25 June 2007

The Foundry, A Review

I wanted to love it.

Then they lost my reservation and I just wanted to like it.

Then they gave my dining partner and I the best seat in the house (in front of the kitchen) and sent two glasses of champagne and showered us with attention and amuses.

So I should have loved it.

Eric Greenspan has made his name about town first with Patina and then with the short-lived, but much discussed, Meson G. The Foundry is his own baby, and only a month old, it runs rather well (in spite of the reservation debacle).

The servers are passionate, the hostesses are friendly and helpful, and the bartenders are happy to pour samples. From my vantage point the line is on fire! It looks like a high stress kitchen, quiet--not rambunctous, but busy and stressful just the same. I'm not sure why, but in my experience whenever that happens the rhythm is off, and sometimes it is due to one cook that doesn't understand the dance of the kitchen.

Eric's menu is startingly similar to another restaurant I've dined in recently--but no matter. If the food is good, then the food is good--and I'll be happy to eat pork belly every other day if done well.

It wasn't. The pork was good, but the sauce and the ravioli were bland.

The gnocchi were undercooked on the inside and perfectly caramelized on the outside. The sauce added nothing--not even flavor.

The prawns were nice--and well cooked. It seems whomever is on the seafood station is doing well. The fish was cooked very well and nicely seasoned.

I figured out where the salt on all of the other dishes went...into the sauce on the chicken. Though the chicken was cooked well, the sauce was too--TOO. The greens were cooked nicely, but again everything tastes as though it has nothing to do with one another, as though they were all just meeting for the first time and in front of the pickiest eater in LA. Some of the items stood in the corner by themselves, having never met seasoning or salt; the grits were especially shy.

Don't get me started on dessert. Two measly quarter sized doughnuts (at the cost of $10.00) thrown onto a 4x4 inch square plate isn't dessert. It's an afterthought. The afterthought tasted good--but my eyes definately went hungry.

I believe they will get it down. The other restaurant down the street with a similar menu should be thanking their lucky stars for such a good kitchen staff. That is what sets these two restaurants apart. Over the next year let's see what happens shall we?


Disclamer #1 and #2:

A.) I will visit again in a couple of months--because sometimes it takes a couple of months to get a shipment of salt.

B.) My friend Jase visited the next night and he LOVED it.



Post a Comment

<< Home