Coming off of a rather disappointing visit to a downtown Italian disaster, I was looking for a dinner good enough to make me forget the last one. I know what you’re thinking, “Bob, that’s not fair of you to set the expectations of one restaurant so high.” Well skeptic, it might not be fair, but luckily I had reservations at a place that could take on the challenge.
Located at the famed Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire hotel, when you walk into BLVD it actually feels bigger indoors than it looks on the street outside. The high ceilings and open area immediately put me at ease, mind you, I’d just come from rush hour traffic. The broad wood columns in the room were illuminated by the verdant natural light ushered in by large windows that ran along Wilshire Boulevard. Our waiter Gunn was very polished and professional at first, but as our night went on we got the chance to speak with him more. He was delightful and I could easily see how he had worked here for sixteen years.
I started off with a Belgium Endive Salad. When I ordered I envisioned a leafier affair. So I was a little surprised to see the order arrive and find they used the stalk of the endive. The stalks nicely held in slices of poached pears and toasted hazelnuts. The soft pear sometimes got lost with the crisp lettuce and crunchy hazelnuts, but I was still very pleased with the choice. The foie gras came next and it looked so good I just starred at it for a long couple seconds before dispatching my fork and knife. The foie gras came stacked on brioche, which was setting atop a slice of granny smith apple. The combination of the three in one bite was sensational. The richness of the foie gras sinking into the warm, tender brioche as the tartness of the apple was reigned in was something I wish you all could sample as you read along.
Haya had the Sunchoke Soup which I should have known was something spectacular as she’d become suspiciously quiet after the first spoonful. She offered me a taste and I had to commandeer the bowl from there. I couldn’t identify everything that went into the soup, but the melding of root puree, black truffle and a smoky finish was enough to have me shamelessly scraping the spoon across the nearly clean bottom of the bowl. If I could have only had one item on the menu, this is it.
Thankfully, I didn’t have to choose one item on the menu as I enjoyed the first two dishes and was really looking forward to trying the filet mignon. The steak came to our table in a glow. The crusted coating of the filet sat on mashed potatoes and fried artichoke. I put my switchblade styled steak knife to the top of the steak and suddenly felt like a man that didn’t know his own strength. The knife, in one dragging motion made a thick sound as it quickly struck the plate below. The filet is known for being tender…and maybe not so flavorful. This filet was exceptionally tender, I have seen thick fog and this cut delivered on taste as it was well seasoned and grilled to perfection.
One thing that kept ringing true to us through this dinner is that BLVD consistently demonstrates that they care about food and delivering a memorable experience. Now I know other places might do one or the other, but I walked away from BLVD feeling content in every respect and feeling smart for having indulged myself there. The menu we ordered from is the new menu for the season and I’m eager to return and try the other offerings.
9500 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90212