Cafe Pinot in Los Angeles – a Delightful Experience!
Don’t know about you, but when I visit restaurants at home or being on the family trip, I usually like to do my homework and know where I’m going and why (which is still no guarantee of a great experience, though). When traveling on business, I usually leave it up to luck. And sometimes that works quite well, as in the case of the Cafe Pinot in Los Angeles.
Let’s start with wine. I really liked wine list – very well organized, and while it had good number of wines, it was easy to navigate – and it had a lot of good wines in the sub $50 category, which is always great. I also was happy to learn later on that I’m not the only one who liked Cafe Pinot’s wine list – restaurant holds Wine Spectator’s Restaurant Award!
We chose Turley Old Vines Zinfandel 2008 ( $68), simply because Turley Zinfandels are typically 1. good wines and 2. rare and hard to find, on wine lists or in the stores. We were very happy with the choice – this was a beautifully structured wine with all the Zinfandel fruitiness and acidity being in full balance ( I would put my Drinkability rating at 8). Also 15.6% ABV was completely unnoticed, at least until later.
As we were explained by our friendly waitress, the menu is updated all the time with focus on fresh local ingredients. I believe today a lot of places advertise the same approach, but I’m not sure if all those places can execute on it as masterfully as Cafe Pinot. For starter I had a very interesting dish, called “Study of farmers’ market beets”:
The dish included red, white and yellow beets complemented by ruby grapefruit, pistachio, Humboldt Fog goat cheese and watercress – for someone who likes to experiment with food taste combinations – almost a heaven!
Then comes an entree – striped bass“en papillotte” with cioppino broth, accompanied by Dungeness crab, fennel, tomatoes, basil infused risotto:
This dish starts with the beautiful presentation, when the paper (“en papillotte”) is cut in front of you after plate is delivered to the table, so this way none of the enticing flavors can escape before the time. Again, great dish with great combination of flavors (risotto’s texture – ahh!).
To end this story (and, probably, you drooling over it), if you are a foodie – or even not, and you are heading to Los Angeles – make sure you will not miss great experience at Cafe Pinot.