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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.

Andrew Nicora, Gordon Ramsay, and Chris Ford at The Fat Cow

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.

(L) Beets & Buratta salad with roasted beets, fresh buratta, and upland cress. $14.00. (R) Branzino Ceviche with avocado, horseradish, and ginger dressing $14.00.The salad was fresh and delicious. Roasting caramelizes the sugars in the beets, adding dimension to their flavor profile. Straight from the farm, the beets combined with fresh, housemade burrata and its buttery flavor and milkiness, and the sharp, peppery upland cress, were absolutely amazing.
The Branzino Ceviche was a perfect pairing to the salad for an excellent light starter. I love a fresh sea bass, and branzino’s soft, white, firm flesh and mild flavor, juxtaposed by the avocado, horse radish and ginger dressing fared very well with the salad.

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.

Flat Iron Steak from grass fed beef, made medium rare with blue cheese butter and Haystack Fries $22.00. Beautifully cooked, pink through the center, incredibly juicy and tender, and perfectly charred on top and bottom, this cut melted in my mouth. The mild blue cheese in the butter raises the level of the charred, seasoned steak. The Haystack Fries add a lovely whimsical charm to this bold plate.

Gordon’s Shepherds Pie, made with minced braised lamb, and yukon potato mash was extraordinary. $20.00. The mince was spot on – no unwanted fat, yet juicy, tender and full of flavor, and the mash perfectly crisped on top and golden brown.

The secret to a good Shepards Pie is it’s all in the mince. Watch Gordon make a Shepards Pie

The “controversial” Lobster Mac & Cheese, made with oven dried tomatoes, tarragon, and Parmesan cheese. $24.00. We’ve coined this the controversial dish on the menu, as our server pointed out it’s still somewhat under development.

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 Eton Mess, a traditional English dessert, dating back to the 19th century, is made with layers of fresh, seasonal berries, whipped cream, and meringues. $8.00 Simple and delicious.

Sticky Toffee Pudding is another traditional English dessert. $10.00. This bread pudding is made with dates, which give this dessert an incredible sweetness, then drizzled with a molasses sauce, and served with whipped cream on the side. This happens to be Gordon’s favorite dessert, and I can see why. This block of heaven takes you on a euphoric journey at first bite.

Rating

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.

Service: 5/5
Menu Selection: 5/5
Quality: 5/5
Creativity: 5/5
Price: 4.5/5

Overall Impression: 4.9 Plates

189 The Grove Drive; 323-965-1020

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About the Author

Chris Ford is the founder of Stitches 'n Dishes and editor in chief with a passion for food, photography and travel. Chris is a Media Correspondent for the Food Network TV show, Eat St, a syndicated blogger, seasoned event organizer and promoter, a food critic, a marketing consultant and Social Media Marketing expert. Chris is also a fashion and entertainment photographer. When he's not dining on the sidewalk, he's snapping photos on the catwalk.

  • http://twitter.com/strategyplanone Strategy Plan One

    Nice review …. like the photos and thoroughly described dishes … nice someone else is reviewing Ramsay’s ventures

    • http://www.stitchesndishes.com/ StitchesnDishes

      Thanks! He kinda makes it easy to review… If it hadn’t been for the Lobster Mac&Cheese, I couldn’t give them less than a 5 out of 5! I don’t think I’d even find any dust anywhere in the place. It’s immaculate.

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  • http://www.stitchesndishes.com/ StitchesnDishes

    HAHA! If this had been the review of Gordon Ramsay Steak, I’d say, “what happens in Vegas, STAYS in Vegas,” but since it was in glitter town, I guess it’s different. He’s very excited about the restaurant – it’s like a personal project to him. We talked about his favorite dessert and Stitches ‘n Dishes… and then… the ceiling opened, a light shined on his head, and he gave us the meaning of… beef wellington ;-)

  • http://www.stitchesndishes.com/ StitchesnDishes

    Thanks Savio! All from an iPhone believe it or not! I felt a little strange carrying a load of camera equipment in, so we opted to leave it in the van.

  • http://www.stitchesndishes.com/ StitchesnDishes

    HA! Thanks Geoff! The food is phenomenal, and so is Gordon. He’s only an ass when he’s yelling at people on TV. ;-)

  • http://www.stitchesndishes.com/ StitchesnDishes

    LOL! Yes… beer is good.

  • http://www.stitchesndishes.com/ StitchesnDishes

    Awesome. When you do, I hope you come back and tell us about it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/torsten.dreier Torsten Dreier

    Gordon Ramsay in LA, he needs to come over to the other west coast (Florida’s West Coast), we could use some of his style and vision here.
    A great article, super photos, and a great topic.

    • http://www.stitchesndishes.com/ StitchesnDishes

      Thanks Torsten! We’ll do everything in our power to keep Gordon in California until he opens a restaurant in San Francisco! LOL!! But, I could see him in South Beach!

