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Date: November 15, 2005
Location: 7661 Melrose Avenue
Corkage: ??
Cost: $100 per person?
Reservation: 323.782.8258

I've been meaning to write this up for a while, but never got around to it so memory is a bit fuzzy. Had dinner here with Mr. & Mrs. rickym13, Fred and his date on a Tuesday night during my SoCal visit if I recall correctly. Small dinner of just the five of us.

Chef Govin Armstrong appeared on Iron Chef America in a match-up against boy wonder Bobby Flay, an episode I haven't seen, so if anyone knows the result, please fill in the blank.

I was the first to arrive, after check-in, was directed to the bar and ordered a margarita to start off the night. Soon after, Mr. & Mrs. rickym13 arrived and joined me for a drink waiting for Fred and his date. We were a bit past our reservation time, so during the wait, the hostess came up and mentioned that we would have to clear the table by 9:00pm, which would still give us plenty of time, this became a non-issue as the night went on however.

When rickym13 made the reservation, he was informed of the Salt Crusted Porter House Steak for Two, which would have to be pre-ordered if we were interested. After couple of quick calls, we decided to have two of those for us three guys. I can't recall what the two ladies had for entree for the evening, hopefully rickym13 can fill in the blank.

While anticipating for our Salt Crusted Porter House to arrive, we had couple of appetizers, two servings each for the table. Grilled Calamari With Fall Beans, Clams, and Chorizo and Atlantic Sardines With Lipstick Peppers, Nettles, Delicata Squash and Pumpkin Seed Pesto were the two selections. Both items were wonderfully flavorful and fresh, prepared to perfection and ever so savoring.

A kitchen staff brought the Salt Crusted Porter House to our table as presentation before breaking the salt crust apart for serving. A great piece of meat that was tender and juicy with my preference towards to New York Strip. The temperature of the meat was slightly uneven, but expected and no harm done.

Our waitress Darlene was very attentive for the entire evening, as we sat down, asked for the Riedel Vinum Cabernet Stems rather than what's already on the table, no problems there. I think we were even offered two each per person. As we were served our entrees, we discovered Darlene is the wine buyer for the restaurant and also a big fan of Neal Family Cabernet Sauvignon, which resulted in a quick trip back to the hotel for me to fetch a bottle of the 2003 for her to sample.

I want to say we had a dessert or two, but again, memory kind of fuzzy writing this up a month later. :P

I never saw the actual itemized bill for the evening, so I am not sure of the corkage fee, $100 about right I believe, again, rickym13 can help my fading memory here.

Definitely a restaurant I would go back to on the next trip down to LA. Perhaps while pre-ordering the Porter House, we can also request they make a pot of rice for our table. Wink
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