Delphine, Hollywood's answer to a French brasserie, opened earlier this year in the new W Hotel. Along with the hotel's two other eateries - The Station and The Living Room - Delphine's launch kept Innovative Dining Group (Boa, Sushi Roku) busy for most of this year and last. Eater was allowed a couple of tantalizing sneak peeks early on and gossip spread about the chef and his menu of Southern French cuisine. There was talk of the Old Hollywood-meets-New Hollywood glamour regarding the hotel's interior, and, of course its rooftop bars. Finally, there was that star-studded opening bash. Ah, good times.
But with all of the good news, inevitably, comes some bad news. This is Hollywood, after all. Let's see what the critics, the commentators and the fans have to say. Et pour vous? There's always that comments section down below.
The Rip-Off News: "Why is Sacha Lyon still only cooking Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr's food? Total rip off of Balthazar and Pastis." [Eater Comments]
All Over Service News: "The lobby is an over-the-top explosion of ’60s lounge and pre-economic-crisis glitz ... The Côte D’Azur theme is expressed via a breezy menu that features gleaming towers of oysters, silver cones of piping-hot frites, fresh Francophile salads, a traditional croque monsieur, sizzling steak au poivre, and a hefty macaroni gratin. Everything looks, tastes, and feels effortless except the service, which is all over the place." [LAMag]
Virbs, on getting your money's worth: "And that seafood platter? It's incredibly generous — "le petit Delphine" is almost too generous for two, certainly too much if you plan on eating anything else afterward ... In all honesty, it's not the best platter in town, but it's definitely the biggest bang for the buck." [LAT]
Gold gushes about the Trout: "Even in its first week, despite the confused service, a weird 15 percent service charge and the usual opening-night jitters, Delphine has among the most assured brasserie cooking in town: mussels steamed in a Le Creuset pot with white wine and slivered fennel ... A crisp-skinned trout Meunière, sluiced with brown butter, garnished with a handful of sautéed shrimp, is probably the best trout Meunière I've ever had in Los Angeles." [LAW]
The Disappointment: "Oh, Delphine. I was swayed by your W swank ways, charmed by your French name and drawn in by all that online hype ... announcing your debut. But despite your gorgeous space and intriguing cocktail menu, I discovered after an impromptu rendezvous last night?that you actually aren’t all that." [CoC]
The Dessert Redemption: "The combo of goat cheese, apple and ice cream was divine. We even took turns dipping the vanilla ice cream in the hot cocoa. Mm, made it better!" [CoC]
The Shocking, Overpriced News: "We would not go back even though it's close to my house. The Delphine Salad is overpriced even at $12. My friend ordered the chicken and it was TINY, the size of a model's breast, as he put it." [OpenTable]
The Overbearing Management News: "Phenomenal food, gorgeous place...liked it even better than Balthazar and Pastis in NYC. Wait staff is very good; however, management is friendly but a little overbearing. We had no less than 5 people interrupt our entrees to ask how everything was. Still, would definitely go back in a heartbeat." [OpenTable]
Take Two on the Trout: "For dinner, I ordered the trout meuniere with a side of ratatouille. The ratatouille was tasty. Nothing to go nuts over but definitely solid ratatouille. Unfortunately, the trout was atrocious, and I use that word sparingly. It was SWIMMING (pun intended) in butter. The trout could have been replaced with anything; beef, tofu, turkey because the taste of the butter was so overwhelming, it didn't matter what the main dish was. The butter had soaked into the trout so severely that when I took a bite, butter squished out from the fish. Seriously, it was not good. At all." [Yelp]
The Catalan-inspired news: "In keeping with the Mediterranean theme, there are a certain number of Catalan-inspired dishes on the menu — ham with goat cheese crumbed onto soggy tomato toast; braised lamb with stewed peppers — but it's better to pretend that they don't exist." [LAW]
The Big Evil Corporation News: "I know this is going to sound harsh but I feel this place is a soul-less big fancy pants production. They're trying, fine, and the food is acceptable, fine, but come on. I smell something fishy, and it's not the oyster platter. I get the feeling in these types of restaurants that are all part of a big evil restaurant corporation that pretend that each one is it's own unique experience, that they're just that, fake." [Yelp]
Charred and Sweet News: "My arctic char had a pleasantly crisp skin and was nicely cooked, but the cocktails we tried from the adjacent Station Lounge were uniformly way too sweet." [Eating L.A.]
Design News, In All Its Glory: "What really takes the cake at Delphine is the decor, decor in terms of actual decor, and the people decorating the furniture. There is faux lofted ceiling covered by curved, dropped wooden sound panels ... The banquets have funky, warm, and tough denim covers, while the long bar is adorned eloquently with tall vases sporting fresh cut flowers. The front room & bar have great visibility both in and out, and one of the greatest joys might be to stand at the bar, all European-like, and absorb Hollywood in all it’s glory." [SinoSoul] — Daniela Galarza