Michael Mina’s latest restaurant, XIV, recently opened its doors (if you can find them) in LA. The scene is what one would expect from an LA eatery- cool, hip decor in a chic indoor/outdoor space.
The courses were small but tasty and arrived with almost perfect timing. Mina’s signature caviar bellinis were a hit and perfectly paired with a creamy, crisp bubbly. The frois gras with cherry jelly was delicious but the waver thin crackers meant for the spread missed the mark. The beef carpaccio wrapped around shredded asparagus topped with horseradish cream was beautifully presented- a nice change of flavors and textures from the typical dish. The fish courses were spectacular. Cured hamachi with shaved apple and marinated cod both melted in your mouth.
However, the meal came to a screeching halt when dessert hit the table. The first sweet treat was a white chocolate box filled with blood orange crème and flower petals, atop a layer of red cake. It was prettier than it tasted, but nevertheless very interesting. Then came what my friend, Sophie Gayot and myself, could have done without. It was described as having hazelnut as a key ingredient, whiskey barrel ice cream and corn flakes with sage… And those were just some components of the dish. Need I say more? The flavors and textures in that particular dish clashed like a peasant in a palace-it simply didn’t work at all!
Overall, it is a fun place for drinks and appetizers. The dishes are interesting and tasteful. Yet, when it comes to some of the overly creative desert options less is sometimes more. Whatever happened to ‘Let them eat cake!?’
See what the ‘Queen of Dining’ said about XIV on Gayot.com http://www.gayot.com/restaurants/xiv-west-hollywood-ca-90046_2la080435.html