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Bastide restaurant in West Hollywood

Old Apr 16th, 2005, 03:15 AM
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Bastide restaurant in West Hollywood

Has anyone eaten here? It is a wonderful as some newspaper reviews claim?
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Old Apr 16th, 2005, 05:16 AM
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I haven't, but I notice Zagat's review is glowing using a few of the following adjectives:
sublime
memorable
brilliant
incomparable
dreamy
elegant

and it even says that although terribly expensive it's "worth every 100-dollar bill". It lists an average per person price of $101, the highest of any restauarant I've ever seen in any Zagat listing for any city in the US. It rates very high in every category although it does mention that chef Alain Giraud has now recently departed.
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Old Apr 16th, 2005, 05:19 AM
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Ooops. sorry about that "highest I've ever seen" comment. French Laundry is listed at $135, and there may be others as well.
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Old Apr 16th, 2005, 09:28 AM
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I haven't either, mostly on the basis of a scathing review in the Los Angeles Times after the new chef took over the kitchen. The old four-star rating was withdrawn and replaced with one star.

However, the LA Weekly ran a strongly positive review not long ago. And a raging debate on the chowhound.com LA board ensued. A regular poster finally went and basically found the experience unforgettable. But not always in a positive way.

The new chef, Ludovic Lefebvre (check him out in his new cookbook Crave: The Feast of the 5ive Senses-- just reviewed in the LA Times, is a student of molecular gastronomy, where the interest isn't so much in the commingling of complementary tastes as the deliberate juxtaposition of unrelated flavors in the same dish (black licorice and coffee with scallops or something like that). If well-done, it can be a wonderful thing (Wish in Miami Beach). Judging by the Times reviews of Bastide and the cookbook, Lefebvre's style is more in-your-face; even in the one positive chowhound review, the reviewer respected the techniques more than loved the food.

Is it worth it? I'm not sure. For $100 I can have 100% enjoyable meals at hundreds of restaurants in the greater LA area. If I were to go to Bastide, I'd go for the once-in-a-lifetime tasting menu experience and know that I'd probably not love anything I ate.
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Old Apr 20th, 2005, 11:41 AM
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thanks so much. this was really helpful!
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Old Apr 20th, 2005, 12:08 PM
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A second chowhound review was posted recently, with the same overall experience: Sumptuous service, superior wine selection, "artistic" food mixing different flavors, spices, textures and temperatures.

The total experience came in well over $200 a head (tasting menu), and the poster was clearly proud of having spent the money ("Look at me!! I can spend $200 a person for ices, foams and a foie gras smoothie!"). They seemed to enjoy having their taste buds taken on a roller-coaster ride, but there was little indication that they loved anything they ate. Lots of admiration for technique, definitely.

At those prices, I want to be so in love with the food I run away to Vegas to marry it. I'm not getting that. It seems to get a healthy crowd of nouveaux riches trendoids nowadays (and the kind of foodies the Chowhound board rails against!), but I've lost any interest in darkening Bastide's doorway....
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 11:13 AM
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hahahaha!
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Old Apr 22nd, 2005, 08:42 PM
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I haven't been there for the new chef, but was there right after it first opened. Back then, anyway, it was, well. . .

perfect.
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