Restaurant: Il Grano [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]
Location: 11359 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025. 310.477.7886
Date: December 28, 2012
Rating: Modern Italian to die for
After my stellar birthday meal at Il Grano, and with the closing of Drago, Il Grano has become one of my favorite westside Italians. With my parents out for the holidays, my mom wanted to go.
From my cellar, we start off big. Parker 94, “the stunning aromatics of the 1996 Barolo is full-bodied and muscular. It possesses high tannin as well as extract, and mouth-searing acidity that gives the wine both great precision as well as a frightfully backward character. A super-dense, extracted, and rich Barolo, it will not be ready to drink for a decade. Discipline in the form of cellaring is definitely required for this fabulous Barolo.”
The first amuse, some mussels.
And a bit of winter vegetable soup in a spoon. I think it was zucchini.
As a third amuse, the chef/owner, Sal, brought out this gorgeous bianco pizza.
Then proceeded to shave an entire black Dorgone truffle over it. Yum! He comped it too.
The crudo of the day. I don’t remember all the fish, but there is halibut, tuna, scallop, and something else. The little balls are spherized flavors.
Insalata Barbabietole. Roasted beets, braeburn apple, mixed greens, goat cheese.
Bigoli al Nero. Squid ink pasta, Santa Barbara sea urchin sauce. I love this stuff. The sea urchin melts into the pasta like butter.
Ravioli di Pera. Bartlett pear and gorgonzola ravioli, brown butter.
Pappardelle Cingale. Pasta with a winter boar ragu. This was a favorite of mine in Tuscany.
From my cellar, Parker 96, “The 2007 Gattinara Osso San Grato is a thrilling Gattinara. It is one of the very best Gattinaras I have ever come across. The 2007 combines the freshness and drive of the San Francesco with the inner perfume, guile and pliancy of the Castelle. Expressive red cherries, flowers, rosemary, mint and minerals wrap around the silky, totally satisfying finish. Fond memories of the 1990 linger on my mind.”
Monkfish, celery root puree, oxtail reduction, and winter wilted greens.
Salvatore comes out to filet the branzino baked in salt.
And plated with some vegetables.
Anatra. Duck Breast, caramelized maui onions, brussel sprouts, pomegranate reduction.
Pernice. Wild Scottish partridge, Italian chestnut puree, crispy polenta, cavolo nero, partridge reduction.
And then a few desserts. Tart Tartin.
Triple chocolate cake. Chocolate gelato, and three types of chocolate (milk, dark, white).
And because it was almost New Years, some Panettone, the traditional sweet cake eaten in Italy at the end of the year.
If you like higher end Italian cooking (and who doesn’t?) you should absolutely rush over here. Make sure you get a tasting menu. I don’t think appetizer and entree selected off the regular menu would do the place the justice it deserves. I’m sure the dishes would be great, but this cuisine is about more than just two notes. I’m not sure why Il Grano isn’t always mobbed, as folks flock to overpriced mid-quality trattorias. I guess people are just clueless.
And I’m headed by to Il Grano at the end of January with the Hedonists to roast up an entire wild boar that Yarom shot!
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Or experience my gluttonous month-long journey through Northern Italy.sharethis_button(); ?>