Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Nick and Stef's Steakhouse + + + + $$$

Who? Andrew, Michellios
Where? 4th and Hope, Wells Fargo Center

There seem to be many nice restaurants nestled in the tall buildings in downtown L.A. and this is no exception. A very modern, upbeat, dimly lit, high-ceilinged, yet simply decorated dining environment. We went as part of DineLA and ordered off the $34 menu. Service was a bit slow but friendly. The beet salad was sweet and delicious. The bread was ordinary. Rub on the sirloin steak was to my taste and a good cut of meat, but it came medium-well rather than medium-rare. Accompanying spinach leaves are very good, and the pureed potatoes are rich and creamy (OK), and the grilled glazed asparagus was fresh (Michelle said too sweet). Rotisserie chicken is crazy sized (full half chicken). The meat is very moist and rub was also to my liking (although Michelle said it was too salty). Bread pudding dessert is nice, not too sweet, and the gelato is nice way to finish with its mystery crispy flakes inside. Parking is free, validated with complimentary valet. Thumbs up!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Napa Valley Grill + + + + 1/2 $$$

Who? Michellios+Wendy, Andrew
Where? Westwood Village, Glendon and Kinross

A beautiful restaurant in the middle of Westwood Village - great ambiance and decor, modern and upscale. A fantastic place to try as part of DineLA restaurant week. Foccacia bread is served with eggplant - unique and quite delicious. Best versions of dishes I've ever tasted: Sea Scallops on Hummus and Orange Blood Pudding. How good was it? Michelle said she'd never liked scallops at all, but the appetizer made her change her mind. Excellent: Rack of Lamb (very tender and juicy) served with the freshest peas-in-pod I ever tasted. The swordfish is also very good, I particularly like the braised vegetables that came with it - light and refreshing. Wine flights look cool. Pinot Noir 2005 Jekel is decent - bouquet>flavour. Parking next door $7.00. Server Jason was very good - order came out wrong but he fixed it promptly and without incident. Kitchen was slow in preparing entrees (long wait). Overall thumbs high up.