Craft Century City Reviews
too salty, too expensive Apr 26, 2009
While dining at Craft, supposedly one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles, I came up with a theory. Just as there is a huge, natural range among humans in their ability to see and hear things (i.e. some people have better eyesight and hearing than others), so too must there be an equally large range in taste and smell.
That is the only explanation I can come up with that would explain why the food at a restaurant owned by Tom Colicchio, of America's Top Chef fame, would taste so unbearably salty and unappetizing.
We ordered a few dishes, which I will describe here:
Endive, Pecan & Goat Cheese - Average, but way too salty. Basically, all you could taste was the salt and the salad dressing.
Spanish Octopus & Greek Yoghurt - This was actually the best dish we had, and was quite good. Tasty, large pieces of octopus, with a meaty, robust flavor.
Pacific Halibut & Baby Artichoke - Maybe the fish itself was good, but I wouldn't know, because all I could taste was salt. The outer layer of fish was basically just coated in salt. Biting into the fish tasted like eating a spooonful of salt.
Sauteed Swiss Chard - Swiss chard, with some rhubarb, literally drenched in oil. I guess they ran out of salt and decided just to soak it in oil instead. The greens were literally soggy and dripping oil. And it cost $10.
Dungeness Crab, Chorizo & Saffron Risotto - Ok, but not better than risotto you could get at any decent Italian restaurant. And, guess what, way too salty.
I don't think I have superhuman taste buds, and I like salt, but this was just way too much.
To add insult to injury, the prices of the dishes are ridiculous. $10 for a sauteed bowl of vegetables? Another appetizer that we didn't get, but which I noticed on the menu - "Lobster Raviolo" - That's right, "raviolo", the singular form of ravioli. One piece of ravioli for $17. I don't think there is any way you can justify those prices, outside of appealing to trend-setters in LA more interested in flash than substance.
The staff, at least, was very attentive.
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Aug 12, 2007
my friends and i recently had dinner at this fairly new westside restaurant (via nyc) and we were most impressed by the appetizers. the food here is shared family style, which was a nice way of trying a lot of the food.
we started off with the foie gras (roasted and not the terrine), pork belly, arugula salad, octopus and beets. i am not a fan of beets in general but my friends, who are fans, loved it. the arugula was ok. i definitely enjoyed the foie gras - like butter -- so smooth and just rich. the pork belly was very tasty (very lechon like or chicharon - for those familiar with pinoy cuisine). the octopus was a delight, not chewy but very meaty.
the main courses were fine but not as exciting as the appetizers. some friends shared the ribeye for two -- which was really large. i did no try it but they thought it as just ok (they liked mastro's better). another friend had some fish dish (that i also did not try) and she thought it was just ok. i had the diver scallops, which i thought was pretty good. there were 4 pieces at about maybe 2 ounces each. i did not think it was excellent but i thought it was still tasty. not overdone or chewy.
as for dessert, a friend had the olive oil gelato, which we all thought was a novelty. it did taste like olive oil -- i probably would not order it again. i had the salty chocolate with hazelnut and gelato, which was ok. i paired it with a nice port (fonseca bin 27), which i loved. another friend had the souffle, which UNLIKE most other good restaurants, came fairly quickly. for all of the food we ordered, plus a bottle of wine, and a few other cocktails and some coffee, the bill came to about $127 per person. not too bad but not cheap either. i do like this place. although one glitch during the entire evening was that my friend ordered a raspberry mojito and it never came. otherwise, the evening was very enjoyable. the service, although very friendly, was a tad bit slow. while they still need to work out the kinks, i definitely enjoyed the appetizers.
i would probably go back to try the other appetizers.
as for the "scene," i would not describe it as the sunset, hollywood, santa monica or venice crowd (which are all very different - from trendy to casual chic to casual). diners mostly appeared to be the after work crowd so a lot of suits (caa crowd, lawyers, etc.) the good folks at craft did not stop me from dining there even though i wore flip flops (in my defense, the flip flops were pretty cute) with a black dress.
my review (and others folks' review) at:
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