  • http://www.stitchesndishes.com/ StitchesnDishes

    You’re welcome! I totally agree on the Ceviche – one of my own personal favorites, too. The avocado/horseradish was an extraordinary combination. Loved it.

  • http://www.stitchesndishes.com/ StitchesnDishes

    Totally, Jeff. Really comfortable atmosphere. Of course, we ordered multiple courses, and I didn’t mention that one of my Food Network, Eat St. colleagues stopped in for a visit with us, as well. All said, we arrived at 12:30 and walked out behind Gordon at around 3:30, but it felt like we had only been there an hour.

  • Karen

    Nice thorough review. Sounds like the prices at Fat Cow aren’t horrifically out of line, either. Not likely to get there anytime soon, but I enjoyed the pictures!

    • http://www.stitchesndishes.com/ StitchesnDishes

      Prices are right in line with other spots nearby, and considering it’s farm-to-table, I think it’s right on par, Karen! When you do get out to LA, I’d highly recommend the place! Thanks for commenting. :)

  • http://www.stitchesndishes.com/ StitchesnDishes

    You know what Jeff? We actually woke up thinking about that Shepherds Pie! LOL I’m a huge ceviche fan – I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, though. I can consume massive amounts of sushi, as well. LOL

  • http://www.stitchesndishes.com/ StitchesnDishes

    Thanks! You’ll love it, Michael!

  • http://www.stitchesndishes.com/ StitchesnDishes

    Thanks Jim! It makes me want to go back!

  • http://www.stitchesndishes.com/ StitchesnDishes

    Mmmmmmmm! Julia did have the handle on Beef Wellington, didn’t she? Love Beef Wellington!

  • http://xeeme.com/mithuhassan Mithu Hassan

    Thanks !! All are looks like awesome !!

    • http://www.stitchesndishes.com/ StitchesnDishes

      Thanks Mithu!

  • http://twitter.com/ajax1nl Ajax1.nl

    WoW!

  • http://www.stitchesndishes.com/ StitchesnDishes

    Thank you, Steve! I’m glad you liked it. I hope you’re able to sample it for yourself, too. I can’t wait to get back there.

  • Amy Larson

    I wish I lived in Cali! :D

    • http://www.stitchesndishes.com/ StitchesnDishes

      At least this will give you a reason. ;-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/susancritelli Susan Critelli

    Whoa. Great pictures that are making me hungry already!

    • http://www.stitchesndishes.com/ StitchesnDishes

      Thanks Susan!

  • http://twitter.com/easyfanpage Justin Wheeler

    Wow… There is a lot of food there I love…. Ceviche and Eton Mess especially. I think a trip to LA must be on the cards!

    • http://www.stitchesndishes.com/ StitchesnDishes

      It’s a must, Justin!

  • http://netsperience.org decibel_places

    I have two base protocols: don’t eat meat and don’t go to LA – otherwise, it’s all good with me ‡¡‡

    • http://www.stitchesndishes.com/ StitchesnDishes

      LOL! They do call it LaLa Land, after all, so I guess I can’t necessarily blame you for that =-) Fortunately, it works well for us meat eaters.

  • http://twitter.com/TheDataDiva Wendy Cobrda

    I’ve never had burrata but looking at those beets and imagining that fresh, buttery cheese and greens is making my mouth water! I can so imagine having that with a lovely glass of a big, red, Cab while waiting on that Flat Iron steak. Oh yum! You’ve so made me want to go!

    • http://www.stitchesndishes.com/ StitchesnDishes

      Ha! Wendy, that’s exactly what Andrew did… well except he only got a taste of the flat iron steak. That was all mine! I was in a beer mood and they’ve got Stella on tap =-) Oh and burrata – put that on your MUST try list. It’s made from mozzarella and it’s incredible when housemade.

  • Diana Lewis

    Great review, thanks for the delicious pics, now I’m hungry!

    • http://www.stitchesndishes.com/ StitchesnDishes

      Thanks Diana! Glad I could stimulate the appetite!

  • http://twitter.com/sarinsuares Sarin Suares

    Nice review.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MarkAReynolds Mark Reynolds

    Excellent review. I wish I was there – I’m definitely hungry for some quality food now !

    • http://www.stitchesndishes.com/ StitchesnDishes

      Thanks Mark!

  • http://xeeme.com/mithuhassan Mithu Hassan

    Awesome !! Its really difficult to wait !!

    • http://www.stitchesndishes.com/ StitchesnDishes

      Ahhhh patience… breathe…. LOL!

  • http://twitter.com/msmir Miriam Slozberg

    I would love to visit sometime and try it out! Looks great.

    • http://www.stitchesndishes.com/ StitchesnDishes

      You’ll love it, Miriam :)

  • Eric Hearn

    Great honest review

    • http://www.stitchesndishes.com/ StitchesnDishes

      Thank you Eric!

  • sharonhayes

    Great review! The food looks delicious! @sharonhayes

    • http://www.stitchesndishes.com/ StitchesnDishes

      Thanks Sharon! It was amazing. We’re already planning a return visit. :-)

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