several weeks ago, i won a contest on twitter for a candlelit dinner for 2 in the private black room inside trés by jose andrés at the sls hotel in beverly hills. the contest was to celebrate earth hour, a global initiative organized by wwf standing against climate change by having participants all over the world turn off their lights for one hour at the same time.
so on saturday march 26th, boyfriend and i headed over to the sls for our reservation at 8:30 pm. we had only been there once before to dine at the bazaar by jose andrés but it was pretty odd seeing the hotel all dark; we almost missed the entrance. after walking past the other patrons dining and chatting by candle light, we were seated in the black room and given a sustainable dining menu in honor of earth hour. it was pretty easy choosing since there were only 2 options per course; so we ended up ordering every item off the sustainable menu. we were also given a complimentary cocktail/glass of wine each–boyfriend got a fancy ultimate gin & tonic and i had a bellini (with a “very cute japanese peach”).
it was pretty exciting eating inside the black room since it’s private–but it did feel a little bit more like a conference/function room than a dining area. i don’t remember exactly what i ordered but i think i had:
- [appetizer] sls mixed greens with a red wine-shallot dressing (unsure; i know i had a salad) – this was just ok, nothing really special. i do remember that the leaves were uncut so they’re long and leafy.
- [entree] rotisserie jidori chicken – this was quite tasty. i like that the skin was crisp and the meat was very tender. apparently they slow-roast the chicken for like a day, or something. the mashed potatoes were good too.
- [dessert] tres leches lime soup with coconut sorbet – this wasn’t really a soup like the name says; it was a dessert with i guess what you can call a juice. this was quite good too and probably the most inventive dish of the meal.
- [appetizer] grilled artichoke with tomato tapenade & st. maurie goat cheese – this was pretty good; much better choice than my salad.
- [entree] seared wild salmon with cannellini beans, heirloom tomatoes, meyer lemon preserve, and a seabean herb salad – i don’t really like fish/seafood, but this was probably the best salmon i’ve had. very tender and crisp on the outside–not at all fishy.
- [dessert] hazelnut pear clafoutis with coffee ice cream – this was pretty good too i guess, i liked mine more so i didn’t try too much of it. it tasted heavily of the coffee ice cream.
the meal was pretty good and i was very happy to have won. since we were ordering off the sustainable menu, most of the selections were more traditional–this is a little disappointing since my favorite part of jose andrés’ food is how inventive and fun it is. i can’t complain though; it was an excellent experience.
the service was good and the sls hotel not only comped the meal and drinks, but also the tip/gratuity and valet parking. i think it was about a $150 value!
i hope to be back soon for the afternoon tea–chocolate pop rocks! thank you again, sls! i love you!