September 4, 2007

Some SoCal Updates - Il Chianti, Park Ave, Cream Pan

Thank you Il Chianti for another stellar meal. Our choices this time leaned towards Southern Italian-Mediterranean preparations and seemed lighter on the whole. See the following montage of photos and accompanying descriptions below.

The Caribbean Salad was your standard green salad with a variety of cold seafoods. It was nothing spectacular, though the miso hybrid was a touch more interesting than your average dressing.

The Tuna Tartar initially elicited a sigh of resignation from me. While the concept is quite stale, Il Chianti does a fabulous interpretation, macerating the tuna into a puree and pairing it with fresh green onions and a light lemon-scented olive oil.

The Fried Octopus in a Balsamico Sauce was excellent as well.

The Crab Pilaf was a spin-off of the popular Squid Ink Risotto with the addition of a gigantic crab leg and clams and minus the fancy sizzling clay pot. Without the table-side presentation, the rice is as good as ever with the seafood adding even more flavor and interest.

The Fresh Tagliatelle with Pancetta and Paprika was the star of the night. The chewy tagliatelle was made in-house and easily one of the best pasta choices I've had yet. The sauce was tart with an earthy savoriness from the pancetta.

The Bouillabaisse was a cornucopia of shellfish with a broth spiked with sundried tomatoes and olives. Even after our server told us, we still couldn't identify the fish, which was chewy like calamari and flaked like black cod. The fish didn't work for us, though the rest of the dish was conceivably good.

A last-minute detour sent our lunch club packing and on our way to Park Ave for round two.

The two of us decided on a comfort food favorite: the Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Tomato Soup. The Grilled Cheese was sweetly served in the shape of a heart, though the flavor were nothing to write home about. The Tomato Soup ranks up there with the best. We were surprised the chewy bits of cottage cheese interspersed in the creamy soup broth. It was perfectly seasoned, while the cottage cheese was an unexpected and ingenious touch.

While perusing the dessert menu, our waitress came back to announce the Strawberry Shortcake special. A symphony of Ooohs and Ahhhs followed and we were met by a pretty presentation that had too few strawberries and too much whipped cream. Meh.

Voila Cream Pan's latest addition: the Katsu Sandwich Lunch Box at a hefty $5 price tag. It's a welcome change-up to the usual egg salad, tuna salad, and ham combo and is a great choice if you're looking for something more substantial at lunchtime.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hello im curious to know where this was?? id definitly try it out once i know where it is. please respond to thank you so much!