Restaurant: Culina Modern Italian [1, 2]
Location: 300 S Doheny Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90048. 310) 860-4000
Date: May 12, 2017
Rating: Great Italian – Hotel or No
Hotel restaurants are always rebooting themselves, and so it goes with the 4 Seasons Beverly Hills. This time around they have brought in master Italian chef Mirko Paderno who just a year or two ago was cooking up amazing meals at the tiny Avalon Hotel and then had a brief stint at Downtown’s hot Officine.
From my cellar: 2015 Vietti Roero Arneis. 90 points. Granny Smith apples. Nice structure. Seems almost like it has tannins.
Burrata e pesche. Imported burrata cheese, fresh peach, frisee salad, garda olive oil. Nice salad. Don’t choke on the frisee.
Pie Cauliflower. Cauliflower Soufflé, Reggiano Cheese Fondue, Truffle Butter. Yum city! Cheesy truffle goodness.
Beat of Tuna in Knife. Sashimi Grade Tuna Tartare, Quail Eggs, Chives, Spicy Sauce, Lemon Fresh Shallots. Almost like a beef tartare.
Beef Carpaccio Seared. Seared Beef, Garlic Bagna Cauda, Wild Arugula, Cheese Raspadura.
From my cellar: 1996 Roagna Barbaresco Pajé. 93 points. Stunning Barbaresco – depth, layers of fruit, earth notes, with tannins and acid beautifully balanced. Takes a lot of time to come into its own. If you open one now, decant for half a day. Will be at peak in 2020-2024.
Tartufone pizza. Fior Di Latte, Parmesan Cheese, Duck Egg, Fresh Truffle. I wonder what Fior Di Latte means here — to me it means sweet milk gelato :-). Pizza was awesome though. Another rice dairy truffle eggy combo.
Special order cheese risotto in a cheese. Awesome cheesy goodness.
Ossobuco. I love this rice dish.
Sea Bass Baked. Mediterranean Sea Bass, Roasted Fennel, foraged Mushroom, Onion, Fregola, Garda Olive Oil.
Butterscotch Budino. Whipped Crème Fraiche, Sea Salt Caramel, Coconut Cookies. I adore these. Salty too.
Warm Dark Chocolate Liquid Tart. Mint Chocolate Chip Gelato. Nice combo.
Not only is Culina now one of the best hotel restaurants in town, it’s one of the best Italian restaurants. Mirko has always been an amazing chef, and particularly when he just “makes stuff for you.” His particular classic but quite contemporary Northern Italian is very much you get at a great (high end) place in Northern Italy — and totally scrumptious. He does lean toward the rich (i.e. cheese and truffles etc).