts, but we found some tasty, simple, classic dishes at the test run. Chef Sebastien Archambault's menu has things like a plate of straight-from-the-market vegetables to munch on along side freshly baked bread; shrimp ceviche; roasted mushroom tart with hazlenuts; braised beef cheeks; one damn tasty pork chop; and seared scallops with orange-braised endive that tasted like fennel to us. But then there's the choose-your-own-adventure menu, which has us totally intrigued.
In addition to the set menu, there's a whole choose-your-own menu, literally a check list of proteins (diver scallops, yellowfin tuna, hangar steak, etc.), how you'd like it cooked (seared, stir-friy, tartare), vegetables, and sauces and chutneys. You choose, the kitchen cooks. On one hand, it's perfectly fitting for that finicky Angeleno crowd that never orders a dish how it's prepared on the menu ("Can I just have a green salad, lemon wedges on the side, and broiled chicken?"); on the other, we'd like to see how consistent the chefs will be when each order is a completely different set of ingredients. With that menu and the open kitchen in the middle of the room, it's sort of Top Chef come to life. [8401 Sunset Blvd, 323.656.1234; website]
· The Dish: RH at Andaz, More [~ELA~}