Test Kitchen: Alain Giraud
When Alain Giraud announced he was closing down Anisette, there was much flurry in the LA foodie world. It seemed like a tennis match. Was he really closing? No. Yes. No. Wait, he is but he’s opening another concept. That would be Maison Giraud and his new digs would be in the Pacific Palisades.
In the meantime, I went to try his food at Test Kitchen last week. I knew the brunch I had earlier this year wasn’t really indicative of the chef’s potential. Walking in, I noticed the crowd was quite different from the usual Test Kitchen crowd. It seemed Chef Alain’s regulars were in attendance. I thought this was a good sign. Others believed in him.
After having some great bread and butter along with my first cocktail, the Champs Elysees, we were given a duo of farm eggs. I loved this presentation. Being not the biggest fan of eggs, I actually really enjoyed this pair. They were called “Town & Country.” The creamy Town had porcini powder and since I loved mushrooms, this was great. It was more like custard. The other was more “country” being scrambled and definitely more savory with bits of bacon.
We were in high spirits. This meal was starting off very well.
Next up was a soup made with farmers market veggies. The basil and almond pistou (like a pesto) added depth to the delicate broth. I thought it was pretty neat Chef Alain listed all the vendors he got his produce and meat/ seafood from on the back side of the menu.
The previous night, general manager Stephane had tweeted how much he enjoyed eating French food and being able to speak about it with the Chef in French. I took three years of high school French and decided not to try to attempt to speak it other than slowly pronouncing the course names.
I am always a fan of scallops and I liked the pistachios and Meyer lemon emulsion. My dining partner thought his were a little cold though.
The roasted veal loin came with mushrooms and a black truffle sauce. Veal being such a tender meat seemed a bit tough in this course.
The best thing about the strawberry dessert was the malt ice cream. There was way too much whipped cream (or as they were calling it, vanilla cream). The small California strawberries had a flavor I couldn’t identify. Wait! It’s strawberry. Too often our strawberries are tasteless unless truly ripe. These may have been small but there was no mistaking them for being strawberries.
We were given three mignardises each. I liked the cassis one for its tartness and ended up using the other cookies to dip into my ice cream.
Overall, it was a good meal. The eggs were my favorite.
9575 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Read about my other Test Kitchen dining adventures: