Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Special Foodventure #50: DineLA Dinner @ Beacon

Apologies in advance for lack of photos, lighting was simply too dim to take anything flash-less that evening
Ahh... Beacon - a place I've been meaning to checking out, and finally did - with a little incentive from DineLA. When my dining companion and I arrived for a late dinner last week (~8:15p), it was still a full house. Hopefully that's good news about the food.

Like the other new restaurants of revitalized downtown Culver City area, the atmosphere and vibe of this Asian Fusion restaurant is pretty swank without going overboard with the kitsch (i.e. no oversized Buddha statues or giant sake barrels lying about.) Anyways, here's a breakdown of our 3-course menus.

For starters, my companion had a warm Carrot Ginger Soup which was delightful for a chilly night, though not particularly distinctive from other carrot ginger soups I've tried or bought. I got the Stir-fried Mushroom Salad with Manchego Cheese and Yuzu Dressing that was truly delicious, with the little cubes of potent-yet-buttery cheese (think texture of Mozzarella or Gouda combined with pungence of Parmigiano) cutting into the tart dressing, warm, meaty mushrooms and the crisp mixed greens. One of few salads I would actually be content ordering as an entree.

And speaking of entrees - I got the Grilled Thai Curry Chicken with Black Rice Risotto, which was pretty decent, though the sauce, wonderfully aromatic as it was with the smells of lemongrass and coconut, was considerably too salty. The black rice was more impressive, fluffy with a slightly nutty note. My companion got the Tasmanian Salmon Trout with Grits and Chinese Black Bean Sauce - the fish was perfectly cooked, super-moist and flavorful with a skin that's crispy as a chip. I was surprised by the combo of creamy grits & briny black bean sauce ~ nice example of "fusion done right".

Finishing off our meals are Pink Lady Apple Crisp and Passion Fruit Cheesecake; both good but not great, the former was too sweet and the latter too sour. Maybe if we mixed the two desserts into some pink lady/passion fruit cheesecake crisp amalgamation...

But overall, a pretty kickin' meal that my dining companion and I both enjoyed -- and we both look forward to returning to check out some of their other innovative fusion dishes.

3280 Helms Avenue
Los Angeles 90034


KT said...

That mushroom salad sounds so good! I want some right now!

Nanette said...

Ooooh, this was the *one* place we didn't try via Dine LA but really wanted to. Glad you enjoyed it!

H. C. said...

KT, Thankfully -- unlike some of the other DineLA places -- this salad is on their regular menu so available all the time :)

Nanette, This restaurant is not as damaging on the wallet compared to the others -- I guesstimate about $30/person for dinner, so definitely worth checking out.


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