by Grady Nastase on
I gotta say, I was looking forward to joining the XIV experience for quite a while. Maybe it was the Michael Mina allure, maybe because of the reputation of the food. Maybe it was just to see how many ppl pronounced it as 'X-I-V' instead of 'fourteen'. Maybe I have a french revolution-era /Marie Antoinette fascination. Regardless, I took the opportunity during the most recent LA restaurant week with a compadre and decided for myself if it was worth the hype. Sadly, it fell a bit short of expectations. This is not meant to be a harsh criticism as I really want to give this place a 3.5 and maybe even 3.75 stars, but I can't bring myself to round up to 4, although I do believe others have had 4 or even 5 star experiences. Taste is wonderfully and frustratingly subject at the same time. First of all the ambiance and decor. This place is very well appointed, classy, feeling very royal court or victorian, like you're in the sitting room of Mr Darcy's summer country home. Unfortunately me and my friend arrived a little late and lost our sweet spot table and instead got seated close to the kitchen with *ugh* a slight draft. Service was quite nice, I guess to make up for our crappy location, our waiter was great, was always there when we needed him and not constantly in our faces needlessly (take notes Gordon Ramsay the restaurant!). Now onto 'ze food... After browsing the dineLA menu we decided to ditch it and go with the regular a la carte. First tried the bay scallops with passion fruit and tapioca tempura. While looking nice, fell a bit short on flavour and came off a bit bland for our tastes. The kobe skirt steak was alright but not 'party in my mouth' terrific and the moroccan spiced vegetables looked really unremarkable, and frankly not that spicy. Presentation was somewhat underwheming. I did like the dungeness crab ravioli and only wished they included more per order. Other highlights included the hamachi sashimi with nuoc cham vinegrette and chilled raw oysters with apricot horseradish foam. While I usually prefer my raw oysters with ponzu yuzu seasoning, this was a nice take and added a sweetness that I usually never taste in oysters. One final comment about the food I have to throw out: cilantro does not a dish make or save. It seemed like the chef seemed to use this as a fall back garnish on everything, regardless of wether or not it was dish appropriate. I wouldn't mind coming back here again, but its going to be quite a while before it cycles back on the queue.
by Ned Spender on
Bottom line horrible experiences. I was invited to a BDay friends and it is yield at the underground level. -At 10.30pm the restroom smell like shit from 10yards away -music mainly rap!?!?like snoop dog, eminem, dr. dre...etc -people smoke weed!! the whole level smell weed!!! -clean glasses that the waiter brought to us are all nasty. you can feel the sticky chemical of previous alcohol that have been dry -around 12pm I when take some fresh air outside, but when get back, OMG smell horrible. A mix of shit, sweat, vomits, weed...etc how did i survive that night...It was easy, I stay outside and chillout
by Christy W. on
I laughed through the entire show. Yes the men were kind of hot and yes it is all in good fun for a bachelorette party. But c'mon... it's all so cheesy. Cheesy and hilarious. I think the most cringe-worthy portion of the show was when one of the dancers tried to hoist himself up onto this bar in the ceiling and actually slipped and fell on-stage. But he was a true entertainer and got up and air-grinded like nothing happened. It was a fun experience but I would never attend another show. The drinks are expensive (obviously) and while the food was good (sliders and sweet potato fries) it left me and my friends with minor tummy aches. It's an experience. If you have a bachelorette party to plan, go for it. If you are just looking to kill some time on a random Saturday night? Well, you could do better. Tip #1: The Men Show is actually in the Highlands nightclub, so if you wait until 11 PM, that's when they open the doors for general admission. We were all way too tired so we left at 10 PM. But if you want to oogle almost naked men and THEN dance the night away, this is a pretty sweet deal. Tip #2: I was confused when I first got to this place. It's actually located IN the hollywood/highlands shopping center so you have to park in the underground lot. Luckily the show gives validation so you only pay $2 for parking at the end of the night. Tip #3: Gustavo is adorable.