8114 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, USA
Pastis Los Angeles Reviews
Feb 15, 2008
It’s always a bad idea to try a new restaurant when there’s a special holiday or event going on – because 9 out of 10 times, the food (usually prix fixe) and service will be worse than normal. (The exception may be Spagos – wonderfully timed and organized food service and consistently good food no matter how many people they are serving at one time.) Knowing this, I tried Pastis on Valentine’s Day anyways. I was a bit annoyed that I wasn’t informed of the prix fixe menu until the day before the dinner when they were calling to confirm my reservation. I read the menu online and it seemed simple enough so I hoped for the best.
When I arrived, my friends were already seated in a delightful dining area, subtlely decorated with rose petals and candles. Sybil was already enjoying her appertif. I had sort of a grumpy day so I was really looking forward to one myself … so I waited for our server, and waited and waited…. It literally took at least 15 minutes before anyone acknowledged our table and took our drink orders. I understand the restaurant was busy for Valentine’s Day, but that really shouldn’t be an excuse for bad service. (And, if you were there on a special romantic dinner, it would be even more important not to have bad service.)
The prix fixe offered consisted of 4 courses: (1) mushroom bisque; (2) chorizo risotto with shrimp or goat cheese/veggie terrine; (3) scallops, steak or chicken; and (4) chocolate heart mousse cake thing.
The soup came first – a crostini with smoky grilled mushrooms atop a rather bland bisque. If you mixed everything together, it was pretty good; but the bisque itself lacked any real flavor. This was already a bad start…
Then, the server brought out 4 appetizers – 2 of which were incorrect. When we told them, they tried ‘reshuffling’ between us. We had to clarify again that they simply had the wrong appetizers. They took 2 away and then when my friends with the correct appetizers began to eat, a server came and tried to stop them so they could take the appetizers for another table! It was a bit ludicrous. After another long wait, the correct appetizers came, and the server finally apologized. As for the actual food, the chorizo risotto was actually quite good, but our long unabated hunger may have been a factor. My friend had the terrine and took 2 bites and sent it back. It’s unclear to me if it was bad or if my friend was just being strangely picky, which he can be prone to do.
Entrees (steak and scallops) were mediocre.
Heart mousse cake was ok, not extraordinary.
All in all a rather bland meal with choppy service, which is unfortunate. Luckily the company made up for it. :)
I’m not sure I would return … I know that I shouldn’t judge them unfairly for a Vday dinner without even trying their normal fare, but what they did provide gave little encouragement. For casual French fare, I’d prefer Comme Ca (a little more expensive) or even Morels (at the Grove shopping center).
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