Last week, Himself and I decided to try out Canelé after hearing so much about it the last few weeks.
I'd recently had a conversation with a well-known television producer when we were both visiting a mutual friend who'd just had a baby. This woman makes me nervous every time I'm around her because, well, because she's just so damn successful. In any case, when I mentioned Atwater Village, she perked up and said, "Oh, home of the Greatest Restaurant in LA?" Although she hasn't been yet, and was basing her assessment on plain old-fashioned buzz, I still took it as a ringing endorsement.
When I didn't get the job I thought I was going to get last week, Himself and I thought it was a good enough excuse to go have a night out. Off to Canelé we went.
I love love love the interior. The exposed brick is great and reminds me of New York, and I love the idea of the kitchen being so open.
The first thing we heard when we were being seated put us off a bit - one of the waitresses announced, to no one in particular, and loudly, "I GOTTA GO TAKE A PEE!"
Now, I am unfortunately one of those people who will make sure everyone in the room knows exactly what I'm thinking at every moment, but even I know better than to say that while waitressing. Or in front of strangers. For the love of God, woman. Also, the phrase "take a pee" is strangely so much grosser than "go pee," right?
In any case, our waitress was not the pee-pee girl, thanks be. She was really pleasant and pretty attentive, without being overbearing.
Himself started with a fantastic cheese and Serrano ham plate that was the best part of our whole meal. I had a shallot-y créme fraiche-y friseé salad, delish.
Main course was very good, although my dish had one perplexing flavor that just didn't make much sense. I had the fish, which was cooked very well, with a side dish of a creamy rice with the unexpected flavor of fresh mint. The perplexing flavor came from some chopped green olives scattered over the fish. Now, I love olives, and I love fresh mint, but together? Also, when you're not expecting green olives, the flavor can be a bit like, well...
Poopie diaper. There, I said it.
Himself had the clams steamed with white wine and garlic, which didn't have as much depth of flavor as we've come to expect (we're spoiled because my family has a home on Cape Cod and when we go, we just eat and eat and eat), but were still pretty yummy.
So all in all, we had a great night, but I think Canelé has a way to go before they'll really live up to the hype. Especially if the former head of NBC is coming.