The last time I dined at the Four Seasons Hotel was also my first time.
I was at Il Becco at the Four Seasons in Mexico City and the dinner was impeccable from the moment I sat down to the second they had to drag me out of the restaurant to go home. I get it, I wouldn’t leave, but in my defense the restaurant was so beautiful and the dinner was so perfect that I would have been content being buried underneath the floor of the hotel.
A bit of an exaggeration yes, but the sentiment was understated.
Maybe I wasn’t escorted out, but I was close to it. No, I wasn’t, but that’s not the point. The point is, since that dinner I have been eager to try out the restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel here in Los Angeles. As time passed I became so busy with everything going on that I never got a chance to go. Thankfully, life slowed down and I was invited to the restaurant to check out a few of their dishes. What I thought would be a cocktail or two along with a single dish turned into more than I expected. As I walked through the beautiful restaurant and passed the gorgeous dining area to be seated in the patio of Vinoteca I would quickly be blessed with a dinner that exceeded my wildest dreams. With the kindest waitress to guide me through the menu, I was told that the chef would deliver plates that he thought I would enjoy. With that, the first items began to arrive starting with wine.
To start the entire night, a wine flight was brought to the table. The wine program was designed by the Wine Director and General Manager of Vinoteca, Luca Bruno. His goal is to honor the imported and authentic masterpiece of wine of Italy, by offering guests the finest tastes of the European country in every glass. As quickly as I learned that, glasses of wine were lined up on top of a white sheet of thick paper that displayed the area and the grapes of within each glass. As I picked up the first glass, I saw the white wine was a Vermentino from Liguria, Italy (2014). A few sips and I was surprised that it wasn’t as dry as I initially expected. Instead it was fair and almost weightless. Following the first glass was the Vermentino from Arroyo Seco (2014). Immediately from the first sips it was clear that this glass was stronger than the Vermentino from Liguria. It was drier and carried a rich oak taste and was free of any sweetness. The third glass, Agliancio came from Campania, Italy (2013) and it was the perfect glass for a girl who doesn’t care about red wine. From start to finish, this was nice and wasn’t too dry within the glass. The final wine was the Agliancio from Paso Robles (2014). It was the driest of all the glasses within the flight. So much so it was the first time I drank it was also the last. I spent more energy on the others.
The first cocktail of the night was the Cioccolato & Ciliege ($16). The drink was made with Bermuda rum, Amaro Lucano, cherry liquor, and chocolate bitters. As I drank this, the first thing that I noticed was the scent of the chocolate bitters followed by the cherries atop the rim of the cocktail glass. The cocktail was smooth and evenly mixed to the point that I didn’t taste each ingredient individually which I loved. It was the type of drink that you appreciate thanks to the sum of its parts and not the fragments that split to create the drink. It was beautifully done and the bitters alongside the rum created a deep and profound cocktail that carried from its beginning to its end.
After the first cocktail the second came along. It was the La Promessa ($16). The cocktail was made of a berry infused rye whiskey, hibiscus rose syrup and lime. The vibrant lime green colored drink was a perfect balance of fruity ingredients against a strong whisky. With each sip, I loved how the taste cascaded across my taste buds and then slowly graced the back of my mouth on the way down. I quickly became infatuated with the sweet hibiscus syrup that blended with the lime. It was the accent that made me continue to put my lips to the peppered rim for more.
The first plate to the table was the Burrata ($9). Topped with burrata di andria cheese and with prosciutto di Parma, it was exceptional! It was made with the restaurants own fried pizza dough, montanara. The chef created an incredible bread by baking the dough in a process that takes a minimum of three days. Within the baking period, the dough becomes light and fluffy and is sprinkled with sugar that gets absorbed within the bread. It was a process that created a dough that I was grateful to have with burrata. The exterior was beautifully done so that it could pass as a lightly sweetened bread. It was partially crispy, somewhat fluffy, and ultimately tasted the way you hope bread would taste but never had until you had it at Vinoteca. The burrata atop was smooth and delicate and easily disappeared as I ate it. The prosciutto that came with it was thinly cut with a perfect amount of saltiness that could be gently appreciated in each bite.
In the same realm of the delicious montanara was the Eggplant ($9). Eggplant, cherry tomatoes, basil, and melted smoked provola covered this plate. Within a few bites it was clear that this was a vegetarian’s paradise and a nice stop for the meat lover too. There were pleasant chops of eggplant that blended together to make a beautiful assembly with the tomatoes and the basil. I loved the way it all worked together and how the juices mixed so nicely as I dove into it. I never thought I would care so much for vegetables as I did when I finished this plate.
The final of the bread focused dishes was the Carne e Formaggio ($13) with alto adige speck, caciocavallo, pepperoncini, tomatoes, red onions, and Sicilian oregano. I liked that this one was more of a lunch dish in order to see what the restaurant would offer at a different time of the day. The lightly toasted ciabatta bread held in a crunch from the fresh red onions, a smooth caviocavallo cheese, and dry cured ham that rested underneath it all. There was a welcome amount of textures from the bread to onions to the cheese and everything in between that I eagerly enjoyed. The oregano gave it the right amount of seasoning that I was looking for as each bite came to an end.
Next in line was the Scallop Carpaccio ($9). A black plate held an array of scallops, compressed candy striped beets with Fresno chili and drizzled with lemon oil. As I picked one up with my fork to try it, it was apparent just how uniformly thin the scallops were. It was as if they were cut by an expert hand and a chef with an impeccable eye that it was borderline diabolical. I’m not calling the chef Satan, but his skills are pretty devilish. As I tried them all at once, the standout flavor was clearly the fresno chili. It added an eye-opening kick of spice to the perfectly thin scallops that was unforgettable!
After the scallops came the Tuna Tartare ($9). It was so pretty from the watermelon, apple, candied tomatoes, shallots, lemon, and thyme. The minute I took my fork to it, the dish began to fall apart. That was fine as I didn’t intend to keep it intact anyway. In each bite, the tomatoes opened and burst to let out a nice amount of citrus juice to go across the skinny apple slices and the softest tuna. All on top of a watermelon sauce, the tartar was delicious. The only part that I didn’t care for were the shallots. There were so many of them and the flavor was so strong that it became a bit of a distraction from the delicacy of the dish. Fewer shallots would have made it an impeccable dish from beginning to end.
To close the night, I had dessert, well lattes for dessert. First was the Marocchino (12oz for $4.75, 16oz $5.50). The restaurant used an original recipe from Turin that held its own secrets but utilized the traditional ingredients of a shot of espresso, cocoa powder and milk froth. It was unsweetened, warm, chocolatey, and an ideal drink to casually sip the night away. Following it I had a Bicerin (12oz for $4.75, 16oz $5.50). The Nutella late took Nutella, two shots of espresso and milk. Opposite of the marocchino, the bicerin was sweet, thick, creamy, and everything I wanted to close the night.
Dinner at Vinoteca was beautiful. Each dish was nicely priced, simple in appearance and exquisite in taste. I am so glad I found the restaurant and was able to experience the fabulous plates and cocktails. It was an evening where I was surrounded by deliciousness off the beautiful menu from the first glass of wine to the last latte cup and every single dish in between.
Address: 300 South Doheny Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone: (310) 273-2222
Hours: Monday to Wednesday – 11:00am to 10:30pm, Thursday to Saturday – 11:00am to 11:00pm, and Sunday 4:00pm to 10:30pm
- Food tastes great
- Beautiful restaurant
- Plenty of free parking