Being the new kid in town, there’s nothing better than a new city chock full of new adventures, meaning exploring restaurants, lounges, farmers markets, food, museums, and ummmm, did I mention food?!?!?
Most people feel the skinny bells ringing when summer approaches, but as for me, I spent the first part of the summer eating my way through LA, sampling all the new summer menus. My love of food led me to a spot in West Hollywood, Bagatelle, 755 North La Cienega Boulevard (which sits next door to STK).
Bagatelle is a place that I’ve walked by many times (it’s my hood) but never thought twice about going in, mainly because my only impression of it is pumping dance music blaring from the venue on an otherwise calm Sunday. (NOTE to readers: Sunday parties are the new Saturday night. No longer do party goers have to settle for the 2am curfew. Thanks to Bagatelle, weekend warriors can extend their party well into the Sunday morning/afternoon/evening, depending on one’s stamina.) Those days are long behind me so I opted for a quiet Tuesday evening.
You can imagine my surprise when I walked in and found an elegant yet hip décor. White walls, white tablecloths, and chandeliers with comfortable booths and fab lighting with a music playlist of old school R&B (one of my favorite music genres).
Let’s talk food – contemporary French cuisine – by which I was very much impressed. My party and I sampled many items on the menu and enjoyed every single thing. I LOVE me some oysters so I couldn’t resist starting with the Fanny Bay oysters. They were fresh and delicious.
The next course was a new appetizer on the summer menu, the Risotto Barigoule. It’s a lovely light bisque base infused with bright flavored of summer veggies and accompanied by perfectly al dente artichokes. I ate every last bite.
After much deliberation, I decided on the pan-seared Filet of Salmon for my entrée. It was prepared with a horseradish crust and dusted with English peas and smoked roe beurre blanc. I paired that with the homemade Parisian Gnocchi with black truffle pesto filling and truffle sauce. Again, amazing!
For those who like to indulge in sweets, Bagatelle offers a myriad of delicious desserts from Valrhona Chocolate Soufflé to my personal favorite, an exquisite Banana Cheesecake served with Chocolate streusel and caramelized bananas. With every bite, I moaned with pleasure so loudly that the table across the room was staring. I did NOT care. This is one of my top three favorite desserts of all time.
Dessert fully engulfing my stomach, I wanted to up my game by meeting the chef whom I can blame my bloated mess upon. Enter, executive chef, Robert Liberato, who hails from Bon Appetit (Getty Center LA), The Whisper Lounge, GO Burger LA and BLT Steak LA. Liberato shared his inspiration behind the new summer menu. Farmers market driven, Liberato brings locally sourced and seasonal touches to the menu.
There are many great restaurants offering new summer menus. We’d like to hear from our readers – let us know your favorites in the comments below, or by tweeting us @ThePacificPunch.
Kristin Martell is a Pacific Punch Correspondent and Author of Damn the Odds. A recent Los Angeles transplant from Washington, DC, she’s pursuing her dream of acting while working as a PR consultant. Visit her at www.damntheodds.com. Follow the Pacific Punch on twitter @ThePacificPunch.