• reader review: the new vegan prix fixe at XIV

    December 29th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, xiv

    time for another quick and no-nonsense reader review from D (our correspondent who wrote about the RFD thanksgiving meal last month). this time he writes about one of the best places in los angeles to get a fancy (and i mean FANCY) vegan experience, XIV restaurant. we have reviewed their vegan tasting courses a couple times on this blog, and we’re sad to report that while they still have plenty of vegan options, the default meatless tasting menu is now vegetarian instead of vegan. 🙁 D checked out the new menu recently with some friend, and here are his thoughts…

    Last year we went once or twice to XIV for some of our “special occasions” because they had an entirely separate vegan tasting / a-la-carte menu (with a wine pairing option to boot!). And it was a hip fancy Hollywood spot, so it felt like we were hip or cool or some bullshit like that.
    We were invited there last week with some carnist peeps. Here’s my 2 cents…

    Not focusing on the crowd (which would be a different type of review all together) the food was/is always enjoyable and delicate.

    Now I should preamble, since last year XIV has changed their vegan prix fixe menu to vegetarian and the seating options are now all/mostly leather seats, couches, animal skin chairs etc… so it is not all that pleasant if this stuff bothers you as it does me. Anyway… the food.

    As I mentioned, the vegan-menu has turned into a vegetarian menu but it can be prepared vegan if given a little prep time (they request knowing in advance).

    I ordered the vegan tasting menu which was 7 course meal and dessert.
    The server went out of her way to bring vegan-bread (because they use butter in their “table-naan”). She rocked!
    For $65 the vegan prix fix:
    (Rated on a scale of 1 – 5 for taste.)

    Vegan Tomato Bisque Soup (5/5)

    Amazing. I usually think tomato soup taste like regurgitated ketchup, this soup was so amazing.
    Heirloom Beet Salad with crystallized ginger vinaigrette, black walnuts and water crest (5/5) Light, refreshing, perfect.
    Vegan Broccoli Raab on Tempura rice and artichoke vinaigrette (5/5) This was the highlight of the meal. It was delicate and delicious and had the perfect combo of texture and taste.

    Brussels Sprouts, White and Purple Turnips in a mustard vinaigrette (5/5)

    I am a huge brussel sprouts fans and the house made mustard made them taste like candy.

    Grilled Marinated Tofu with Shitake, Bok Choy and Citrus-Soy Glaze (3/5)

    The worst of the dishes. The Tofu was overwhelmingly sour. I don’t know if it was the bok-choy or the glaze, but it was not great.

    Baby Eggplant with Falafel, Marinated Tomatoes and Tahini (5/5)

    This is a close tie for the Broc Raab. If you get a chance, try their Falafel Burger. It’s on the regular menu and is vegan and amazing.

    Desert was a sorbet on a bed of dark chocolate mouse dots. (no pic, sorry) (4.5/5) It was super light and pretty large in size.

    Price: 3/5 (considering that Madeleine’s is 15 less and 100% all vegan (no questions asked) food it’s a tough call. I used to give XIV an edge for atmosphere, but the furniture really bothered me during this experience)

    Taste: 4.5/5

    Time to procure: 4/5 (we got to booze it up for 30 minutes while waiting … that’s a win in my book :).

    Overall Value: Should be a 4, but the valet is unfairly pricey ($12 for valet? seriously?). So if you can get past the mentioned hurdles, it’s a tasty vegan experience. 3/5

    8117 Sunset Blvd. at Crescent Heights
    Los Angeles, CA 90046

    Tags: , , ,

10 responses to “reader review: the new vegan prix fixe at XIV” RSS icon

  • Downgrading from having both vegan and vegetarian menus to vegetarian only is a great disappointment. If they were going to eliminate one, it should have been the vegetarian menu. What a shame; I really love XIV for special occasions.

  • agreed. always sad to see vegan options axed. 🙁

  • Can anyone recommend any REALLY FANCY vegan-friendly restaurant (for a business dinner) – I suggested XIV and was told that it wasn’t trendy anymore…

    I’d be having dinner with omnis, so a “regular” restaurant with vegan options is preferred.

  • Gauri Radha गौरी राधा

    The dessert sounds good (the sorbet and dark-chocolate thing.)
    I agree with the other comments on vegetarian versus vegan offerings. Would be so great to have more all-vegan places in both NY and LA.

  • Lane.
    I had a business dinner at craft last month, let them know a few days in advance and had one of the best salads & pasta i can remember.

  • thanks for the suggestion D

  • regurgitated ketchup lol!

  • Went recently and it still rocks!!!

  • BeauteousBohemia

    Dont know if this is fancy ENOUGH (and I’m way late responding), but Candle 79 in Los Feliz is fantastic and has both regular and vegan menus (they are right next to Cruzer Pizza, and Cruzer supplies their vegan pizza and bread dishes…the rest, they do themselves.) Excellent service, great food, good live music (which may be too loud for a business dinner – so maybe sit outside or call ahead to check music hours).

  • BeauteousBohemia

    Oh my. Candle 79 is in NYC. I meant DESERT ROSE. Desert Rose in Los Feliz is awesome.

1 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

Leave a reply