Whisper at The Grove
The Whisper Lounge at "The Grove" feels like a hideaway, although in reality, it looks like a classic supper club, perhaps a taste of the 1940s. Being that the lounge is connected to The Farmer's Market, as well as The Grove, it's fun to walk off some of Chef Anthony Jacquet's excellent food afterwards. You can also check out all the interesting shops. The restaurant has been referred to as "a quiet hot spot at the Grove."
There are two areas at Whisper; the bar connected to a snug dining room and the enclosed patio, completely attached. Cozy shoe-horn corners makes it even more inviting and friendly, being that it gives one the feeling of being on a vacation at a country Inn. Think of it as a large gem on a small button, offering service with soul from good-looking young people, like manager Ty.
The décor is simple but dramatic, with heaters along the ceilings, and original glass volleyball shaped chandeliers that hang above blackened brick floors. The tables, chairs and leather banquettes are also very dark with lovely matching tabletops, and pull back drapes expose huge oval windows to view the Grove. Like an Island in the Sky, I thought it distinguished itself from all the others for intimacy. It would be a great place to propose to your lady-love. It's also a place to take a date after a movie as they will still be open.
Executive Chef Anthony Jacquet reinterprets old favorites on his menu, adding new twists that could stand ground with the most celebrated of chefs. He leans toward seasonally inspired global comfort cuisine combining innovation with tradition. Along with dinner pizzas and pastas, he features supper club burgers, as well as truffled Kobe burgers, prime New York Strips, Filet Mignons, fish, including King Salmon, barbecue lamb Porterhouse, and "Osso Bucco." The "sides" on each dish are prepared to enhance the flavors, such as horseradish mashed potatoes, creamed leeks and spinach with some of the steaks; butternut squash risotto and caramelized root vegetables with the chicken. King Salmon is paired with roasted beets, swiss chard, pancetta, and horseradish potatoes. Or you may add Mac n' triple cheese, onion rings with chipotle bbq, fresh vegetables, or fries, ($6). The plates are artistically shaped to show off and arrange the food. One of the appetizers that I especially enjoyed was the Hummus plate with small cuts of toast, feta cheese, tiny tomatoes, marinated olives, and roasted eggplant. I felt it was large enough to be a great starter for two people, with a glass of wine. They get high marks for their Martini's.
One of our starters was Pizza Margherita, and in the past I had avoided pizza because of the calories, but always took a taste, and after my first bite, was completely hooked! He prepares them with a marvelous thin crunchy crust a'la grated Mozzarella, homemade tomato sauce, and "mama mia!" Others were Proscuitto and goat cheese with roasted garlic; also pasta rigatoni, with broiled turkey sausage. Appetizers listed are lobster and blue crab cakes sided with honey mango salsa; and Albacore tuna tartare, sided with radish salad in a citrus ginger dressing.
Our entrees were marvelous tasting Wild Salmon served with Horseradish potatoes and roasted beets; also Osso Bucco with Parmesan garlic fries. The evening was delicious, and as a bit of trivia, Anthony won the 2006 "Chef on the Rise" competition! So take someone to appreciate your good looks and good taste!
189 The Grove Dr., LA; (323)931-0202, Reservations recommended. Sunday through Thursday open from 11:00am to 12:00am. Friday and Saturday from 11:30am to 1:00am. Complimentary parking Friday through Sunday in the garage with validation (includes the first two hours) Major credit cards accepted. Open 7-days. Happy hour, 4:00pm-6:00pm with certain discounted wine, ($6) beer ($3). Sandwiches include chicken, short ribs, pulled pork, turkey, eggplant, and the corned beef Reuben on rye, with sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and fries, (lunch) under $15. Entrée (lunch) $14-$17 including California striped bass, & chicken. Dinner appetizers; $9-$19 for steak & shell fish. Dinner entrée's; $14-$42 (Gorgonzola crusted filet mignon). For more information, visit www.whisperloungela.com