I’ve never liked public transportation and to this day I only tolerate it somewhat.
I used to ride the bus almost every day as a teen to the point that I grew to hate them as an adult. It would only be a matter of time until I began to loathe subways, trains, and trams for the degree of surprise and unwanted conversation that always ensues when you’re riding one. Shakespearean poets reciting Othello, the guy sitting entirely too close to you, and the recording that gets stuck and repeats “Thanks for riding with Metro” over and over. The disdain for such transportation replayed in my mind as I rode the tram at The Getty, sure it’s nicer than what’s circulating throughout the city but bad memories are bad memories. Lucky for me on this tram ride, no one was reciting lines with an old English accent at the top of their lungs.
As I stepped onto the platform and looked back at the tram I thought about the old saying, “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey (or transportation in this case)”. Then I looked towards the location for the evening and chalked the saying up to nonsense. I was heading to The Restaurant and at that point that was the only thing I cared about. Walking into the descriptively named, The Restaurant, it was impossible to not be taken away by the spanning views, pristine white linen tables, and well-designed menu. Taking it all in, alongside a few favorite restaurant reviewing friends thanks to the invitation of Jessica of HistoricDTLA, a night of appetizers, entrees, and desserts would carry us through the night.
Before the dinner began we were presented with a vibrant Pepper Tomato Gazpacho ($13). The small vegan cup of cold soup had a thin trail of basil oil and was served with a handful of chips. Stirring the gazpacho to bring about the flavor gave way to faint yet zesty soup that served as the perfect palette opener to begin the dinner. As I finished the soup the Beet Hummus ($16) followed. The bright pink spread was made with cumin, cilantro pistou, and served with a thin slice of pappadam. Balancing a gentle and sandy quality, the dip on top of the thin wafer was a couple of varying consistencies that was hard to dismiss and even harder to share. A complete opposite to the first of the appetizers was the BBQ Flat Bread ($15). Moving away from the vegan options was this grilled flatbread that was topped with arugula, sliced red onions, white cheddar cheese, pulled pork, and a smoky barbecue sauce. In this dish I enjoyed the taste of the soft flatbread, but it was the deep accent of the barbecue that graced across the tender pork that drew me in for seconds and then thirds.
Starters aside, the next series of dishes arrived to the table. The first was the Scallop Crudo (price unavailable). Like a painting on a white canvas the food that rested upon the plate was beautiful. A series of sliced scallops sat amongst capers, tomato coulis, fresno pepper, and garlic oil. A single fork of the scallops offered a simple yet spectacular set of clams. Pairing them with the mild pepper, subtle capers, and sprightly coulis made the dish a collaborative effort of seductive deliciousness.
Just as beautiful yet full of its own personality was the Summer Fruit Panzanella ($15). The vegan salad was energetic all thanks to the bold and dynamic colors of its ingredients. Wild rocket arugula, torn croutons, seasonal cherries and peaches were plated and served with a pistachio honey balsamic. Sitting at a table that faced the window to all of Los Angeles, the sunlight broke through the window and shined so brightly on this salad that it was almost heavenly. Interrupting the rays of light with my fork and trying the fruit salad allowed me to have a moment where I could taste something as delicious as the day surrounding the restaurant. The cherries and the peaches burst with fresh citrus juice, the arugula was leafy and light, while the marinated mozzarella escorted the flavors from each ingredient to the next. I was surprised at how much I loved this vegan salad.
Not to be forgotten, a simpler salad followed the summer fruit panzanella. The Rucola con Pecorino (price unavailable) was composed of Applewood smoked salami shaved pecorino toscano, crisp apple, and arugula with a white balsamic. With less of a presentation to the other dishes, I enjoyed the understated appearance this dish had in comparison to the others. That allowed the salad to take front row and the taste of its ingredients to be the primary, and only, focus. Each portion of the salad was appetizing as the rich and spiced salami was the primary flavor with surges of citrus from the apples contrasting it nicely.
As the scallops and the salads disappeared from the table the entrees replaced them. Of all the mains that were now placed in front of us, two were a favorite of mine. The first was the Prawns Pomodoro (price unavailable). Locally milled wheat pasta upheld a pair of prawn that rested on top of heirloom tomatoes garlic and basil. I liked the sight of the colors that ranged from the pasta to the seafood and that it created a lovely picture in spite of having so few components. The taste of the prawn over the noodles was delightful and the garlic accent carried a great deal of responsibility and managed to enhance the already distinctive taste of the dish.
While the prawns were delicious, it was the Prime Filet of Beef ($39) that was the winner between the two plates. Presented with a potato pancake, spicy sweet glaze, crispy onion, pickled vegetables the filet on top of it all was unforgettable. The beef was cooked perfectly letting a knife almost glide from side to side through it. The taste of the meat was so succulent that it could have evaporated at the touch of the tongue if it wanted to. Thankfully it didn’t as it would have been disappointing to feel the glaze which balanced between sweet and spicy disappear along with it. Just to have the tastes and the textures of the dish, even if for a matter of chews, was all I needed to love this plate.
The evening of beautiful plates couldn’t come to a close without having dessert. As the table filled with plates on top of plates and we all took bites from each, I found myself returning to two dishes in particular. The first was the Peaches & Cream ($11). I loved the combination of the silky cream Chantilly, the peach compote, brown butter streusel, and the richness in the cereal milk panna cotta. It was the perfect dish. Just as delicious was the Black Forest Tartufo (price unavailable). Made of a cherry-vanilla bean semifreddo, chocolate-cherry sorbet, caramel sauces, and a chocolate shell as the main attraction this dessert was seductive, deep, and full of a mysterious chocolatey goodness.
Putting down my knife and fork and watching the last plates be removed from the table I was thoroughly pleased with how delicious the dinner was. The plates at The Restaurant are just as memorable as the art within The Getty. From the gazpacho to the peaches and cream, the meal was great with shining numbers throughout. While I wanted to stay within my thoughts of the food I just had I was interrupted at the fact that it was time to hop back on the tram.
How come I can’t just sleep here?
Address: 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90049
Phone: (310) 440-6810
Hours: Tuesday to Thursday – 11:30am to 2:30pm, Friday – 11:30am to 2:30pm, 5:30pm to 9:00pm, Saturday – 11:30am to 2:30pm, 5:00pm to 9:00pm, Sunday – 11:00am to 3:00pm, and Closed Monday
Social: Website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
- Food tastes great
- Friendly staff
- Structure parking only