6703 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Dining date: 2/5/11
I had been wanting to have dinner at Hatfield’s since they opened last February. I did have a chance to come for lunch in November, and that strong meal only piqued my interest more. So finally, I found myself at dinner with Christina of food, je t’aime and Daniel of effing dericious.
Menu options available were a four-course seasonal prix fixe, a la carte, and a nine course spontanee tasting menu. We opted for the tasting menu.
The first dish to come out was an amuse bouche of house-cured salmon, cucumber yogurt and crispy potato.
This was a good way to start the meal with some light flavors of salmon, accented by the tart yogurt. I thought the potato crisps added some nice texture.
Bread was fantastic – served hot, with a crisp exterior. I also liked that the butter was presented with a little bit of chives; it’s a nice change of pace from the normal “plain” butter.
Raw Marinated Hiramasa anaheim chile, endive, meyer lemon creme fraiche, crispy shallot
I liked the fish complemented by a little acidity from the lemon crème fraiche, and some heat from the chile. The crispy shallot was a nice touch, adding texture and junt a hint of shallot flavor.
Warm Cuttlefish Salad artichoke, maitake, arugula
This next dish was a standout. The cuttlefish was very tender, and I loved the flavors of the fish with the artichoke and mushrooms, as well as the spicy arugula.
Butternut Squash Flan coconut soup, hon shimiji mushroom, crispy sweetbreads
I really liked this dish as well, and it was probably the most interesting of the night. The dish had two layers: butternut squash flan on the bottom and a coconut soup on the top. An odd combination to think about, but I thought the two flavors really melded well together. The sweetbread was fried in a ball – moist inside and crispy outside. Quite tasty.
Pan Roasted Scallops braised celery, salsify puree, apple froth
The scallop was cooked well and had a good, crisped exterior. The salsify and celery added a little bit of sweetness and vegetal quality. Good, but not quite as imaginative as the last two courses.
Buttermilk Steamed Chicken Breast foie gras, royal trumpet mushrooms, cauliflower puree
This was another interesting dish with pieces of chicken breast and foie gras paired together. I thought each of the chicken and foie gras components were quite good on their own, but they didn’t really complement each other as much as was intended. I would’ve loved to have seen some crispy chicken skin topping this too.
Braised Pork Belly smoked white bean puree, roasted baby broccoli, meyer lemon confiture
I loved the smokiness from the white bean puree, which added some extra flavor to the pork. The lemon was crucial, adding some acidity to cut through the richness of the pork and beans.
Wagyu Flat Iron Steak creamy swiss chard, pickled red onion, chiodini mushroom
I thought the steak was pretty tender and flavorful, bathed in a rich pan sauce. The onion rings were a nice touch, too.
We wanted to sample as much of Pastry Chef Karen Hatfield’s creations as possible. The kitchen obliged by sending out three different palate cleansers and three different desserts for the last two courses.
Goat’s Milk Cheesecake citrus, tarragon, lemon sorbet
This was a great dish. The graham cracker crust was perfect, and the cheesecake was creamy and tasty – the goat cheese was not at all overpowering.
Buttermilk Panna Cotta blood orange sorbet
The panna cotta here was pretty smooth and rich; however, the flavors were muted by the overpowering citrus flavors.
Tangerine Granita prosecco sabayon, graham streusel
The graham streusel was probably my favorite part of this dish. The tangerine flavor was bold and vibrant, but I’m not sure all of the flavors worked well together.
Next were the three desserts.
Chocolate Caramel Semifreddo salted peanut crunch, bitter chocolate sorbet
I liked the caramel and chocolate flavors, while the peanut crunch added the texture.
Cocoa Dusted Beignets Venezuelan chocolate fondue, Mexican chocolate milkshake shot
I was pretty excited to see this arrive – it’s hard to beat a warm beignet. The dough was perfectly soft yet supple, but I thought the cocoa flavor, along with the chocolate fondue and milkshake, was a little redundant.
Steamed Date Cake roasted pineapple, pecan toffee, rum vanilla ice cream
This made a moist, sweet cake, and the rum vanilla ice cream went very well with it.
Lastly, we were presented with some blood orange gelees.
These were good – sweet, with a strong blood orange flavor.
The “palate cleansers” were stronger than the desserts, which were a little underwhelming, especially compared to the standouts I had last time (the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Truffle Cake). However, overall I thought the Hatfield’s meal was very good. Nothing was bad, and there were a number of really good dishes as well. Hatfield’s displayed a combination of creativity and sound execution – while the flavors were familiar, the kitchen prepared them in ways imaginative enough to keep them interesting. I’m sure I’ll be back in the near future.