Kitchen Nightmares at Gordon Ramsay
Here’s an idea for the next season of Kitchen Nightmares.
Perhaps Gordon Ramsay can come in and fix his ex restaurant.
To be fair, I never ate at Gordon Ramsay at The London while it was still under his ownership but I had heard very good things. Good enough for Michelin to give it one star.
All I can say is the new management must be relieved Michelin isn’t publishing a 2010 Los Angeles guide as I’d be surprised if they held on to that star.
There were some positives. The space is stunning. Opulent and romantic and luxurious. All leather and gold and chandeliers and soft muted tones. The service is still top notch, befitting its Michelin status. And, of course, the company of good friends.
But the food. The food was nothing short of disappointing.
Starting with the pan roasted scallops with caper raisin purée, cauliflower purée and cauliflower beignets, the scallops were, frankly, tasteless. Okay, maybe not tasteless but lacking the sweetness and flavor you would expect of a top quality scallop. These were honestly no better than the frozen scallops you’ll find at Trader Joes, which for frozen scallops are pretty good but, hey, I don’t see TJs proudly displaying their Michelin plaque. The caper raisin purée, for me, was incongruous. The saltiness of the caper and the sweetness of the raisin just didn’t harmonize and it didn’t do much to elevate the scallop itself. The cauliflower “beignets” were really just small pieces of fried cauliflower. Not exactly what I think of as a beignet. The cauliflower purée was good, however. But really, I was there for the scallop, not the purée.
I followed this with the pork chop with pomme purée and thyme sauce. The pork chop was disappointingly dry and tough. Not inedibly so – some of my dining companions enjoyed theirs – but I’ve had much better pork chops at far lesser establishments. The mashed potatoes were, however, quite good. Creamy and thick. But again, I was there for the protein, not the side.
I finished with the blueberry cheesecake with dulche de leche sauce. The cheesecake was good. Simple, baked and unadorned except for a few stewed blueberries. But the bottom crust of the cheesecake was delicious. Sweet and just dense enough to feel substantial but still flaky. Probably the single best component of the whole meal. But when the pastry crust is the best part of a meal, that can’t be a good thing.
On the plus side, I do have to say that their wine list by the glass was very good, albeit expensive. I had an excellent Santa Barbara viognier and a very reasonable muscat with dessert. But, in total, the alcohol total for the table was more than the total for food.
On our way home, one of my dining companions wanted to stop at In-N-Out. Perhaps if we’d done that to begin with, I’d have saved a couple of hundred dollars.
As Gordon Ramsay himself would say, “I’ve had enough! SHUT IT DOWN!”Gordon Ramsay at The London West Hollywood
1020 N San Vicente Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069