Wednesday, June 16, 2010

No. 165: Petrossian (West Hollywood)

Having been on my to-try for a while, I finally bit the bullet and headed to Petrossian after seeing many, many consistently positive reviews of the place (and because of the 30 percent off BlackboardEats coupon.) Even though the limelight's on their assorted caviar dishes, I heard they do an equally stellar job with their other Cali-French offerings too -- so I was definitely excited to check it out!

Joining me on this excursion was ConBon of Hey Hey Scenesters and self-proclaimed Jewtina Carina Ost (formerly of Uncouth Gourmands, but now with her own Mission:Fruition blog and moving to San Francisco!) Due to parking difficulties, my two dining compadres arrived 30 minutes late for our 11 a.m. brunch (we originally had a fourth too, but he bowed out entirely by text @ 11:15) but the server was most accomodating during my half-hour wait, even offering to refrigerate the slice of Sweet Lady Jane cake I got for Carina's going away.

After a quick scan through the menu (though I had plenty of time to peruse it,) we made our order. ConBon opted for the $69 caviar brunch, while Carina and I a la carted. Unfortunately, one of Carina's orders -- the caviar surprise -- fell through because Chef Benjamin Bailly isn't in yet, so she wound up swapping it for the steak frites upon the manager's recommendation.
Wild Mushroom Cappuccino
To start, I got their Wild Mushroom Cappuccino ($10), which was quite a textural surprise with a frothy lightness I wouldn't expect from a soup, even a pure├ęd one. Equally unexpected was the flavor, which was pretty rich and deep with mushroom's woodsy-meatiness despite the airy feel.
Caviar-Egg Salad Sandwich
Meanwhile, ConBon was having trouble with her 1925 caviar-egg salad sandwich, which was quickly becoming a "too much of a good thing" dish (especially so for a first course.) The four triple-decked half-sandwiches was brimming with egg salad, creme fraiche and caviar. She thought it was delicious at first, but it soon became overkill -- and she gave Carina a half-sandwich.
Belgian Endive Salad
For part of my main, I got a Belgian Endive Salad w Fuji apples, cheddar cheese, candied pecans and a mignonette dressing ($14). Flavorwise this was spot-on, the slight bitterness of the endives were delectably balanced with the pecan's sweetness, the salty cheese and the tart dressing! My only grievance would be the size of the leaves... since I have a pet peeve against salads I have to use a knife on (thus you'll NEVER see me ordering a wedge salad,) and the endives were just slightly too big -- resulting in me trying to rapidly chomp them down to size while it's still partially sticking out of my mouth. As beautiful as whole Belgian endive leaves are, in a salad I wouldn't mind if they got a quick chopping to make them bite-sized for humans.
Black Truffle Mac 'n Cheese
The salad wound up to be more than filling for me, so when my order of black truffle "mac 'n cheese" - sans the bacon - ($18) arrived, I was more than eager to share with ConBon and Carina. The bouncy, firm texture of the orrechiette was interesting initially and I definitely love the subtly noticeable aroma of the truffle pieces, but as the dish cooled it became significantly less appetizing, with the sauce congealing into a cheesy mealiness and the pasta becoming borderline gummy. Combined with our pretty full tummies, we left half the mac on the table and decided to spend our calories on other things. Though for the future, I make note that this "first course" is filling as an entree, and that I only have minutes to eat this while it's good and piping hot!
Conbon is full
Meanwhile, ConBon barely finished half her caviar & smoked salmon bagel (and that's after giving half a bagel's worth to Carina) and couldn't even doggy bag the leftovers since we have a full day out and about town. Sadness for her indeed . . . (likewise, Carina didn't finish her steak frites -- again, what's with the crazy portions?)
Panna Cotta
Thankfully, the brunch ended on a pleasant final note with ConBon's exotic panna cotta w passion fruit and pop rocks, which she was more than happy to share. Having experienced this dessert with Caroline on Crack, it was just as fun the second time around. The sweet, creamy custard against the bright and tangy fruit and the fizzy and exploding candy pieces, like a champagne of desserts!
Interior Shot 2
Despite the over-the-top portions and the occasional minor misses, brunch here was a delightful experience -- very conducive to relaxing and drawn-out conversations thanks to the attentive but not rushy service and the minimalistic black-and-white atmosphere with lots of softened sunlighting pouring through the windows and translucent curtains. It's definitely place worth re-visiting, though I'll definitely be more mindful about how much food to order (and that some dishes, such as the caviar sandwich and mac 'n cheese, are definitely meant for sharing only.) And hopefully Chef Bailly will be around next time too, since I heard he makes some pretty amazing impromptu tasting menus . . . and oh yeah, when I resume omnivorism.

Full flickr set here

Petrossian West Hollywood Boutique
321 North Robertson Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90048-2415
(310) 271-6300
Twitter for Petrossian
Twitter for Ben Bailly
Petrossian Boutique and Cafe in Los Angeles on Fooddigger


Gastronomer said...

Y'all should've texted me! I would've driven across town for Connie's leftover bagel ;-)

weezermonkey said...

But...big portions mean yummy leftovers! :)

H. C. said...

@Gastronomer, duly noted for next time ;) or we can take a trip together next time and split an order!

@Weezermonkey, but bummer we had a full afternoon of other going-ons and any leftovers we brought along will likely putrefy in the hot oven a car, and I have a feeling many of the dishes we had won't save well anyways.

eastside food bites said...

I think i love wild mushroom cappuccino, and I've never even had it. Delectable picture.

SinoSoul said...

Everyone's still doing brunch. I want to come for dinner but MANG, the pricing.. Ouch.


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