8555 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, USA
Simon LA Los Angeles Reviews
Feb 03, 2008
I see their sign everytime I go to the Beverly Center (so park there and walk to avoid crazy parking charges!) It's located inside the Sofitel on the corner of Beverly and La Cienega.
It's somewhat intimating walking down the long mirrored hallway inside the Sofitel to this restaurant. Gorgeous backlit bars and luxurious lounge areas preface your entrance. The hostess was really snooty, but our server was this cool girl that really made us feel comfortable.
The food was mediocre, but not bad. The ingredients are unique, the portions are small, and the presentation is great. The saving grace of our experience was the bread basket. Whoever conceived of and executed this bread basket, I'd like their hand in marriage. It consisted of pretzel teardrops, cheesy flatbread, cornbread, biscuits and another cheesy-crumbly bread concoction that was divine. I literally would have paid the $30 just for this bread basket, which turned out to be the best part of the meal.
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Sep 29, 2007
i had HUGE expectations coming in. first, the chef/owner, kerry simon, of iron chef fame, was a big draw for me. i mean if he is featured on tv and on iron chef, his food had to be great, right?
second, the space, located in the sofitel hotel, is supposed to be beautiful. kerry simon partnered with randy gerber (cindy crawford's husband and the same money bags from the family who owns gerber foods for babies) to create two aesthetically pleasing space: the stone rose lounge and simon la.
third, i read reviews that the food here is supposed to be amazing.
ok, on to reality:
1. the space IS beautiful. you walk through the stone rose lounge to get to simon la. stone rose lounge is nice and dark filled with inviting couches and understated decor. perfect for a girls'/boys' night out or a date. simon la is also beautiful. there are indoor and outdoor sitting areas. the indoor area is dark with intricate metal-like designed walls. the outdoor area has a nice fire pit perfect for when la cools down.
2. the reviews i read on citysearch are flat out wrong. why? (see 3) but let me be fair and say that the hosts and servers were nice and friendly and were not pretentious at all (pleasantly surprising since this is in the sofitel, owned by a celebrity chef, etc).
3. we decided to just order 4 appetizers split between 2 people and a dessert. (none of the entrees looked appealing.)
a. the bread basket - if you do decide to come here, stock up on this because i think this was one of the better food i had in this place.
b. the tuna dynamite - this was highly touted on the review boards. i don't know why. someone even described it as "katsuya on crack." i think it should be descibed as just "on crack" because this dish is simply whack! (yeah, i can rhyme...) there is a slab of tuna sandwiched between cold, packed rice and some more tuna on top with the sauce used for unagi. the rice just added nothing and detracted from the tuna. the tuna was not particularly tender. i think the sauce was overpowering the tuna.
c. yellowtail carpaccio -- too much vinegar.
d. lump crab salad - this was average.
e. macaroni and cheese - again, average.
f. junk food sampler - i think this pissed me off the most. it seems like a lot of people have raved about this but it escapes me as to why and how. to be fair, the presentation was just gorgeous. it came with cotton candy, chocolate rice krispies, regular rice krispies, cookies (not shown in the pix below because it was inside a paper bag but comes with peanut butter and chocolate chip), vanilla shake, chocolate ice cream, peanut butter ice cream, caramel popcorn, mini chocolate cupcakes, doughnut holes and some kind of chocolate doughnut hole with pink coconut shavings outside. this set us back $25. but let me review each:
i. cotton candy - nothing spectacular.
ii. rice krispies & choco rice krispies - nothing spectacular. i think an 8 year old could make this better!
iii. cookies - the choco chip was too cake-like in its doughiness and the peanut butter was one of those on the hard side.
iv. vanilla shake - i liked this one the best - although when the selection is not that great, "best" is not really best.
v. caramel popcorn - my friend describes it best: "this is like crackerjack."
vi. chocolate ice cream - did not taste like chocolate -- tasted more like some kind of fruity sorbet that looked like chocolate ice cream.
vii. peanut butter ice cream - this was fine.
viii. mini chocolate cupcakes - i don't know what it was but it tasted funky.
ix. doughnut holes - nothing spectacular -- but one can only wonder because let me tell you that the doughnut holes at osteria mozza (bombolinis) were excellent!
x. doughnut hole with coconut - to be fair, i am not a big fan of coconut (unless it is the fresh coconut juice) so i did not like this one -- again, the chocolate tasted bizarre.
maybe i just had high expectations.... but c'mon, for gourmet food, it ought to have been better! so i walked away feeling cheated!