chicken supreme en croute d’argile - morel mushrooms, asparagus
Some of the best chicken breast I’ve had in awhile. The perfectly seasoned white meat was so juicy and moist, juicy couture signed it to an endorsement deal.
For the price i definitely prefer the food and space at republique. To me the menu at republique has a lot more interesting dishes, especially the apps, pastas and bread. The only thing left on the current kass menu that i would like to go back and try is the braised oxtail.
It is quieter at kass but some would say it’s also very “intimate.” The tables are so close together you might as well be sitting at a long communal table; don’t expect to hold any private conversations. and if you’re sitting on the banquette it will be impossible to get in and out of your seat without pulling the table halfway out.
Lovely meal overall at Kass the other night. Though expensive ($260 all in for two, with two glasses of wine off the list and $35 corkage for the bottle we brought), we left pretty darn happy. Kass feels very much like a date night place and reminded us of a French restaurant in London that we adore.
Eggs with Caviar (special for that night)
Croque Monsieur. Cheese and truffle, how can you go wrong?
mushroom risotto. Super toothsome, awesome mushrooms aborbed with butter.
Apple tarte with vanilla ice cream. Perfectly flaky and perfect ice cream.
On the plus side, everything was delicious, no misses. Best dish might have been the risotto. The food perhaps feels a bit simple next to Republique, but the food also feels more classically French (as opposed to Californian and Asian influenced). The execution was spot on everywhere. This is the kind of food you want to drink with French wine (as to be expected). I was still thinking about the food the next day!
On the negative side, I because of the price, probably won’t be visiting too often. We left full and ingredient quality seems high, but I don’t drop $300+ on a dinner (with wine) every week. So better for those romantic nights out, vs. a night out with the boys. Also, some aspects of the service needs work. We arrived early for our reservation (as did a few others), so a handful of us were understandbly directed to the bar. Several of the bar staff just let us stand there for over 5 minutes without even offering a drink menu, while they chatted up other customers. Very small bar so there’s literally no way the bar staff didn’t know we were waiting there. Finally after getting a menu, the bar tender didn’t take our drink order for another 5+ minutes for absolutely no reason. I sensed frustration coming from another couple and gave them our drink menu since they hadn’t been acknowledged by the bartender yet either. Service was pretty decent during the meal, but I sensed the wait staff and kitchen was working really hard to keep up with everything. Props to them for keeping it together, especially since the hostess was performing double duty as the somm. Wine service was no fuss, Schott Zwisel stems, wine decanted on request.
So overall? Much enjoyed, but will give it some time before returning. After Spring closed, I was missing something more classically French, and this definitely hits the mark. The experience is somewhat on par with Orsa and Winston, though they are different cuisines, but there is a similar feeling somehow. I need to compare this to the remaining French spots in LA, like Papilles, LQ Foodings, etc.
Thanks for the review. Your (real life) impressions sort of jive w/ the impressions I had formed by reading the thread. Sounds like a swell place, but not a place I’m rushing to visit (mainly /c of $).
As someone who is really into wine, strangely the only time I really care about the wine list is if I am by myself (since I will be drinking by the glass), or if I am just popping in for a drink and a snack at the bar. Otherwise I would rather bring my own wine and pay corkage.
I have mixed feelings as to whether I want to try Kass. It’s not my neighborhood, so it’s definitely not a neighborhood hang. As to a destination restaurant, the food looks interesting, but the tables (from the pictures I saw on Eater) seem really jammed together and I hate that kind of thing, especially for an expensive night out. I definitely felt crammed in at Bavel (and didn’t think the food was great, although perhaps I ordered wrong) and the tables at Kass seem even more crammed up against one another than at Bavel.
I tend to bring my own wine as well because 1) I have too much invested in wine at home that needs to be drunk and 2) I hate paying multiples of retail for markup, e.g. don’t want to pay $120+ off the list for something that I can buy today at $60. But hey, restaurants need to make money off of booze, so I get it. Paying corkage is still a decent value in that regard. My favorite wine list in LA remains Majordomo’s though.
I’m not a French wine expert, particularly in the regions like Loire that appear heavily on Kass’s list. The Sancerre I started with (by the glass) had ripe tropical fruits notes, and little to no minerality that I like in my favorite examples. Catering to majority tastes perhaps.
Yes, I recall the tables being closer together at Kass (no chance of the waiter standing between the tables here) than at Bavel (which is a much louder restaurant, so to me the proximity is not as relevant to me). Once we got into our seats though, we were focused on each other and it was fine. But if we wanted to eavesdrop on our neighbors, we could have.