Friday, July 1, 2011


I have always been a fan of John Sedlar, and have been going to his restaurants since the first one in Manhattan Beach. I believe he is an artist, and, without question, "plates" his dishes more beautifully than any chef. Each one looks like a painting. Please notice the plating of a tamale comprised of wild mushroom duxelles dumplings and filet with bearnaise sauce on a "Clockwork Orange" plate.....It was astonishingly good. Next up was the Arepas Caracas--corncakes with shrimp, mango and chiles---just sensational.
THEN IT ALL TOOK A DIVE. The waiter pushed something called Maize Bombay Taj--pork belly confit, chili-lime jicama, mango pickle on a crisp with raita cocktail vinaigrette. It sounds great--right? It's not. They are not plated well-enough to relate to each other so you end up tasting each ingredient separately. The crisp is way to thin and hold nothing together, and, simply, that combination of tastes doesn't work.
The bar is hot; the decor is great; the drinks are cool; and IT IS SO LOUD YOU CAN'T TALK OR HEAR. I would go back at 5 in the afternoon for Tito's Vodka and the apps I loved. Then I'm outta there before the din takes over.


Nancy-Jean said...

To hell with the food - I would KILL for one of those Clockwork Orange plates!!

Barbara said...

I have not been to the restaurant as of yet, so I reserve comment; BUT as a restaurant designer for 30 years from what I can see so far from the interior photo the space looks quite interesting and inviting... I loved color, and warmth...and the over click, non- committal interiors I have seen of late are boring and frankly too safe. I have received a great deal of criticism over the years for some of my designs, and I say you needn't appreciate it, but I think design should make a statement, as should the cuisine. I will comment after I have dined there.
Barbara Lazaroff
Pres. Imaginings Design, Inc.
Co-owner/designer Spago/Chinois etc.

Sue Cameron said...

Barbara--I love your designs, and Playa's--even though it's not yours--is really good.