|LA Market by Kerry Simon|
Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen was a show I followed fairly closely in its earlier seasons. Even though I haven't been keeping track of the show these days, when I was invited to try the new menu at LA Market, whose new Executive Chef is Chef Nona Sivley, winner of Hell's Kitchen Season 8, I was definitely intrigued. Along with Cathy, one of my favorite dining partners, we ventured to the spacious LA Market, located inside the JW Marriot in Downtown Los Angeles.
A meal is always better with a nice cocktail. I ordered "The Ox," which is a mix of grapefruit juice and vodka. Nice and refreshing!
The bread basket was the usual fare, though the breadsticks were quite delicious.
|Seared Shishito Peppers - sea salt, chili, lime|
This was something I'm pretty familiar with. It's tasty, and fairly mild. Personally, you can't go wrong with a plate of shishito peppers, though I've seen this offered quite often in menus around Los Angeles.
Of the two appetizers, I liked this one the most. I enjoyed the sweet crab and sushi rice. Although this is considered "Asian Fusion," I can dig this anyday!
|Veal and Ricotta Meatballs - polenta|
Who here doesn't like meatballs? The combination of veal and ricotta served onto a bed of creamy polenta, although unspectacular, it was tasty nevertheless. I think I ate at least 3 of those balls.
|Gnocchi in Cream Sauce with Lump Crab and Lemon Zest|
A recent addition by Chef Sivley, this was one of my favorites of the night. The pillowy gnocchi meshed quite well with the sweet lump crab meat. The lemon zest added a nice flavor to the dish.
|Handmade Papperdelle with Tomatoes, Artichokes, and Fresh Basil|
Another new dish on Chef Sivley's menu was the papperdelle pasta. It was light and quite delicious. I think I had to battle Cathy for seconds and thirds with this one. A definite winner for the evening.
Since we were at Chef Simon's restaurant, we figured it was appropriate to order some of his staples. Recommended by the server of his meatloaf, we went with her recommendation. The meatloaf itself was tasty, but it was a bit too dense for my liking. That said, I can see why it's one the staples on the menu. The flavors were definitely quite good and it's hard to turn down the homey goodness of a meatloaf.
|Bricked Organic Chicken|
The last savory course was the bricked organic chicken. After reading about it on Diana's post, I knew I had to try it. The chicken arrived juicy and flavorful. The crispy skin was a definite plus. Though, it wasn't the best chicken I've had, it was definitely an entrée worth ordering.
|Junk Food Platter|
Onward to dessert. We went with two of Chef Simon's selections on the menu. The first dessert was the one I've seen that was being tweeted and posted, LA Market's Junk Food Platter. I'll have to say I was a bit disappointed with the dessert. Of the selections, I only enjoyed the cotton candy and the snowball. Everything else on the platter was sadly, quite unspectacular.
|Homemade S’mores with Chocolate Sauce and Caramel Ice Cream|
Maybe we ordered the dessert, but this one didn't work for me either. It's rare for me to dislike dessert, but this wasn't something I'd want to eat seconds of. The ice cream was a bit melted even before I start snapping pictures, the chocolate sauce was congealed. Frankly, the best S'mores are the ones found at a campfire. This one just wasn't it.
|Chef Nona Sivley (Photo Courtesy of Gastronomyblog)|
Although there were a few misses during the course of the meal, I think LA Market has a lot of potential with Chef Sivley at the helm. The favorites of the night were new items that she's added over the course of the past few months and hopefully she'll do more of the same in the future. While Chef Simon's staple items were solid, the infusion of these new dishes was definitely a wise move. I hope to hear more about Chef Sivley and LA Market in the coming months. What am I going to do for the time being? I think I'll be following Hell's Kitchen Season 9.
LA Market by Kerry Simon @ JW Marriott
900 West Olympic Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Note: This was a sponsored meal