Today is: Monday, September 25, 2023
La Cachette Restaurant Review
The restaurant is a clever re-imagining of the traditional French brasserie with
a distinctly American and cheeky twist. Great décor and furniture, and
antique chandeliers create an atmosphere that is both nostalgic
homage and Alice-in-Wonderland fantasy.
Chef Jean Francois Meteigner’s menu reflects the restaurant’s aesthetic, with playful renditions of bistro classics elevated to the heights of decadence using inventive, seasonal ingredients. For the daring cocktails transport the drinker to
Paris and help complete the ambiance of bohemian chic.
Since opening La Cachette (the Hideaway) in 1994, chef/owner Jean Francois Meteigner has earned the reputation as one of the most innovative French chefs
in California. His “Light and Delicious” cuisine, as so beautifully defined in his
2003 cookbook Cuisine Naturelle – French Classics Redefined, reflects his revolutionary approach to French cooking featuring French fare with a
fraction of the fat. His monthly Saturday morning cooking classes, based
upon the recipes in the book, are sold out months ahead of time.
The setting is a subtle fusion of eras and aesthetics that give the restaurant a refreshingly unique character. The starters section of the menu is dominated by classic French beginnings. We start with Meteigner’s version of Crab and Lobster Bisque. Lobster Bisque offers a comforting repose between courses, again, the execution is flawless, the soup offering a clarity of taste and a gentleness of texture.
An accompanying Fritz Chardonnay proves an outstanding counterpart, the buttery, supple mouthfeel and resonating finish enhancing each creamy spoonful. Like the
wine, the soup's subtle complexity lingers long after each swallow, a testament
to its execution.This course sets the pace for the meal, demanding slow,
deliberate bites that allow us to ponder the luscious flavors of
the non-dairy bisque served with Rouille and Croutons.
The wine list pages are thankfully well-organized by style and then by producer, offering a range of bottles from astonishingly reasonable to rare and premium,
although not overpriced. In fact, most wines are only marked up slightly
above retail, making it nearly impossible not to order one.
The Homemade Squash Raviolis with an orange chili-ginger ssauce and citrus
jam showcase Chef Meteigner’s modern aesthetic and flawless execution.
I never tasted raviolis that were so light and so delicious!
Warm Lobster Salad
As far as salads, we had 2 choices; the Blue Crab
Tower and the Warm Lobster Salad.
The Blue Crab Tower
The tenderness of the lobster eagerly embraces the piquancy of the truffle
artichoke dressing's tang, exploding with flavor on the tongue. These
salads’ overall delicateness shines forth, supported by a
perfectly balanced medley of flavors.
The lobsters demonstrate the first hint at Chef Meteigner’s culinary
strategy in his dishes, the parts are greater than their sum.
Alaskan Black Cod
While tradition is satisfying, it is no match for Meteigner's contemporary additions to the menu. The Seared Alaskan Black Cod is a towering sculpture of flavor: a thick filet of pale fish sitting precariously atop a structure of Mango and Papaya Relish, Passion Fruit Ginger Sauce and Grilled Ratatouille. It is a modern dish, whose spectrum of flavors and delicate, precise presentation speak sophistication.
The Filet Rossini outshines every other dish of this meal. The glistening flesh of Natural Black Angus Filet of Beef topped with Sauteed Foie Gras served with a Truffle Port Morel sauce, Brioche Toast and Haricots Verts First, I’m wooed by tender beef, that is so tender I barely glance at my knife. Each bite is actually moist
liquid flavor seeps out of each savory bite. Then, I discover the Foie Gras: the fluffy, airy texture bursts with both the aroma and flavor that is nothing short of pure decadence, my first impression fades to slight, perfect bitterness. I continue eating and each bite, surprising and full of new flavors, tastes like it is the first. It is brilliance.
Rhubarb and Strawberry
Dessert seems an extension of the meal, just as interesting and complex as the courses that precede it. The Valrhona and Tanzanian 70% Bittersweet Chocolate Soufflé
with Brandied Cherries served with Whipped Cream and Vanilla Sauce (Should be preordered or allow 30 minutes )is the perfect last bite: a melting spoonful of elusive flavors that leaves the tongue wanting nothing more.
We also tasted the Assortment of La Cachette Cookies and Chocolate Truffles,
also another winner, and do not miss the Rhubarb and Strawberry Tart
served with Strawberry Sauce and Organic Tahitian Vanilla Ice
Cream (Should be preordered or allow 30 minutes).
Our Server Preparing Our Soufflé
Chef Jean Francois Meteigner is one to keep your eye on. As outstanding as his dishes are now, there is a twinkle in his eye that promises there are better things
to come. The La Cachette is indeed a Los Angeles institution, a pride not
only of the Century City neighborhood but of the entire city.
For map and location click Here!
For more information please visit their website at www.lacachetterestaurant.com
Article by: Mary Adams
Photos by: Chris Marx
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