foie gras fest @ RH in the Andaz Hotel



RH @ the Andaz Hotel
8401 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(323) 785-6090

before i get into my review, i just need to state the obvious...i am so behind on my posts...i am going to work, work, work on getting all of these done!  i was out of commission (sick), busy making christmas tamales and now delivering them all over southern cal.  thank you for being so patient and i promise i have lots of places to report on.  so let's get to it...and just to warn you, this is going to be a long one.  i think we ate half the menu!  so get comfortable, curl up in your favorite chair, get a nice warm blankie and a hot cup of cocoa...

here we go...

my friend jack, the wine and food connoisseur gathered a group of six to celebrate his cousin pamela's belated birthday and also to check out chef sebastien archambault's classic french cuisine in west hollywood one lovely friday evening.  after having read s. irene virbila's review, raving about truffled poached eggs and duck confit...i was sold.

what is RH?!  what does it stand for and why did they call it that?!  RH = riot house.  they called it this because back in the day, this hotel was well known for all the parties and crazy shanningans of celebs and musicians.  it wasn't the andaz of course...i don't know the name of the old hotel.  if i find out, i will tell you later. 

of course jack was so generous and provided us with some incredible champagne and wine to go with our meal. 



the champagne was the perfect companion to cut all the fatty richness from the foie gras!



this wine was amazing...it was buttery and fruity and i'm not a wine connoisseur, but i know when something tastes terrific!  this was just a great wine. 

the open kitchen...



was in our direct view from our table.

first out...some fresh veggies of baby carrots, radishes, cherry tomatoes and purple cauliflower with a creamy herb dip...



just simple and fresh veggies.  nice way to get your g.i. system moving!

fresh bread and butter with sel de mer...



fresh bread with unsalted butter topped with a little fleur de sel!  so lovely!  i can't resist bread...but i had to control myself because we ordered so much food!  yikes! 

mushrooms and green onion tart, arugla, hazelnuts...



the earthy, buttery mushrooms, yum, little kick of green onion, a bit of  pepperyness from the argula and you get a hit of nuttiness from both the parm and hazelnut.  the flaky puff pastry...light and airy, lending a some texture but even more richness to the whole dish.  i loved the simplicity of this dish and just how good it tasted.  i would get this again, but we all know i freaking love mushrooms!

hudson valley foie gras terrine, monbazillac jelly, duck breast...



this was sooo creamy and i loved the jelly with the terrine that cut the fatty feeling in my mouth.  the thin, crisp crouton was the perfect vehicle for the terrine.  honestly, i don't remember the duck breast..but there is a hazy memory deep within the vault of my brain that said i had some type of meat with it.  oh...perhaps it was because there was so little of it split amongst six people that it wasn't a star item when i ate it!  its ok though, i stil enjoyed this dish immensely! 

perigord tourrain soup, traditional chicken veloute with egg white...



dave so generously shared his chicken veloute soup with all of us, but i didn't want to be a piggie, so i had a very small bowl, but the flavor of the chicken was so delicate and velvety!  i would drink this soup over and over again with lots of hot bread and butter.  hmmmm hmmm good.  this is nothing like the campbell's soups i drank as a kid!!

perigourdine poached egg, field mushrooms, foie gras, summer truffles...



ok, s. irene virbila loved this dish!  and first of all, who doesn't love runny egg yolk with foie gras, truffles and truffle buttered bread to dip it all in?!  creamy on top of creamy on top of creamy...oh Lord...its a like a little bit of heaven in your mouth for that brief moment. 

i love this dish with all the components in it, but what i missed was the pungent aroma and earthy taste of truffles.  i don't know where the truffles came from, and though they are so generous with the truffles, it just lacked any true flavor.  it was such a shame.  nice dish...but it could've been even better with the right truffles or even a really lovely italian truffle oil!  oh wait...this is french cuisine...perphaps it would be blasphemous to use italian truffles.  hehe  nevermind. 

homemade crispy petulama duck confit, sauteed potatoes, green onion, garlic, parsley...



now this was the second of the dishes that s. irene virbila was raving out...so we were highly anticipating this when we ordered it.  now...some of you may know that anna and i cook duck confit for dinner parties and i really love how tender and succulent ours is.  i must say, i wasn't overly impressed with this one...it was just alright and i was disappointed that it didn't truly fulfill my duck confit needs.  i'm sad to say that i wouldn't have picked these two dishes as my top favorites to rave about. 

organic wild rice...



hehe...i didn't eat it.

cauliflower gratin...



there seemed to be quite a bit of liquid in this dish, it was good, but i am not compelled to sell this dish to you.  i would've wished for it to be more creamy and almost cheesey!  it was simple and clean...i suppose the style of the cuisine.

sauteed potatoes...



well seasoned, cooked well...not much else to say.

