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.