Monday, June 11, 2012

Goodbye Dinner at Hatfield's Restaurant

The Summer after graduation is a joyous yet tearful season. This year I'm my saying good bye to my closest friend and roommate. I had horrible experiences living with other people. The noise, the drinking, and the fight over AC in dormitory were bearable. Then it got worse. Texts and sticky notes in the middle of the night from my roommate telling me to clean up the dishes. No friends over the apartment policy. No talking in the living room at night. I was jealous of people who became sisters with their roommates. I was Cinder-Angel waiting for my fairy godmother.

Desperate to find a roommate before everyone leave for the summer, my fairy godmother sent Evelyn to me. Everything was promptly decided between us. The next thing I know we were shopping for furniture at IKEA.

We made a sofa bed from a full sized bed and added a colorful sheet from the kid's section along with five big pillows as cushion. Our sofa cost less than either a regular sofa bed or a sofa set. Better yet there's no hassle to clear the living room and open the bed when friends visit. Although it wasn't the most comfortable sofa, we enjoyed some One Piece and a lot of snacking in the living room. I'm going to miss her very very much.

For our goodbye dinner we went to Hatfield's on Melrose. It was rated by Bon Appetit as one of the 10 Best New Restaurants in America, and it has one Michelin Star. The menu is crafted by Quinn Hatfield and it changes seasonally. Hatfield's is a gem in both savory and dessert. While husband Quinn manages the kitchen, wife Karen runs the front of the house and the dessert. I always recommend my friends to save a large space for dessert.

With our petite stomaches neither of us ordered the seasonal prix fixe. The set menu is a four course meal including a dessert of your choice for $63. Currently, you can choose between kanpachi and scallop, prawn and halibut,  or duck breast and beef rib. As for the vegetarian set, expect strawberry salad, cannellini bean flan, and grilled cauliflower for $53. There's only one set for herbivores, but don't be disappointed because these three vegetarian dishes are the best you can find in Los Angeles.

Starting off with Evelyn and I's appetizers, we both ordered Bobo Farms Foie Gras since it's the last month in LA to order foie gras. The serving was quite large for an appetizer. It was served with a apple-rosemary sauce on top of two caramelized cippolini and a side of citrus cucumber to balance the goose fat.

apple-rosemary butter, caramelized cippolini onion, seared foie gras, and a side of citrus cucumber accompanied by a molasse toast
Bobo Farms Foie Gras

Moving on to the entrees. One of my favorite dish at Hatfield's on the menu right now is the Thirty-Six Hour Slow Cooked Beef Rib. Let me tell you it does not chew like meat in your mouth. I jumped from my seat when I took the first bite. The meat melted in my mouth as if I'm eating jell-o. Perhaps I was too surprised by the texture to savor the flavor. I wish the flavor can be more pungent. The best about beef rib is that heavy concentrate of spices, beef, and wine.

For a lighter option, I would go for the cannelloni bean flan that's shaped and plated like a silky Japanese tofu. I forgot which entree I ordered, mainly just one of the dish from the vegetarian menu. So I expected a custard made from vegetable purees and eggs when I lifted the molasses toast up. What the flan actually taste like was a silky mash potato without the butter. The flan actually had very little flavor. What elevates the dish is the mushroom ragout on the top. The ragout had a thick sauce that barely covers the flan, and it sinks deep down, clinging onto the mash cannellini.

cannellini bean mashed and shaped into a rectangle topped with molasses toast
Warm Cannellini Bean Flan
mushroom with a dark sauce that accompanies the cannellini flan
Mushroom Ragout

Evelyn, on the other hand, had Croque Madame for entree. It's one of the praised dishes at Hatfield, but we both agreed that it was too greasy. The toast was crunchy when you first bite into it, then the oil oozes out and stays on your tongue. Evelyn decomposed the sandwich and ate it open-face style.

One last thing about the food before we move into dessert. The table bread tastes like it came out straight from the oven. It was a delight to enjoy as we wait for our appetizers.

When it came time to choose a dessert, we chose strawberry napoleon and three flavors of gelato and sorbet. The napoleon had two layer each with a dash of fresh cream and strawberry pieces. On the side is a pistachio brittle gelato. I love love love pistachio gelato so I got an extra scoop of pistachio brittle along with strawberry and lemon ginger sorbet. The sorbets are light and fresh, definitely not from extracts.

The other time I visited Hatfield's, I enjoyed Karen's Sugar and Spice Beignets very much. Two round pillow-like doughnuts were served between a chocolate fondue and a vanilla-date milkshake. Even though the beignets looked like any other sugar-dusted doughnuts, the cinnamon kicked the flavor up, so it's not what you would expect from your 24-7 deli. Moreover, it was not a overwhelmingly sweet dessert because the bitterness from the fondue and the spice from the cinnamon matches the sugar coat on the beignets. You just want to savor each little bite.

beignets served between venezuelan chocolate fondue and a shot class filled with vanilla-date milkshake
Sugar & Spice Beignets
Hatfield's never disappoint when you want to spend some quality time with friends or families. The restaurant has an exciting ambiance during peak hours, but it never gets out of control like Bottega Louie. Also securing a reservation is not a problem at all. Before Hatfield's stop serving foie gras at the end of June, stop by Hatfield's on Melrose. 

No comments:

Post a Comment