Food and Hollywood should go hand in hand like black and white. However that is not the case of the Gordon Ramsay at the London or otherwise known as The London West Hollywood. Chef Ramsay’s eatery is located in West Hollywood and was a disappointment. At first you might say perhaps it did not just live up to the hype but sadly that was not the case. I was so excited to obtain reservations at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant as I have been a fan of his for years. It only took me 5 years to actually try one of his restaurants, honestly to save up the money. I have eaten at some of the best chef’s restaurants including Tom Colicchio’s CraftSteak – fabulous and Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill – where Tex meets the west. To say I was expecting Chef Ramsay to kick their butt was an understatement.
Sadly Chef Gordon Ramsay has gone Hollywood. As you walk into his establishment a sign welcomes you stating that he now has a “new small bites menu”. The advertising states simply that his cuisine has been “re-interpreted for the California lifestyle.” Whose California lifestyle? Not mine that is for sure. I found it pretentious and lacking in substance. Even the Cesar Salad was pretentious. The waitress advised us to pour it on the plate so it could be eaten. It was presented in a bowl with the romaine spears pointed upward too difficult to cut let alone eat.
The price did not fit the flavor. I expected to be blown away with flavor and the infusion of fresh produce and herbs. What I received was a lackluster bite of something flat. The presentation was beautiful and for that he does rate an A+ but for flavor it was not present. The atmosphere did have the cosmopolitan feel that Chef Ramsay was aspiring to but it could also be described as cold and contrite.
The restaurant is run under the direction of Executive Chef Anthony Keene and sadly maybe that is Chef Ramsay’s mistake. I did not experience the fresh local produce with the new flavor of sophistication.
The question remains why did Chef Ramsay change his menu concept to small bites? The bites were small and definitely created from out of left field but they certainly were nothing to write home about. The best bite on the menu was the Grilled Spanish Octopus with parmesan dressing and marcona almonds. Because of his TV show Hell’s Kitchen I had to try the Scallop and Asparagus Risotto with roasted mushrooms. I am happy to report that the scallops were done to perfection however the risotto was undercooked. It tasted like hard rice and we all know that risotto is pasta to be served rich and creamy. I do not know what to say about the whole experience.
Giving it the good old college try I ordered three desserts from the menu: English Sticky Toffee Pudding with Mascarpone Cheese and Brown Butter Ice Cream; Pistachio Crème Brule; and Pineapple Upside Down Cake with Cherry Ice Cream. The desserts were small just like the small bite menu. Ever since my trip to Turkey I will order anything that has Pistachio in it. Needless to say the Country of Turkey does Pistachios better.
The waitress was nice enough however the service was so slow. I could have used a refill of the water glass along with a drink but it was roughly an hour wait just for the drink. Good thing I was not in the desert I would have died of thirst.
Of the tasting menu I ordered 10 items. Of the 10 items I only thought was one was exceptional. The rest I could have done without. Not a very satisfying dinner. To say the least I stopped for Taco Bell on my way home and I DO NOT DO FASTFOOD. That just goes to show you how under whelmed I was with the whole experience. This place only gets One Fork Up – it was at least a clean establishment and did not give me food poisoning.
I just cannot get past my great disappointment I waited years to save the money to try Chef Gordon Ramsay’s food and I could have used the cash to pay for a pair of shoes. I am not giving up on Chef Ramsay thou I have plans to try his burger joint The Fat Cow at the Grove. I still have hope.
The London West Hollywood - 1020 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069