Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Frank Bruni: Animal bacony and fun, Palate is pallid

Both the NYTimes' Frank Bruni and the San Francisco Chronicle's Michael Bauer paid recent visits to the provincial outpost of L.A., mostly to try Bazaar (foie gras cotton candy, pictured at left). Bruni also writes about Animal, where he can't hear his guests and finds the cooking unevent, but nonetheless seems to enjoy the chefs' wholehearted embrace of all that is porcine. But read to the end of his blog post The Lesser Los Angeles, where he totally savages Palate Food & Wine.
I enjoyed my early visits there, but lately I've heard of several people having experiences similar to Bruni's. Despite a promising start, it sounds like Octavio Becerra needs to pay considerably more attention to the front of the house and some to the food as well. Have you been there lately?

9 comments:

WeezerMonkey said...

I *still* haven't been to Palate, but I wasn't impressed by the little pork belly served at Gold Standard. I chalked that up, however, to the nature of the event and not the restaurant.

Very interesting....

oddlyme said...

I was there with friends monday night, 3/16 - and it was excellent.

Our third time there and my only complaint was that the butter needed to be colder with a bit more salt on top. But otherwise the food, wine and service was excellent.

And our cheese plate? Killer.

Christa said...

I was there a couple Sundays ago for Sunday supper and I came away very disappointed. Someone should have been paying more attention to the cuts of meat that were making it out to the tables, mine was really poor though my friend's was fine. The date square for dessert was unimpressive. I wouldn't go so far to tell someone not to go because I just happened to get unlucky, but miss important details like that, and I won't go back. There are too many great places in L.A. to try (and I'll spare us all the 'in these economic times' rag).

rangelife said...

Ate there last night. It was good except our server seemed less than enthused. Though it could be that he was sick and constantly coughing up a lung (classy). For the price, I thought it was great. I'd go back.

Anonymous said...

the guys at palate are so great! im sorry to hear that the service is lagging behind the amazing food and wine! it seems a bit unfair to me, the blog in the nyt....

MyLastBite said...

I've been twice and both dinners were FANTASTIC. http://mylastbite.wordpress.com/2009/01/14/palate-food-wine/

Anonymous said...

I went to Palate a few months ago. The food was quite good. The service was abysmal and I won't go back because of it. Our server was totally ignorant of everything on the menu. When I asked to speak to someone that knew something about the cheese he gave me attitude. When I insisted he did send over another server that knew quite abit. I think his name was Todd but I can't recall, it's been a while. I wanted to take my parents there and be sure we got the good waiter. I called twice to ask if we could be seated in his section. The first time I was told she didn't know, the second time I was told that, according to law, they couldn't tell me when he would be working, (maybe I'm a waiter stalker?). The food is good, but not that good.

Anonymous said...

i'm not a fan of the attitude of the animal guys. they are full of themselves.
i had the pork belly at an event once and LOVED it. best thing there, but at the restaurant it was dry as a bone. they do have some very nice dishes and i like the staff but the guys are like that weird subset of mean boys in high school, the ones who have the tattoos, smoke the pot, despise footballers, but they themselves are actually a-holes, too. only no know notices because they can shred a guitar and recite poetry.

L.A. Story said...

Heard there's a donut dessert that's great at Animal. Must try it.