Tag Archives: Restaurant Critic

Deeply Madly Marché

Marché Restaurant Sunday Supper [Visit 6]

When Peter and I fall in love with a restaurant, we fall MADLY. Especially so, when it’s just a few minutes away from our home in Studio City. Although we tried to show some restraint in the past few weeks, we have NOT been able to stay away from our (now favorite) neighborhood spot.

During our New Year’s Eve dinner at Marché (link below), Chef Gary Menes told us about his upcoming “Sunday Suppers”. Instead of the regular tasting menu (which we LOVE because we share multiple plates), there would be a 4-Course Prix Fixe dinner for only $30.

When we learned (on yet another visit) that Marché server Ashton Sullivan would be the evening’s entertainment, we decided to make this first “Marché Sunday Supper” a good old fashioned party.

It’s not a real party without my nephews (big brothers to the twins), so Camron and Cody (along with their girlfriends) drove out from Glendora in the pouring rain. Friends Emrah & Silma trekked into the valley from over the hill, and although Lisa & Dave could have easily walked the few blocks to the restaurant, the streets were just too wet for a casual Sunday stroll.

The atmosphere is so cozy at Marché, especially on a cold and rainy night. Our table of ten hunkered down for a few hours of great food, drinks, soothing guitar by Ashton and of course lots of laughs. As Lisa (@DailyWine) tweeted the next morning: “You’re doing something right when place is packed on a Sun in LA in the rain”. So true.

Sunday Supper #1 [visit 6]:

Marché Restaurant visit 6
1st Course: Romey Lettuce, Goat Cheese, Apples, Cider Vinaigrette.
2nd Course: Soup – Okinawa Sweet Potatoes, Leeks, Truffle Scented Creme Fraiche.
3rd Course: Beouf Bourguignon (cooked sous vide for 36 hours at 60 degrees celsius), Pomme Puree.
4th Course: Creme Caramel, Coconut Butter Cookies.

Marché Restaurant visit 6
3rd course option (instead of the beouf bourguignon) was Blue Hubbard Squash, Wheat Berries, Smoked Pearl Onions, Sauce Soubise.

Marché Restaurant visit 6
Cody (my nephew) & his girlfriend Jade, Camron (my nephew) & his girlfriend Jennee at the first ever Sunday Supper at Marché Restaurant

Marché Restaurant visit 6
Peter having a laugh with Chef Menes

Marché Restaurant visit 6
Music by Ashton Sullivan
Marché Restaurant visit 6
With our good friends Emrah and Simla

Sunday Supper: $30
Quartino of Wine $5
Dining Date: 1/17/10 with Peter, Cody, Jade, Camron, Jennee, Lisa & Dave, Simla & Emrah.
Mentioned above:

Marché [Visit 5]
Marché Restaurant visit 5
Pig Candy: Applewood Smoked Bacon, Brown Sugar, Spices

Marché Restaurant visit 5
Veal Tongue Pastrami, Horseradish Creme Fraiche

Marché Restaurant visit 5
Jambon, Butter, Pain Grille

Marché Restaurant visit 5
Local Yellow Tail, Honshimegi Mushrooms, Sugar Peas, Green Garlic

Marché Restaurant visit 5
Healthy Family Farms Chicken, Purple Top Turnips, Chantrelle Mushrooms, Hearts of Romaine

Marché Restaurant visit 5
Prime Beef, Pomme de Terre, Torpedo Onions, Haritcots Verts, Red Wine

Dining Date: 1/08/10 with Peter, Bob, Lisa & Dave

Note: This restaurant is now closed. Please follow Chef Menes on Twitter

Marché
13355 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(818) 784-2915
Website

Update: 3/30/10 Read Jonathan Gold’s Review!

All Marché photos on Flickr

Marché [1 & 2]

Marché [3]

New Year’s Eve at Marché [4]

Marche on Urbanspoon

14 Comments

Filed under Eating Out

A Bossa Nova New Year’s Eve

Bossa Nova music makes me feel giddy and extraordinarily happy. You know that feeling you get from listening to childhood records? A sudden spike of joy deep inside your soul?

Dancing with my big sister Janet, OkinawaWhen my sister Janet and I were growing up in Okinawa, our favorite records were the ones we weren’t allowed to play. Dutifully, we listened to Disney records that our grandparents mailed from the states, but we most enjoyed sneaking into our dad’s immaculate record collection.

