Saturday, January 01, 2011

Vibrato (Bel Air, LA) 12/2010

It's great to have friends when you're only in town for a few days.
They know what's hot and what's not, which is how we got to Vibrato.
In their own words, "One of Los Angeles’ most exciting new restaurants, Vibrato Grill Jazz ... etc. is also the city’s premiere jazz space. Its warm and elegant interior embraces guests with stunning visuals, world-class music & sound design, and the absolute best in contemporary American cuisine. Conceived by 7x Grammy-winning music icon Herb Alpert, Vibrato brings these elements together in sumptuous harmony for an experience that’s a delight to all the senses."
For once the place lived up to the hype. From the moment you enter this place you are drenched in it's warm welcoming atmosphere. Everything about it is good. Pleasant lighting, an very good jazz quartet headed by Jay Divers on base,

not too loud, good service and really good food. Strangely their Russian chef, Natalie Ivanova, does not get a mention anywhere on their site but she certainly can cook!
A barley mushroom soup was rich and substantial, perfect for a winters night, followed by a couple of appetizers. A beet salad with walnut, and mandarin and fettawas excellent, another dish to serve at home, as was my new favourite, Dungenese crab salad.
Delicate with some pink grapefruit, avocado and lightly dressed on lettuce leaves it could not have been better. Nothing dominated and the crab meat could be tasted through out the dish.
Short ribs, braised and served in a rich gravy with very soft polenta
was very filling and I could not face a dessert after that. Sandra's Fillet Mignon
was cooked exactly how she asked for it and served with extra Bearnaise sauce. A hiuge baked Idaho potato was easily big enough to share between four with some left over. As with every restaurant we've been to there is no hesitation about putting anything left over into doggy bags and man patrons leave with them in hand.
Incidentally, Wikepedia tells me that "Vibrato is a musical effect consisting of a regular pulsating change of pitch. It is used to add expression to vocal and instrumental music. ..."
It's a bit pricey, we paid $175 with a few drinks, which are about $16 by the glass. They do have a very good wine list with Californian and French wines prominent.
Score 17.5/20

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