Today is: Saturday, August 19, 2017






Napa Valley Grille Restaurant Review

JUST when you think Los Angeles has seen everything in the way of restaurant "concept," "theme," and "spectacle," along comes Napa Valley Grille in Westwood. Its chemistry is mischievously askew: American Cuisine, that is not so precisely American, but it is excellent. So this is what Anne Conness has been up to the last few years.

Napa Valley Grille in Westwood is an original and serves it in an emotionally potent setting: this is Napa Valley Grille. This was our first time there, and a five-star experience indeed.

 

One of those five-star experiences included a 40-minute wait for our table. I gag on five-minute waits. But at Napa Valley Grille, tables run late because no one wants to leave.

And those minutes were passed in the most seductive lounge since the old Orient Express: drenched in pre-World War I Viennese opulence and the strains of a great music soundtrack. The poised and warm staff might have taken charm lessons, I truly enjoyed the friendly service.

Chef Anne Conness                              Long Island Ice Tea 
 
The winning style extends to the Executive Chef Anne Conness, who preside over a dining room that detonates Toscany fantasies with smart-bomb precision.

I must say that Napa Valley Grille has brought back the magic to Westwood, and this is a very beautiful restaurant dramatically decorated, the bar ambiance has strands of lights that strung across, with nice music. The dining room is very beautiful dramatically decorated, and spacious with a lurid mural of the grape harvest in the valley along with vineyard workers and vines receding into the distance. That mood tantalizingly plays off Anne Conness’ inspired menu, lightened, edited and hipped-up into something new and delicious.

The wine I had; and the Long Island Ice Tea was truly great and we got ready for our meals, but their wine list is truly sophisticated, it has more then 300 selections of Napa Valley wines.

 
Assorted breads, with 2 dips                   Homemade Artichoke Ravioli 
 
Our evening began with a large variety of assorted breads, with 2 dips; a virgin olive oil and garlic and a eggplant tapenade, that will certainly open your appetite.
 
 
Shrimp Cocktail, Foie Gras Pate, Crab Cakes
 
The thrills began with the selection of great appetizers, including the most delicious Crispy Crab Cakes we have had, it had apple, cilantro accompanied with celery root salad on a remoulade sauce, the we had the Shrimp Cocktail with Avocado on a charbay vodka, ginger & horseradish cocktail sauce, and the delicious home made chilled Foie Gras Pate, served on a grilled brioche on a harvest wine jelly. The Foie Gras so light on the tongue they might have added helium.

The wine list emphasizes little-known but dandy Austrian reds. The 2005 Cobbestone Chadornnay 2004 nicely complemented our meals.
 

 Iceberg Lettuce Wedge (Top),  Apple & Pecan Salad,  Artichoke Salad (Right) 
 
We tried 3 kinds of salads, and I can’t tell which one I loved the most. But I must say the Shaved Baby Artichoke Salad, with risotto cake, and parmesan basil this was my favorite, absolutely the best salad, but also don’t miss the Heirloom Apple & Pecan Salad, a pink lady apples, lolla rossa lettuce, pecans, shaft blue cheese on a sherry honey vinaigrette, and finally the simple but delicious Iceberg Lettuce Wedge, a homemade blue cheese dressing, cherry tomatoes, with prosciutto & shallot crisps.
 
  
                  Ahi Tuna                                           Creamed Spinach (Side)       
 
Now it was time for the main entries, we were told to try these 4 amazing dishes: Started with the Homemade Artichoke Ravioli, with parmesan, kalamata olives, toasted bread crumbs, tomato coulis and artichoke nage, this one would make my Italian mother jealous of her culinary talents, and Ahi Tuna Seared Rare, a delicious shiitake mushroom, onion and potato puree, asparagus,on a piquillo pepper sauce, very tender, and excellent!
 
 
10 oz. Center Cut New York Steak
 
Then we had the Prime 10 oz. Center Cut New York steak, it couldn't have been the beef, tender enough to sip through a straw, bathed in a creamed Spinach and homemade worcertershire sauce, paired a shoestring fries this dish had a true intensity and an unforgettable taste.
 
 
Roasted Wild Bluenose Bass
 
Then finally the Roasted Wild Bluenose Bass harmonized perfectly with béchamel-baked caulifower gratin, haricot verts on a golden raisin-caper vinaigrette. Everyone ooohed over these amazing choice of great dishes.
 
 
            New York Steak                        Sticky Toffee Warm Pudding Cake
 
Our desserts also made a magical entrance, we had the Chocolate Sampler, with consists of 3 samplers; the milk chocolate pot the crème, a white chocolate mousse, and a chocolate cherry bread pudding, if you love chocolate, you can’t miss this one, and a Sticky Toffee Warm Pudding cake a tongue-tingling dessert, not to miss as well.

 
Chocolate Sampler
 
I can certainly understand why this place attracts business professionals, out-of-towners, dating couples, and loads of studio people for power-lunching, or a leisurely dinner. The restaurant is practically next door to 20th Century Fox, and only a small hop from Sony Pictures.
 
The after shot we won't show you because is nothing but an empty plate. Famished but happy- that's how we felt after dinner at Napa Valley Grille the we left because we had just died and gone to heaven…after all my reviewing restaurants experience, I was amazingly impressed with Anne Conness dishes, it was an unforgettable evening.

Thank you Anne from the bottom of our hearts!
 
For more info please visit their website at napavalleygrille.com

Article By: Mary Adams
Photos By: Chris Marx


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