Dominique Ansel has built quite the reputation for himself amongst the food industry. Starting out in New York with his own bakery, he took the dessert industry to a different level once he created the “Cronut”, almost immediately after that every bakery or donut shop joined the band wagon and tried to replicate his creation which is a deep fried puff pastry in the shape of a donut, filled with his seasoning item. Dominique continuously creates an extremely playful menu with such great creativity. He has a Frozen S’more on a stick, which is a Marshmallow layer outside torched to order with vanilla ice cream inside and a chocolate graham cracker. He really is always re-inventing himself, so once I heard he was finally open a location in Los Angeles I had to jump on it. This time around, his bakery is downstairs, and his first ever restaurant is located upstairs. Very hip and modern location with fun vibrant colors, yet still subtle and elegant in ways. Our reservations were for 7:45pm, we arrived a little early and they seated us almost immediately. The staff I have to say has been trained very well, everyone was very friendly and knowledgeable of their offerings.
We started off the night with their 48 hour homemade sourdough & butter. The bread was nice, light, and fluffy as the flavor of the sourness to the bread was not overwhelming at all. The butter was so airey light and sprinkled with a little maldon salt. We all enjoyed this dish, would most definitely be paired very well with a charcuterie plate. The next item we ordered was the pull-apart sweet corn ‘elotes” milk bread. Milk bread is already a process to make; it is not heavy, but very rich in flavor. We did go with two bread dishes since hey, he’s a known baker. The bread was delicious, soft, with a light sweetness. Filled with a delicious corn puree and topped with I believe Cotija cheese on top. My friends and I all agreed we were in love with this bread! Next dish we ordered was the Heirloom Tomato Carpaccio with Honeydew, aged balsamic, shallots, and mint. We decided we needed to order some vegetables and this dish was very light and refreshing. I would’ve combined those two but I’m happy Dominique has. We also ordered the oven roasted rainbow carrots. I didn’t care for the flavors of this dish very much, however the carrots were cooked perfectly. It was very overwhelming with so much citrus in the relish. We also got this baby eggplant, with port roasted figs on sour dough. This dish alone sounds very flavorful, however it was very bland. The flavor here was just extremely absent. From there we went with their take on clam chowder. This was a tortellini stuffed with clams, in the broth with bacon and potatoes. The tortellini in my opinion was overwhelming, thick, and too hard. Mind you I do prefer my pastas served al dente as well. The broth in this was amazing though, we could not stop taking turns slurping this soup right now. Our last main course item was the half rotisserie chicken with garlic black rice stuffing and a chilled spicy scallion salad. This arrived our table and was so beautiful, the outside perfect crisp, while the inside was still very moist and tender. They also served each person small individual shot glasses with chicken jus to dip the chicken in for more flavor. The scallion salad was great, however the black rice had too much of a floral taste to it for anyone to enjoy. Last but not least, he’s a baker right? So we had to finish with one dessert. The dish we decided to go with was the “Traditions”, an almond sponge cake, with three types of milk, regular, evaporated, and banana milk. Inside of that was a spice bouquet, orange, and then you top it off with their crème fraiche. In my honest opinion, I thought all of the flavors were very underwhelming. The cake I understand was made to be a little dry to soak up the milks, but even with the almond cake, the almond accent was absent. Overall the restaurant is very fun, and again the service was just impeccable with such a friendly staff. I most likely would not go out of my way to eat here as the pricing compared to some of the portions were a little high. I have quite a palette but the price tag does not match the food that they are offering. Since they are new, I’m sure they will work out there perks. Let me know if you decided to go and how your experience was compared to mine.
Restaurant – 189 by Dominique Ansel
Location – 189 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Contact – 323.602.0096
Website – https://dominiqueansella.com/
Cuisine – American New