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Jean-Georges Beverly Hills

9850 Wilshire Blvd. (Santa Monica Blvd.) Send to Phone
In a cathedral-sized restaurant at Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten continues his conquest of the West.
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Local Deals: 120 * 90

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Open daily for Breakfast 7 a.m.-10:30 a.m., Lunch 11:45 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Dinner 5:30 p.m.-11 p.m.
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Jean-Georges Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills, CA

Jean-Georges Beverly Hills Restaurant Review

:
by André Gayot
It’s not grandiloquent to state that the entry of Jean-Georges (Vongerichten, to be complete --- this Teutonic-sounding name hails indeed from Alsace) on the Los Angeles scene is a landmark in the history of American gastronomy. I have had the luck to be able to observe, modestly but attentively, LA’s period starting with the days of Wolfgang Puck at Patrick Terrail’s Ma Maison. I also witnessed Jean-Georges’ debut in America in 1986 with the opening of Lafayette at the Drake Hotel in New York City. He oversaw this restaurant under the auspices of his mentor, Louis Outhier, one of the fathers of the Nouvelle Cuisine that we, GaultMillau/Gayot, supported and promoted in France. Obviously, the young man showed an inventive talent on top of a mastery of the classic French cuisine. Pardon me for stamping these words with a personal touch since I have known the actors for 40-plus years.
Long story short, Jean-Georges discretely introduced Asian scents in the French tradition, orienting the contemporary cuisine in a global direction that seduced the entire planet at once. After establishing restaurants in the Eastern U.S., Asia and Europe, Jean-Georges is finally facing the demanding and diversified Angelenos. Based on his immense worldwide experience, his successes and failures, he has churned out for them “a Best of Jean-Georges,” selecting and picking from his huge outfit of recipes and savoir-faire what he considers as universal hits. He has chosen not to simply impress with haute fine dining --- pizzas are present on the menu, albeit embellished with black truffles --- but to present an understandable, simplified though elegant, savory cuisine concocted as much as possible with rich local resources such as Santa Barbara shrimp, sea urchin, vegetables and fruits. Jean-Georges accomplishes this with the help of executive chef Steve Benjamin (from L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Las Vegas) and restaurant manager Diego Ruiz De Porras.
In the sumptuously majestic Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills hotel, the famous decorator Pierre-Yves Rochon has conceived of a cathedral for the coronation of Jean-Georges the First in the coveted realm of California. The impressive high nave, calling for respect and reverence, is an invitation to serenity that will help you to focus on the pleasure of the meal awaiting you. Some may find it a tad austere but for them an adjacent terrace offers a more casual ambiance.
The finesse of Jean-Georges shows with the first bites of the 15 or so appetizers that will rotate each day. Sacramento caviar on lemon jelly and a touch of crème fraîche exemplifies refinement, as does the Santa Barbara sea urchin and salted butter on black bread crostini. Raw ahi tuna, sliced like noodles, arrives atop a bed of avocados in a ginger and radish dressing.
From Jean-Georges’ vast repertoire stems his best-selling sesame crusted salmon. It is cooked on one side --- the cooking time could be a tad reduced to our taste --- and served on a bed of spinach with a passion fruit sauce combining harmoniously sweet and acidity. Caramelized beef tenderloin, which is grilled rapidly at high temperature over three different woods, melts in the mouth. The technique preserves the pith and the full taste of the meat. The dishes offered will change often, if not daily, and will include vegan preparations, all in the same line of enlightened cuisine and sophistication without ostentation. There’s nothing to scare an experienced palate, but more placid, unadventurous eaters will encounter a refreshing touch of novelty. That’s the precise magic touch of Jean-Georges.
Sinless desserts are made in the same spirit: the apricot sorbet, strawberry jam and Italian lime meringue are ethereal around a toasted almond panna cotta. More substantial are the chewy chocolate meringue with a variation of cherries in a maraschino emulsion and the traditional Grand Marnier soufflé.
The wine list is in the process of being completed momentarily. For the time being, they offer Sauvignon Blanc from Azur and a Chardonnay from Staglin Family Vineyard, both from Napa Valley, while reds include a Pinot Noir from Tyler Winery in Santa Barbara County and a Cabernet Sauvignon from DAOU Vineyards & Winery in Paso Robles. As to be expected, service is highly professional.
Deploying the array of his longtime world expertise, Jean-Georges can most certainly keep the promise made from his chair at the Waldorf Cathedral (built and run by entrepreneur Beny Alagem) to add and enhance the image of a tasty Los Angeles by delivering serenity, class, talent and, without fanfare, a cuisine coined with quality and contemporaneity.

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