I dined at Grace on a Friday evening, the night before their last dinner service at their Beverly Blvd. location, for my best friend's birthday. The place was fairly packed, but we were quickly seated by the friendly hostess upon our arrival. While I've been to Chef Neal Fraser's more causal restaurant, BLD, this was my first time at Grace. I thought it was a fantastic opportunity to finally dine here with the celebration of Lina's birthday and the closing of the restaurant.
Grace's move out of Beverly Blvd. is certainly bittersweet; leaving behind seven years of culinary growth and fond memories is difficult but opening a new chapter at their new downtown location at Vibiana, scheduled to open next year, is quite exciting. While Grace is moving out, Rivera will be opening up their second location at this Beverly Blvd. space. Finally! I don't have to drive all the way to downtown for some awesome cocktails! While I am sad that Grace is leaving and am kicking myself in the ass for not coming sooner, I am happy for their new space and glad that I got a chance to dine here before their move.
Upon seeing her name on the menu, Lina squealed with glee and I think scared the couple dining next to us. Haha.
Since I got my braces tightened days before this dinner, I knew beforehand I couldn't enjoy the bread. It was too hard for my sensitive teeth. I did eat the soft inside only, leaving behind the crust as a I once did when I was a a crust-loathing child. Lina did mention the bread was a bit tougher than she liked, but raved about the butter. There's nothing worse than cold butter for your bread.
Augustus, Drusian Proseco di Valdobbiadene, Tio Pepe Palomino Fino Sherry, Campari, lemon twist
I saw the prosecco and lemon twist and thought it would be a great way to start off my meal. But, I really should've just asked the waiter for a recommendation. This was my first experience with Campari and it was not a pleasant one. Maybe if I knew it was bitter, then I would have been more prepared. While I enjoyed the effervescence from the prosecco, the Campari proved too be too bitter to my liking. But, I do want to try Campari on it's own so I can decipher it's unique flavor.
roasted beet salad, goat's milk feta, greens, pistachios, goat cheese fondue
Since I had made arrangements for Lina's surprise birthday party at the Huntley Hotel by 10 p.m., we were on a tight schedule. She knew we were going out after and we decided to eat light so we would be able to function in our outfits. We started off with one of my favorite salads, roasted beets and goat cheese. I loved the different play of textures and temperatues in this dish. The warm beets was a nice contrast to the cool greens and the creamy cubes of goat cheese.
olive oil poached halibut, brandade, horseradish cream, sherry gelée
The cod fritter was salty and delicious, which I thought went really well with the mild halibut. Initially I imagined that the horseradish cream would be too pungent and overpower the dish, but it was light and lovely. There was just enough citrus in the cream to complement the fish. My favorite part of the dish was the sherry gelee; they were little pieces of acidic flavor that brightened the whole dish.
grilled ribeye of beef, nettle polenta, balsamic cippollini onions, red wine nage
Since we decided to eat light, we ordered two appetizers and one entree to share. For our entree, we went with the grilled ribeye with polenta. The texture of the polenta was great - I loved the grittiness of it. The meat itself was seasoned and cooked beautifully. Truthfully, we were already really full by this point and had trouble finishing this as the portion was pretty hefty.
Roof Garden, Karlsson's vodka, fresh citrus sweet & sour, fresh muddled thyme & mint, club soda
Since Lina and I could not enjoy, or better yet, appreciate the Augustus, we asked our waiter for a recommendation. We wanted something with citrus and that was refreshing. He came back with two Roof Gardens, which was basically like a mojito but made with vodka and thyme. It was easy to drink and definitely refreshing.
doughnuts: cinnamon beignet, salt and pepper caramel, buttermilk toasted coconut, vanilla ice cream
For our dessert, we couldn't pass up their famous doughnuts so we ordered the trio combo. They were dense and amazing. Our favorite out of the three was definitely the toasted coconut which is surprising because we both don't really care for coconut. The crunchy texture of the toasted coconut was absolutely delicious. I also really enjoyed the salt and pepper caramel, but I'm a sucker for a caramel. The cinnamon beignet was also good, but the weakest for me out of the three.
With only three dishes in, I know this meal was a tease. But, tease or not, the dishes were fantastic and we both came out ridiculously full. Most important, Lina really loved the food and had a fabulous time! We will both be back to Grace at their new downtown location. For those of you wondering, the surprise party was a complete success! She had no idea! Happy Birthday, Ketchup! I love you!
Grace Restaurant - CLOSED
7360 Beverly BlvdLos Angeles, CA 90036