It’s no secret that our fascination with food stretches far beyond the curb, and while we thoroughly enjoy exploring the exciting world of street food, with its amazing gourmet – oftentimes organic and local – dishes, you’ll still find us dining at restaurants, and sharing those experiences nearly every day of the week. We just hadn’t shared them here – until now.
We knew that when we introduced bricks and mortar restaurants into the fray, our debut had to be something special – something spectacular… and only one chef comes to mind.
There wouldn’t be anything more special than introducing a Gordon Ramsay restaurant; we’re extremely loyal fans and have learned a great deal from this iconic chef. We initially planned to visit Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris, Las Vegas – just opened in June of this year.
Then something miraculous happened. An announcement of an opening – not just any opening – an opening of another new Gordon Ramsay restaurant. This time, in our own back yard. Only an hour to the south at The Grove in Los Angeles, The Fat Cow opened a few weeks ago – just enough time to work out the kinks and hone in on a menu and its system.
Located adjacent to The Pacific Theater, with a direct entry to the theater lobby, The Fat Cow is seemingly an extension of the state-of-the-art multi-plex at The Grove. The entire property is heavily influenced by classic historic districts, with broad plazas, beautiful courtyards and wide shopping alleys, giving the experience a sense of a European feel, and it, of course features the landmark Farmers Market. In fact, The Fat Cow, touted as a neighborhood gathering spot, offers a classic, yet modern home-inspired comfort food menu, using seasonal ingredients from the Farmer’s Market and other local sources.
The 200-seat restaurant offers ample space indoors, as well as storefront seating with a view of a gorgeous pond, thriving with koi fish. From the start, guests are greeted by a friendly and welcoming maitre d’ at a stand outside the restaurant. Just inside is the Moo Bar, featuring a tempting variety of incredible housemade ice-cream sandwiches, artisanal frozen yogurts, milkshakes, and devilishly delicious desserts, and of course, a full bar, offering exquisite and tantalizing cocktails.
Guests are drawn in by The Fat Cow’s rustic design, including long communal tables made from reclaimed wood, bare-bulb, artistic light fixtures, and brick walls, creating a casual and very relaxed dining experience. It’s so comfortable and relaxing, three hours passed before we realized how long we had been there.
We were seated for lunch service immediately upon arriving at The Fat Cow, but weekends and dinner service can be quite busy and reservations are recommended. We were seated at a table for two near the bar, and our server was more than pleasant – her personality beamed like an old friend. In fact, we noticed that all of the servers seemed to share the same trait.
Drinks were served within five minutes from the time we ordered, just in time to order starters. I asked our server a few questions about some of the menu items, like “How are the beets prepared in the Beets & Burrata salad? What exactly is burrata? What’s in the Eton Mess?” She rattled back well thought-out and informed responses with such an impressive finesse and ease, I’d almost think she created the menu herself.
We ordered a Beets & Burrata Salad along with a Branzino Ceviche. The antipasti plates arrived a short time later, and in the meantime, we chatted with Nick Brown, General Manager at The Fat Cow about the opening, the concept, and of course, Gordon Ramsay… who happened to be seated a few feet away from our table, answering a few questions for a TV show.
Judging Nick’s disposition, The Fat Cow lives up to its name in style, personality and charm. The salad and ceviche arrived, and Nick made his exit… but not before I asked for an opportunity to speak with Gordon before we left.
The Fat Cow’s main menu has something for everyone. From Pepper Crusted Wood Roast Long Rib, Grilled Organic Salmon, the already famous Fat Cow Cheese Burger, the controversial Lobster Mac & Cheese, of course, Gordon’s signature Shepherds Pie, the ever popular staple, Fish and Chips and several others.
The secret to a good Shepards Pie is it’s all in the mince. Watch Gordon make a Shepards Pie
Most people who follow my reviews know that I am a huge seafood fan, having grown up on the east coast. I’ve eaten more variations of Lobster Mac & Cheese in my formative years than most do in a lifetime. Quite light in lobster, The Fat Cow’s Lobster Mac & Cheese didn’t quite hit the mark. In my opinion, a good Lobster Mac & Cheese will have a 1:1 or 1.5:1 ratio of lobster to pasta.
The serving size of the Lobster Mac & Cheese at The Fat Cow is (estimated) about 10 oz, consisting of about 90% pasta. The use of tarragon brings hints of licorice, mint, and pine, with a burst of pepper and a slight bittersweet taste, which does add a very unique drama to the dish. Unfortunately, two ounces of small cuts of lobster meat are no match for the striking flavors of tarragon and tomato, and becomes lost in the macaroni.
The Lobster Mac & Cheese takes a bit away from the otherwise incredible experience at The Fat Cow. We felt that we paid for lobster, but received macaroni, instead. Otherwise, the price points at The Fat Cow are in line with other farm to table restaurants, and restaurants at The Grove. The service, quality, creativity and the overall experience were outstanding – nothing short of what one would expect from a Gordon Ramsay experience. Gordon’s personality shines through every detail, and I think he’s really hit the nail on the head in expressing his vision to create a friendly neighborhood gathering spot where you can get a great meal.
And yes, we did get that opportunity to talk with Gordon, and it made my week.
Overall Impression: 4.9 Plates
189 The Grove Drive; 323-965-1020