Il Grano (LA) – Hitting on All Cylinders

In town for 1 night, just returned from a very good to excellent meal w/ Olivia & another co-worker. This dinner was much better than my previous lunch last November; of course, i used a special password – “the XXXX’s sent me” smile.gif

I think it worked.

We opted for the ‘tasting menu’; but I wanted my own dishes too. Well, what do you know – the dishes I chose were the exact ones Sal (the chef) served for the tasting menu.

1. Crudo
An oyster, line-caught fluke, line-caught snapper, line-caught tuna; & octopus w/ some sort of oil i forget. This was *much* improved over my crudo plate in Nov; in fact, the fluke & snapper were beautiful.

2. Grilled Fresh Santa Barbera Spot Prawns
Excellent – very sweet & tender – these nearly rivalated the perfect shrimp i had at Urasawa in November. Perfect.

3. Squid Ink Pasta w/ Uni Sauce
Excellent – I’ve proclaimed in the past squid ink makes anything great and this dish continued the trend. The pasta was toothsome, the squid ink rich, and the uni a nice coating. I tasted the uni by itself and it was fresh & sweet.

4. Seared Sturgeon
Excellent – the waiter was singing the praises of this fish (“line-caught, super-fresh, etc”) and it really showed. This was a Le Bernardin-quality fish dish – perfectly cooked w/ a nice flavor throughout.

5. Variety of Desserts
Don’t really remember, all were forgettable, this isn’t why I eat out smile.gif

In November, i could see hints of the rave reviews but that meal didn’t live up to the expectations. This meal was excellent w/ Sal’s fish/seafood really shining through. Il Grano will now get serious consideration when I find myself in LA.

- chuck