I eat: Petrossian [2]

I first dined at Petrossian back in Jan 2010 and it was one of the best experiences of the year. Fast forward a year and a half and my feelings have slightly changed towards the house of caviar.

Petrossian may look the same from the outside, but it is very much different now. The ever-so-popular Chef Ben Bailly left mid-November to helm the kitchen of Fraîche in Culver City. He was replaced by Chef Giselle Wellman, most recently of Bouchon Beverly Hills. With any change in head chef comes a change in the menu and unfortunately, one of my favorite dishes from the first time around got the ax. RIP best mac and cheese EVAR. 😦

Good thing the Caviar Flatbread – Crème Fraîche, Chives, Red Onion, Capers, Chopped Egg was still on the menu! And it was just as delicious.

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Since my beloved mac and cheese was gone, I ordered another pasta: Squid Ink Fettucini – Wild Californian Sea Urchin, Curry, Salmon Roe. While the flavors were great and I am a self-proclaimed uni slut, the pasta was undercooked.

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The only entree on the menu that caught my eye was the Striped Bass – Yukon Gold Potato Noodles, Vodka Creme Fraiche, Chives, Caviar. Notice the common ingredients? Yes, the flavor profile was very similar to the Caviar Flatbread. It’s funny that I didn’t recognize that when I ordered. Anyway, the striped bass was perfectly cooked, but the potatoes were a bit disappointing. The thickness of the potato “noodles” were not consistent thus some pieces were softer than others.

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Like last time, I went with a crème brulée for dessert. And also like last time, no complaints. Just YUM.

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Verdict (2.0): 3/5
Petrossian Restaurant & Boutique
321 North Robertson Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90048

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I eat: Petrossian

Not being able to secure a reservation at The Bazaar during dineLA, I thought I was settling by going to Petrossian instead. Now, I think it was meant to be. Petrossian is a gourmet food boutique and restaurant located in West Hollywood, specializing in caviar. It first appeared on my radar when I heard about their infamous black truffle mac and cheese. Yes, I have a love affair with mac and cheese. Even though the mac and cheese wasn’t on their dineLA dinner menu, I decided to give Petrossian a try away .. with every intention of ordering the mac and cheese on the side.

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While waiting for the waiter to take our order, I browsed through the regular menu and “caviar pizza” caught my eye. That’s not something you can pass up, right? Right. So we ordered the caviar pizza AND mac and cheese IN ADDITION to the 3 course Dine-LA meal. I think the waiter thought we were crazy, or at least, fat asses.

Executive Chef Ben Bailly, who is very good looking by the way, sent out the classic cold borscht soup as amuse bouche. It was so refreshing and delicious!

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The mac and cheese and caviar pizza were brought out first and these two items totally blew the rest of the meal out of the water; everything else just paled in comparison. It was, HANDS DOWN, the best mac and cheese I’ve ever eaten! Rich and creamy, real truffle shavings, smokey bacon flavor – what more can you ask for from a mac and cheese? And the caviar pizza, wow. The creme fraiche as the pizza “sauce” was simply amazing and tied all the ingredients (chives, capers, red onions, caviar) together beautifully.

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With our bellies already filled with mac and cheese and caviar pizza, we began the Dine-LA meal. Our first courses were the shrimp “papillote” and the tsar cut salmon sampler. The shrimp “papillote” had easily recognizable flavors – the chili/ginger sauce was the sweet thai chili sauce you can find at most grocery stores (in asian/international section). The shrimp were perfectly tender, due to being cooked “en papillote” with wonton wrappers. I found it very surprising that I didn’t like the salmon sampler, since I love salmon in all forms (smoked, cured, baked, broiled, fried).

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For entrees, we had the halibut brandade and the braised pork belly (of course!). Brandade is traditionally a puree consisting of salt cod, olive oil, and milk/cream, and Chef Bailly’s twist with halibut was wonderful! I think the substitution of halibut was a great choice since cod and halibut are both texturally firm and dense. Since the halibut is a mild flavor fish, the addition of piquillo peppers really stood out in a good way. The only thing I didn’t like was the black olive oil surrounding the brandade. I couldn’t figure out what it was at first. It sort of tasted a little bit like rust with a hint of fruitiness in the back end. YUCK! As for the pork belly, it was a little too overcooked. It did, however, have great flavor.

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The desserts were both enjoyable. The pistachios used in the Sicilian pistachio creme brulee are probably Bronte pistachios from Sicily, which would explain the vague floral note. The vanilla panna cotta was creamy and delicious; it was basically a high end yogurt parfait.

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My meal at Petrossian was the best Dine-LA experience I’ve had so far. I would have rated the meal highly even if I hadn’t ordered the mac and cheese and caviar pizza. I can’t wait to come back and try the other dishes on the menu. I have my eyes set on the foie gras salad 🙂

Verdict: 4/5
Petrossian Restaurant & Boutique
321 North Robertson Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90048