12-hour-cooked boneless suckling pig, roasted apricots, rosemary jus... 



growing up sda, i wouldn't normally look at a menu and scream..."I WANT THE SUCKLING PIG!"  lucky for me, someone else (thank you pam) wanted that succulent little piggy.  it was very tender, and though i'm not a huge fan of rosemary, the jus was scented so softly and not in anyway overpowering and was the perfect compliment to the pig.  delicious.  i would get this before i got the duck again!

seared wild salmon, sauvignon blanc sauce, sorrel, green beans, baby heirloom potatoes...



i had a small bite of the salmon, it was a bit fishy to me...which i'm not crazy about. 

hudson valley foie gras ravioli, summer truffle veloute...



yes...another dish with foie gras!  jack and i were totally looking forward to this also!  but i think it fell short of our expectations.  the foie was already melted within the ravioli skins...which leads me to the texture of the dough, a little too al dente for me.  again, *sigh* the truffles...need i say more?  don't worry, i'm sure i will discuss it again.  but since this dish fell flat, i won't discuss it further. 

colorado lamb chop and braised shoulder, eggplant, lemon confit, red pepper jus...



this was dave's pick, and he truly enjoyed it...i had a small piece because lamb is very gamey to me.  i will say, it was very tender, but still too gamey for my liking. 

RH burger, black angus beef, foie gras, morels...



did you count how many dishes we had with foie in it yet?!  honey, i didn't need a count to know that by this point, i had consumed more foie than most normal human beings should in one sittin...and my g.i. system was starting a small revolt.  but oh how i love morels and burgers and the combination of it all was just too good to pass up!!  that piece of foie was incredibly generous!!  wow...they really don't skimp here...thank you chef sebastien! 

the burger itself was tender and juicy, but even with all the decadent ingredients, it just didn't pack that punch for me.  you know what made this dish pop?  its long, quartered and green...yup!  it was the pickle!  it was the vinegar that helped cut the fat from the foie and creamy sauce.  who would've thought?  such a simple thing...but that's all it takes sometimes to elevate food to another place. 

truffled triple fried french fries...



let me repeat it...truffled triple fried fries...when i read the words "triple fried" i am thinking..."OMG!  hallelujah!  super crispy fries!" (you all know how i feel about my fries being crispy!!)  ok...look at the bowl of fries carefully, see the upper section, the fries look a little pale in comparison to the fries near the bottom of the bowl.  i know, i haven't even mentioned the truffles yet...*sigh* as it was the case in the other dishes, they just didn't have that strong, earthy, pungent aroma that i am so used to.  these fries were just ok for me.

red and black berries in monbazillac jelly, berries and yogurt ice cream...



the jelly was delicate and refreshing...i enjoyed the berries in there, it reminded me of a fancy fruit cocktail jello from when i was a kid, but with nicer fruit.  the yogurt ice cream was also light and refreshing.

warm chocolate cake, little john's english toffee caramel ice cream...



this was my favorite dessert of the night...nothing beats a perfectly warm chocolate cake, not overly sweet paired with that wonderful english toffee ice cream. 

ooohhhhhh...that warm oozing chocolate was so delicious.



roasted kingsburg farm fig almond tart, lavendar ice cream...



i don't quite remember this as well, so i can't give you an indepth review on this, but i will say if you love figs and lavendar, you will enjoy this.  i believe cyndie really enjoyed this dish and could give more comments on this dish.  i am not a huge fan of lavendar in my food, it always reminds me of soap and i don't like the taste of soap on my tongue!  haha  kidding, it wasn't that bad.  but it was ok for me.

overall, i loved the simplicity of many of the dishes and i can appreciate all the effort that went into all the food.  i do wish that the truffles had more intensity that i so love and know that would've really elevated certain dishes so much further.  the staff was attentive and helpful, the chef was so nice and i really have no major complaints.  in any restaurant experience, as you all know, you will have some amazing dishes and some just ok ones.  sometimes i think i get so caught up in eating at certain fine dining establishments that layer everything with so much complexity...but at RH...its just about using a few major ingredients and making sure they compliment each other.  still very lovely and enjoyable.   

to my fellow eating enthusiasts (from left to right):  todd, pamela, jack, dave and cyndie...thank you for such a wonderful time.  thank you jack for organizing! 



chef sebastien archambault graciously took a photo with me
 when i first arrived at the restaurant (in my big faux fur coat) 





just like at the end of ferris bueller, he's talking at the end of the movie...this is kind of like that...

so, if you were counting, we had four dishes with extremely generous amounts of foie gras.  well, i was saying earlier, that my g.i. system was starting to revolt a little, but it wasn't what you think.  it was so insanely rich and because we consumed so much of it, i actually felt kind of ill at the end of the meal and as i made that long drive home...i was felt kinda queasy.  so i don't recommend eating so much foie in one sitting, but if you have a stomach of steel, go for it!

thanks for reading! 

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