At Caulfield’s at the Thompson Hotel in what was once the ill-fated Bond Street and The Monster hopes this meal ends up striking a more positive note than the last time he was in this space. That evening involved a whole mess of food being sent back because it was all sorts of filthy, an inept valet that brought out the wrong car not once but twice and later a parking ticket that wasn’t Bond Streets fault but The Monster likes to pretend it was.
The space has an art deco/French motif throughout the rooms and patio to compliment a menu that leans on new American classics with a few slight French twists from chef Cody Diegel last of Magnolia.
The Monster sees chicken pot pie and it’s all over.
Chicken pot pie, chicken wings, fried chicken, cioppino, crawfish etoufee, key lime pie. The Monster sees them on a menu and game over. Pavlovian response in full effect. In fact, The Monster orders the chicken pot pie as an appetizer. What else is in play? Some beer mussels with grilled sourdough points, pan seared crab cakes and planks of corn, a trout almondine with capers and fries, Brussels sprouts and charred broccolini as sides.
You however may opt for the Kumamoto oysters or charcuterie plate to start. Perhaps a frisee bacon-lardon salad with poached egg, grilled crouton, white balsamic tickles your fancy. For a main there is a prime “Tomahawk” rib eye for two that may be the answer or wild mushroom risotto with parmesan-reggiano for those who don’t dig on meat.
When the pot pie comes The Monster is transported to creamy, chickeny heaven. Yes, The Monster just made up a word. The pot pie is chickeny. That’s a really good thing. Another plus, Diegel makes his pot pie with more crust along the sides of the dish. So you get chickeny, crusty bites the whole way through.
From this moment forward the rest of the meal will pale in comparison to the pot pie. Any meal would. The problem with Caulfield’s is the rest of the meal pales in comparison because the rest of the food is ably cooked but not terribly tasty.
The mussels are large and meaty but devoid of much taste. The trout is a tad overcooked and the fries aren’t memorable. The crabcakes are fine enough but don’t make The Monster need to order them again.
Lesson learned. Chicken pot pie ruins most everything else. And chicken pot pie is not an appetizer.
Luckily, none of the food is sent back, The Monster’s car is brought to him expediently and he gets no tickets on this night. Already Caulfield’s is leaps and bounds better than Bond Street.
Why go? Chickeny heaven.
Monster rating: 3/5 Monsters
9360 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90212