He never found out about our little secret because my big sister was absolutely brilliant (even at seven years old). When we decided on an LP that we wanted to hear, Janet would pull THREE albums partially out of the record shelf. The one we wanted to hear was in the middle, the two others on each side were place holders (so she knew where to return the treasured vinyl). Big sis never allowed ME to actually TOUCH the records, which was probably a really good idea.

Our very favorite albums back then were Herb Alpert, and the awesome Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66. We knew all the words to “Mais Que Nada” (still do), and would invite friends over for after-school dancing. To this day, Bossa Nova is always on my party mix. Just try listening to “One Note Samba / Spanish Flea” without dancing or bobbing your head.

When Peter and I first met fifteen years ago, we bonded over discussions of Bossa Nova music. Two years later on our wedding day, I walked down the aisle to Astrud Gilberto’s “Summer Samba (So Nice)”. If you don’t know the song, the lyrics begin with:

“Someone to hold me tight, that would be very nice
Someone to love me right, that would be very nice

Someone to understand each little dream in me
Someone to take my hand and be a team with me

So nice… life would be so nice, if one day I’d find
Someone who would take my hand and samba through life with me”

And yes, it’s been SO NICE!

Marché Restaurant, MyLastBiteFor New Year’s Eve, we like to do something low-key. Sometimes we spend it with family, sometimes we cook together at home or go out to a nearby restaurant.

We’ve fallen in love with chef Gary Menes’ cooking at Marche’ recently, and luckily the restaurant is just a few minutes from our house. When I read there would be a live JAZZ band on New Year’s Eve, I don’t know why but I just assumed it would be modern or fusion jazz. Not my favorite, but I figured at least Peter would really enjoy it. Besides Bossa, I’m a big fan of New Orleans jazz (especially Preservation Hall, the legendary band we recently saw at Disney Hall).

We had a 9pm dinner reservation, and I knew the food would be fantastic (this would be our fourth visit) so I wasn’t going to let the jazz in the background bother me. The duo wasn’t playing when we were being seated, and after we settled in and put on our party hats, there it was…. glorious BOSSA NOVA!

Yes, it was an elegantly laid-back, truffle-filled (thank you chef Menes!) food fest of a New Year’s Eve at Marche’, but with our beloved Bossa Nova warming up the crowded yet cozy dining room, it felt more like a party just for two.

My very Last Bites in 2009:

Marché Restaurant, MyLastBite
Winter Black Truffle Risotto. Raviolli: Swiss Chard, Mascarpone, Reggiano, Chestnuts.

Marché Restaurant, MyLastBite
Foie Gras Terrine, Date Compote, Brioche. Romey Lettuce, Baby Beets, Goat Cheese, Pistachios.

Marché Restaurant, MyLastBite
Hokkaido Scallops, Cauliflower, Apple, Gastrique, Vaudouvan Butter.

Marché Restaurant, MyLastBite
Fennel, Orange, Pear, Forbidden Rice.

Marché Restaurant, MyLastBite
Healthy Family Farms Chicken, Peas, Carrots, Tendrils, Grits.

Marché Restaurant, MyLastBite
A5 Grade Australian 100% Wagu eye of RibEye , Pomme Puree, Hearts of Romaine, Bunch Onions, Red Wine

Marché Restaurant, MyLastBite
Calvados Brandy Cheesecake (plus lovely Caramel Apple Millefeuill, Apple Walnut Cake and Brown Sugar Ice Cream!) 

Note: This restaurant is now closed. Please follow Chef Menes on Twitter

 

Marché Restaurant, MyLastBiteMarché
13355 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(818) 784-2915
Website

Dining Date: 12/31/09 [this page is Visit 4]

Photos of all my dinners at Marché

Update: 3/30/10 Read Jonathan Gold’s Review!

Mentioned Above:

Bozza Nova from Wes Smith and Graham Dechter

All Marché photos on Flickr

More Okinawa Photos




14 Comments

Filed under Eating Out

Marché [3]

We can’t seem to stay away from our favorite neighborhood bistro! Another fantastic evening Marché Restaurant:

Marché Restaurant visit 3
Amuse Bouche: Kumamoto Oyster w/ Minuet Sauce

Marché Restaurant visit 3
Pickled Fuyu Persimmon

Marché Restaurant visit 3
Perigord Truffle Risotto

Marché Restaurant visit 3
Coleman lettuce, baby beets, walnuts, goa cheese, herbs

Marché Restaurant visit 3
Arugula, tangerine, pecorino, pistachio, verjus vinaigrette

Marché Restaurant visit 3
Sushi grade big eye tuna, baby broccoli, forbidden rice, scallions, shitake, pea tendrils

Marché Restaurant visit 3
Creme Brulee & Beignet

Note: This restaurant is now closed. Please follow Chef Menes on Twitter

Marché
13355 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(818) 784-2915
Website

Dining Date: 12/26/09

Update: 3/30/10 Read Jonathan Gold’s Review!

