Posts Tagged ‘mac n cheese’

The Inland Empire just got interesting with Ra Pour

Lobster "Mac and Cheese" at Ra Pour

Lobster "Mac and Cheese" at Ra Pour

When I think of restaurants in the Inland Empire, chains come to mind. But Ra Pour, a high-end restaurant and bar in Rancho Cucamonga’s¬†Victoria Gardens retail complex, has changed the way I think about dining in the I.E. (there are still a lot of chain restaurants, though).

Ra Pour, the jewel in restaurateur Karim Webb’s crown, is helmed by Executive Chef Greg Stillman, a French Laundry and Patina Restaurant Group alumnus, so right off you know you’re getting a quality meal. However, the combination of a high-end eatery with a club-like after-hours feel, including live music that makes conversation tough, is a bit strange. But given the area’s other options, Ra Pour is probably one of your best bets.

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06

05 2012

No more Mr. Douche Bag: Les Deux redux

Smashed Irishman at Les Deux

The nightclub formerly known as Les Deux (of “The Hills” fame) is now the gastropub Les Deux. Les Deux Estate, actually, but you can keep calling it Les Deux. Anyway, the folks behind The Buffalo Club in Santa Monica took over the former nightclub space and turned it into a classy restaurant and bar with a more-than-respectable food and drink menu.

I recently visited the new Les Deux during happy hour, which goes until 7:30 p.m. but applies only to food. Boo. But the cocktails are really pretty great, so that makes the $12 to $15 price tags a bit more bearable (not really; those are steep prices!). Anyway, if you’re going to shell out for one of the drinks on the menu, try the Smashed Irishman made with Jameson whiskey, lemon, basil, red bell pepper, honey and a Guinness reduction float. It’s reminiscent of Rivera’s Blood Sugar Sex Magic, which is one of my favorite cocktails. If you’d like something custom made, ask the friendly mixologist behind the bar for a Dealer’s Choice, which he will create for you based on your preferred flavor profile.

The grilled cheese with caramelized onions is also a good choice, though the tomato soup that comes with it is just OK. When I was there, it seemed that the staff was still working out some kinks: I ordered the grilled cheese off the happy menu, which listed fries as the accompaniment, but got the soup, which is part of the dish on the regular menu. Oh, well. The mac and cheese is another worthy menu item, with its topping of bread crumbs and a bruschetta-like mixture giving it a little something special.

Grilled cheese sandwich with caramelized onions

Mac and cheese

Les Deux is definitely going to become one of my go-to Hollywood happy hour spots. Now, if only the cocktail menu were part of the discount…

Further reading: Les Deux Estate, a Hollywood Sequel You Need to See by Thirsty In LA

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01 2011