REVIEW: THE SHERBOURNE

The Sherbourne has a spud mixologist.  The Monster will repeat.  The Sherbourne has a spud mixologist.

Intrigued?

Behind Jerry’s Famous Deli and owned by the same (which The Monster abhors and is directly responsible for the closing of one of the all-time great restaurants in Wolfie Cohen’s Rascal House in Bal Harbour, Florida when Jerry’s bought them out) sits The Sherbourne.  The Monster will forgive The Sherbourne for what is an unpardonable sin (Rascal House had the most amazing Manhattan clam chowder, shrimp parmigiano, a pickle tray straight from the heavens and renowned cheesecake while being an old Sinatra haunt) and measure the restaurant on its own merits.

It’s hidden and without a sign (eh) and when The Monster arrives there is only one other table occupied in the handsome space that is designed as inside/outside (there is a ficus tree in the middle of the room and the roof is semi-permanent) but for no good reason the maitre de sits The Monster right beside the only other table which is conveniently located beside an annoying poll that makes getting into and out of the table a Sisyphean task.  The Monster will be moved.  In the meantime the waiter needs to stop asking if The Monster wants a drink.  He said he’d wait for the other guests twice now and means it.  The Monster would like some bread.  And unfortunately is told The Sherbourne does not serve bread.  More on this later.

The menu is a solid cross section of easy to like and classic choices including jumbo lump crab cakes, tuna tartar and grilled artichokes as appetizers ideas; a Sherbourne chop and hearts of romaine as part of the salad selections; 10 oz prime filet mignon, grilled Australian rack of lamb and a Tomahawk steak meant for two as examples of the entrees.  There are also a whole host of sides to tempt you so a truffle mac with Vermont cheddar and shitake might strike your fancy or perhaps you stay on the healthier side with sautéed garlic spinach and mustard greens.

However, all three soups sound like must gets.  Cheven’s signature five-onion with melted gruyere cheese served in a colossal onion, absolutely.  Gazpacho with pepita pesto, yes please.  And a special creamy crab bisque, you know it.   And then there are Orleans style BBQ prawns in black pepper, creamy Orleans style BBQ sauce and garlic bread, there is no way that won’t be ordered.  And for the entrée the plank roasted salmon makes the grade.

The onion soup and gazpacho are both pretty killer, only the special creamy crab bisque disappoints.  Then there are the shrimp and they are perfectly sauced so that not only is another order immediately placed but the broth is eaten like a soup.   They are a must order.

The salmon is a wonderful plate presentation and proves to be just what it is, plank roasted salmon.  There is a bar of just how high this dish can go and it’s never terribly high but on this night that suites The Monster just fine.  Apparently, the pork chop is the tits.

And as the meal is devoured out rolls the cart containing the wares of the spud mixologist.  This is why The Sherbourne does not serve bread.  Each table gets three varieties of mashed potatoes… Yukon gold, purple Peruvian, and sweet potato garnet in which the mixologist can add a whole heap of goodies.  There is Oreo cookies and maple syrup and bacon and shaved truffles and on and on.  The mixologist will tell you what he thinks the best combinations are but the rebel in you might say what the hell and go off the reservation.  Perhaps because by this point The Monster is reaching maximum density but the mashed potatoes actually end up being a bit of a disappointment.   Looking for luscious whipped potatoes and incredible flavor and instead end up saying “ho-hum.”  Still, it’s a novel idea and maybe the combos picked weren’t stand-outs.

By the end of the evening the restaurant is about half-full.  Not sure if it’s an off night or The Sherbourne is still a little know commodity but the there is enough to like to give the space a whirl.

Why go?  You too can forgive.* 

Monster rating: 3 ½/5 Monsters

327 North Sherbourne
Los Angeles, CA 90048

(310) 289-5942

*The Monster has not forgiven Jerry’s and never will.

Sherbourne on Urbanspoon

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