Marché [1 & 2]

New Year’s Eve at Marché [4]

Marché [5 & 6]

Photos from previous dinners at Marché

Marche on Urbanspoon

3 Comments

Filed under Eating Out

Marché [1 & 2]

CONGRATULATIONS to chef Gary Menes for the terrific L.A. Times review of Marché Restaurant (link below).

Peter and I have been eating at the Sherman Oaks location for years, and have happily returned to each new incarnation of the restaurant, formerly known as Max.

A few years ago, there was a daily show I watched regularly on cable called “Recipe TV”. It featured chefs from L.A. (as well as other cities) sharing recipes and cooking in their restaurant kitchens. Some of the chefs I enjoyed most were Dave Myers of Sona, Eric Greenspan (before he opened the Foundry) and Andre Guerrero (chef/owner) of Max restaurant in Sherman Oaks.

Since Max was just up the street, Peter and I got a kick out of ordering dishes that we had seen prepared on the show. The restaurant became our nearby “special occasion” place and we even celebrated New Year’s Eve in the elegant dining room one year.

Then in late 2008, Max restaurant was stripped down into a more casual bistro. At first, we were leery of trying out the new menu, but then fell absolutely in love with the Max Black Angus Burger and chicken liver pate’. That became our favorite comfort meal in the valley, and I would shamelessly dip my crispy fries into the creamy potted chicken liver like it was ketchup! French fries and chicken liver… a match made in heaven.

When I read that Max was being retooled, I figured it was the end of our favorite “old new” spot. Until I learned that the new chef had most recently worked at Palate Food + Wine in Glendale, under the helm of the awesome Octavio Becerra.

I’m happy to say, our first visit to the NEW Marché restaurant did not disappoint. Peter and I are looking forward to seeing (and of course TASTING) what’s next on the menu!

What we shared on our first visit:

Marché Restaurant, MyLastBite.com
Coddled Eggs, Summer Truffles

Marché Restaurant, MyLastBite.com
Scallops

Marché Restaurant, MyLastBite.com
Pork Rillette

Marché Restaurant, MyLastBite.com
Salad with Speck, Piedmontese Beef

Marché Restaurant, MyLastBite.com
Pork Belly with Figs

Marché Restaurant, MyLastBite.com
Apple Charlotte

Above Dining Date: 10/2/09

Below Dining Date: 11/28/09

Marché Restaurant, MyLastBite
Foie Gras Terrine, brioche au maison

Marché Restaurant, MyLastBite
Castelvetrano Olives with orange and pistou. Potted smoked prawns at Marché Restaurant

Marché Restaurant, MyLastBite
Local Calamari, Haricots Verts, Shitake, Meyer Lemon

Marché Restaurant, MyLastBite
Natural Beef, Potato, Red Wine

Photos from all my visits to Marché

Note: This restaurant is now closed. Please follow Chef Menes on Twitter

Marché L.A.
13355 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(818) 784-2915
Website

Mentioned Above:

L.A. Times Marché Review

L.A. Times Article about Max

Dining at Palate Food and Wine

Dining at the former MAX (Angus Burger)

4 Comments

Filed under Eating Out

RH Restaurant

RH @ Andaz, MyLastBite.comDinner at RH restaurant has been one of the best all-around dining experiences I’ve had in quite a while. It’s not just the sleek surroundings of the restaurant, the attentive staff or even the food writer’s dream of an open kitchen. It’s mostly about the straightforward, yet sumptuous market-driven cooking of French-trained Chef Sebastien Archambault.

Having grown up in the 70’s, I also loved the fact that I was dining at the “Riot Hyatt” (RH), the center for all rock ‘n’ roll badness way back when. One of the best-known stories of the infamous hotel was when (as Wikipedia notes): “Led Zeppelin rented as many as six floors of the hotel in the mid-to-late 1970s for the band members and entourage. Drummer John Bonham was reported to have driven a motorcycle along the hallways”. 

On Stage at the Whisky-a-GoGo, MyLastBite.comIf you’ve seen the film “Almost Famous”, you’ll remember the hotel scene where Penny Lane takes William to meet with the band. Director Cameron Crowe did a wonderful job replicating the hotel’s free-spirited fun of the era, and even though I never got to actually stay at the “Riot Hyatt”, a few years ago I did come very close.

