Grace Restaurant – Los Angeles

Posted on 24 November 2008

Bob Schriner

I’d heard good things about Grace for a while and after a busy spell ended, I was excited to go find out for myself. Walking inside Grace affirms something I love about LA; the knack for making a room elegant, modern and comfortable. It’s like a friend making a big scene for you and shrugging it off like it was effortless.

The first dish I tried was a crab salad with apple chips and a crisp bit of fried potato on the bottom. As much as I love crab, I struggled to understand the combination here. While the apple chips were light, crisp and enjoyable, the crab was covered in a glaze that obscured the sweet, delicate taste that one expects from said shellfish. The fried potato on the bottom was especially curious. I was honestly put off by this first offering, but I had faith that this would be the exception and not the rule.

As expected, my faith was reinstated in full when our waiter brought by a plate of pumpkin ravioli over steamed spinach. If these ravioli were made elsewhere, it couldn’t have been more than a block away. They were so fresh in that promising way that pasta is when you know it has never been frozen. The pumpkin filling was hearty and rich, not at all sweet. The spinach below had been kind enough to hold on to any loose filling, I could have just ordered another helping of this and been rather content.

When the scallops came, I just had to pause for a moment and let an extended stare keep my fork at bay. The visual was keen indicator on how delicious these scallops would be, seared just a bit, but so tender inside. The accompanying mushrooms and celery puree rounded out to make a solid plate. Now I felt like the kitchen and I had hit our stride.

Entrée time and I received the much anticipated short ribs. Served in a ceramic crock the short ribs were braised lovingly in a red wine reduction that brought out all the fat of this succulent meat. This combination of flavors was so potent that I took the tiniest bites to try to make it last. The al dente risotto setting below just added to the decadence of this wonderful dish.

After a meal this rich, was I really going to have dessert? At first I thought not. Yet my waiter told me there were a few things I had to try. If a man who eats here every day says that, I’ll bite. As such, I received, not one, but two desserts and our man was on the money, we did have to try them.

First to fork of the pair was a trio of battered pineapples coated in confectioners’ sugar with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. Imagine living in a world where a donut could perfectly house a pineapple ring that was still firm enough to burst with juice when you bit into it. Oh wait, I found it, I found it!

The second of the desserts was a maddening combination of sweets. As much as I struggled to get hot house cooked chocolate cake, caramel sauce, peanut butter ice cream and banana slices all on my fork at the same time, the payoff was one of absolute splendor.

Grace can make a meal so good that you will wake up the next day not knowing how you got home. It’s not that you’ll have too much to drink or possibly suffer from dementia. On the contrary, Grace will inundate your senses with so much goodness that your memory of the night will be consumed by what sat on your table.

7360 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036-2501
(323) 934-4400
www.gracerestaurant.com

Categorized | Eat & Drink

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