April 28, 2012

LA: Stay at the London and dine with Gordon Ramsay

Potty-mouthed UK chef Gordon Ramsay has a self-named restaurant in the very posh London West Hollywood hotel – where I am currently ensconced. So since I’m “in the house”, as the cool movie types and rock stars who frequent this neighbourhood would say, it would be rude not to dine there and see what a Michelin Star experience is all about.

The Bloke and I sat down at 7.15 – early by most LA standards but pretty soon the place filled up with possibly famous faces but alas I recognised no one.

A very pretty and exceptionally thin girl sang romantic jazz quietly at the bar with only a stand-up mic and legs like toothpicks. Seriously, her calves and thighs were the same measurements. Perhaps we should be trading places, as I’m looking at Gordon’s menu options and could go a la carte, 3 courses for $72 or 5 courses for $92, then wine matched if you wish from $45-$65 depending on how many courses.

We went for the fiver and this is what Gordon (via his US chefs) served up:

Foie gras

Duck foie gras terrine with fig jam icecream and chocolate viniagrette. $24 if a la carte. The 2 big croutons weren’t quite enough but thankfully the warm bread we had to start was still on the table. Love foie gras, the fig icecream I left.

Gordon Ramsay lobster melon

The watermelon with lobster cocktail was such a hit with the Bloke that he even exclaimed over the dressing. $22 if ordering a la carte.

Gordon Ramsay pork belly

We both ordered the pork belly for our 2nd entree (or appetiser as they call it here in the States). It was sensational, but as part of the 5-course plan, a little too big! Two fingers of slow roasted pork blackened with herbs with a monster shrimp and served with a teeny quail egg and diced green beans. $24 if ordering a la carte.

Gordon Ramsay bass

The blackened sea bass was a rare special on the menu. I was strongly encouraged to try it by the waiter who declared himself a meat lover but had just chowed down a mouthful in the kitchen and declared it amazing. It was served on tagliatelle with a ginger carrot puree and peanuts in a nod to Pad Thai. It was tasty, but as I am also a meat-atarian I probably would have preferred the steak…

Gordon Ramsay prime rib

They don’t ask how you want your steak cooked here. The Bloke’s prime beef short rib was served medium and he rated it 9/10. It comes with a bearnaise sauce, roasted potatoes and glazed turnips. $46 if doing a la carte.

Apple pie

A cheese platter pic should be squeezed in here with 3 different types of goats and cows milk cheeses from Italy and Spain, then I decided I had room for this (half) apple pie which is normally made for 2, but they can cut in half. I didn’t manage to get through it all. It was lovely, but by now I’m fit to burst.

Gordon Ramsay's chocolate napoleon

The Bloke finished his meal with this Chocolate Napoleon which was pretty much a fancy custard square with shaved chocolate and raspberries. He managed to consume it all – oh and we wine matched throughout with the help of resident sommelier Andrzej. Not that I understood much of what he explained, but he did a good job on the flavours with 5 glasses (half pours, and a sticky to end)!

Thanks Gordon, it was a great night and your American staff at the London did you proud. No tantrums or hissy fits and a delicious meal 🙂

About Megan Singleton

Megan

Megan Singleton is a travel writer, blogger and radio correspondent. She's been gallivanting around the world telling stories for the last 16 years and has her suitcase always half packed (or half un-packed!) Follow along on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for monthly newsletters if you want to keep up with the journey!

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