In 2004, my husband Peter rented out the legendary Whisky-a-GoGo club for my 40th birthday party. He knew that as a kid, I used to sneak out to see bands like “X” and “Motley Crue”, so it was a real treat to play guitar on the same stage.

The Whisky-a-GoGo, MyLastBite.comFor this milestone birthday celebration, we flew in my younger brother Greg and his band from Scotland, and just for fun… we treated them to a night at the Hyatt.

The Whisky is just up the street from the hotel, so after our gig we loaded up the band equipment, then dropped off Greg and his mates at the legendary flophouse. The hotel was renovated in January 2009 and is now called the Andaz West Hollywood.

The food at RH Restaurant is more “French Brasserie” than “Sunset Strip Room Service”, but take one bite of Chef Archambault’s “RH” Burger and you’ll feel like a self-indulgent, spoiled celebrity. The Black Angus beef is topped with a piece of perfectly seared foie gras, morel mushrooms, and it comes with a side of TRIPLE-fried french fries with fresh truffle shavings (not just truffle oil).

The RH Burger is absolutely my favorite burger and fries combination EVER. On top of that, the rest of the meal was excellent as well.

What we ate:

RH @ Andaz, MyLastBite.com
Market fresh veggies arrived at our table first.

RH @ Andaz, MyLastBite.com
Pata Negra Ham-Bellota (aged 36 months) w/ Tomato and Garlic Crostini. (Pan con tomate – Pa amb tomaquet) $25

RH @ Andaz, MyLastBite.com
Hudson Valley Foie Gras Terrine with Kumquat Confit $18

RH @ Andaz, MyLastBite.com
Hudson Valley Foie Gras Terrine with Kumquat Confit (close up)

RH @ Andaz, MyLastBite.com
Morels and Green Spring Onion Tart w/ Parsley Oil $18

RH @ Andaz, MyLastBite.com
The RH Burger: Black Angus Beef, Foie Gras and Morels $26 (includes fries)

RH @ Andaz, MyLastBite.com
Truffled Triple Fried French Fries (included with burger). Extra side $7

RH @ Andaz, MyLastBite.com
Green Vegetable Risotto Arborio with Peas, Zucchini, Asparagus and Fava Beans $20

RH @ Andaz, MyLastBite.com
12 Hour Cooked Boneless Suckling Pork with Roasted Apricot and Rosemary Jus $25

RH @ Andaz, MyLastBite.com
Side Dishes: Glazed Rainbow Carrots and Cauliflower Gratin $7 each

RH @ Andaz, MyLastBite.com
Warm Chocolate Cake w/ Little John’s English Toffee Caramel $8

RH @ Andaz, MyLastBite.com
Executive Chef Sebastien Archambault

RH @ Andaz, MyLastBite.com
RH from Sunset Strip

RH @ Andaz, MyLastBite.com
Shrimp & Bread Appetizers at the Bar. The day of our reservation, I learned that the RH bar was the start of the Sunset Strip’s first-ever “Twitter Crawl”, so Peter and I went early to check it out!

RH @ Andaz, MyLastBite.com5
Left: 
Mojito, Martini, Vodka 
Top Right: Looking in from the bar into the restaurant before dinner
Bottom Right: Looking out the RH bar window, Vincent Chace and his “boys”.

RH @ Andaz, MyLastBite.com
Seriously, one of the SWEETEST chefs in town! Chef Sebastien Archambault was kind enough to give me a private tour of the kitchen.

RH @ Andaz, MyLastBite.com
Touring the Open Kitchen

RH at Andaz West Hollywood
8401 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90069
(323) 785-6090 Website

Dining Date: 7/1/09 with Peter, Julian & Wendy

Check out Twitter Tuesdays!
Posted on Twitter 7/28/09
“RH restaurant announces
Twitter Tuesdays. Get one complimentary dinner when dining with 2 or more people if you are following us
@
andazweho “

Mentioned Above:

History of the Riot Hyatt

My brother Greg’s band (in 2004) playing at my 40th birthday

Greg’s current band  His personal website

Whisky-a-GoGo website

“Riot Hyatt” clip from “Almost Famous” (scene starts at 1 minute in)

“Almost Famous” on IMDB

“Almost Famous” DVD

Entourage

The first Sunset Strip Twitter Crawl

All my RH photos on Flickr

With my brother Greg, on another legendary L.A. stage

RH at Andaz West Hollywood on Urbanspoon

16 Comments

Filed under Eating Out