Napa Valley Grille Re-Opening

1100 Glendon Ave Ste 100
Los AngelesCA 90024

Commemorating their 15th year anniversary, Napa Valley Grille has re-opened their doors after a $2 million renovation. The entire restaurant has been remodeled including the interior dining room, private event space, and outdoor furniture with earth tone colors. Upon entering the restaurant, we were very impressed at the tall ceilings and the cavernous like rooms. There are multiple dining rooms perfect for a private event space, and they even added a private room encased with wine storage!

Napa Valley Grille also introduced Chef Adrian Vela as their new executive head chef. He has worked under chefs such as Joel Robuchon and Charlie Palmer, and brings with him a seasonal menu using local ingredients while keeping to the classic California cuisine that the restaurant offers. After sitting in one of the smaller rooms, we decided to order a couple appetizers to start as well as a glass of wine.

Wagyu Meatballs, beef, pancetta, fried green tomato, fresh herbs, romesco- Meatballs are always a fantastic choice, and this was no exception. The tomato was plump and juicy, and the crust was nice and crispy on the outside. It served as a great complement to the meatballs, and the marinara sauce was thick and creamy. 

Oven Roasted Mussels, crispy pancetta, sweet onions, charred tomato, Chardonnay- the mussel broth was amazing, and we could not stop dipping the bread in it! The sauce had a subtle smokey taste and was bursting of flavor. 

Roasted Vegetable Flatbread, brussels sprouts, heirloom carrots, cauliflower, garlic, corn, herbs- The crust was thin and crispy, and we loved the toppings! Everything tasted great together; it was a very Californian appetizer to start. 

For the entrees, we got the Chef's special lobster ravioli and the Steelhead trout. The house-made lobster ravioli with shrimp, chervil, and watermelon salad as my favorite from the night! The inside was stuffed with lobster, and the chilled watermelon shrimp salad was the perfect pairing to the ravioli. The bearnaise sauce that was fantastic as well as it added a light citrus taste to the overall dish. 

The steelhead trout with roasted asparagus, Meyer lemon risotto, harissa, and micro sorrel was a solid dish; the fish was tender and the risotto was nice and creamy. 

For dessert, we got the Butterscotch Bread Pudding as it was highly recommended as well as the Chocolate Pot De Creme. I have a giant sweet tooth, and the Butterscotch Bread Pudding was perfect for me! The marshmallows were toasted to perfection and the chocolate crisp was a great contrast to the soft bread pudding. I drenched my bread pudding in the brown sugar sauce, and it was yummy! 

The Chocolate Pot de Creme was smooth and creamy, and even though it was viscous, the chocolate flavor was on the lighter side! The pistachio biscotti paired really well with the chocolate.

We had a fantastic night at Napa Valley Grille; the restaurant was gorgeous! I used to pass by this restaurant back when I was at UCLA, and the renovations have really transformed the restaurant! Thanks for having us- so glad Napa Valley Grille is back! Like them on Facebook or follow them on Instagram to keep up to date with their opening~ 

Cavatina Tasting Event

Sunset Marquis
1200 Alta Loma Rd
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Photo by CavatinaLA.com 

Photo by CavatinaLA.com 

Cavatina, located in the beautiful boutique hotel Sunset Marquis, gave me a truly unforgettable experience that was unlike any dinner I've had. Upon entering the hotel, we walked through several sections of beautiful decor until we reached the garden in the back. The restaurant is located in the middle of the garden past the bridge, and has a gorgeous atmosphere with open air rafter ceilings that is perfect for a date night. The space is actually very open and large, and Cavatina can host private events with up to 250 guests.

Cavatina has just welcomed Jonathan Kim as the new Executive Chef of the restaurant. With more than 10 years of industry and culinary management experience, he will be joining James Bear Award-Winning Chef and restauranteur Michael Schlow in bringing a fresh and bold California cuisine that focuses on smile high quality ingredients.

We first started out with drinks before moving on to our tasting. Chef Kim sees cooking as a creative tool in which customers are able to experience his passion and personality through food, and we definitely saw that through the variety of courses that we tried.

First off, Kusshi oyster with fennel and caviar: I love kusshi oysters, and this dish was no exception. The fennel and caviar added a nice touch of flavor to the freshness of the oyster, and it was the perfect amuse bouche.

Scallop crudo with nori oil, powdered sesame, radish, hijiki, and pickled apple: This was one of my favorite dishes; the scallop was super fresh and light and the texture of the powdered sesame, radish, and oil complemented the scallops well. The apples added a nice tang to the scallops, and the contrast in crunchiness and softness was great.

Albacore poke with dragonfruit jelly, black rice paper, Tobiko olive oil, and Serrano chili: Although I did not like the jelly texture with the poke, everything else was delicious. The black rice paper added a nice light crunch to the poke, and you can really taste the different flavors that was integrated into this dish.

Hamachi with peppers, onions, garlic pureed together, avocado mousse, masago, and Serrano chili vinegar: Another favorite of mine as the serrano chili added a nice kick to the fish along with the smooth, creamy avocado. The hamachi was cut to a precision, and I could not have enjoyed this dish any better.

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Chorizo lobster and shrimp, crispy black rice, almonds, aioli, onions, asparagus: This dish was phenomenal in texture, and the combination of everything really enlightened my taste buds.

Kimchi risotto with crispy pork belly, quail egg, crispy shallots, green onions: I had so many favorite dishes! This one sealed the deal with me as I love how the chef was able to turn a simple risotto into a Korean inspired dish that tasted phenomenal. And of course.. eggs are always a win.

Last but not least, the dry aged prime rib eye, chestnut puree, purple cauliflower, truffle beurre monte, veal jus: Another fantastic dish. The salt didn't overpower the meatiness of the steak, and it also did not saturate the mouth with the heavy salt feeling one could get from a steak. Instead, this juicy and flavorful dry aged was lightly salted and tasted just right.

On to the dessert! Crème fraiche cheesecake with dulce de leche, espresso ice cream: This cheesecake was the perfect dessert as it was light and fluffy. I loved the pairing of the ice cream as well as the bits that added a nice crunch.

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Hazelnut streusel, chocolate bits, berry ice cream: This chocolate streusel was very rich and decadent, and it offered a nice contrast to our cheesecake.

James Beard Award-Winning Chef Michael Schlow brought creativity and taste that is unparalleled to other California cuisines in LA. Everything from the atmosphere, the service, presentation, and the food was impeccable, and I could not have had a better night. Thank you Ghost Media for the invite as well Cavatina LA for hosting! For more information on Cavatina, visit their website here.