I read about it and I wanted to be about it.
This place has turned over so many time. I remember when it was Opus and I randomly ran into an old friend who was the bartender. That evening she introduced me to Effen Black Cherry Vodka. I usually remember the year by the boy I was dating but I can’t seem to remember for the life of me… it was a while ago. Because after Opus, it was Novel Cafe or maybe something in between, then KONY was there with or with Novel, IDK and now Terra Cotta.
I must say, the style of decor they went with really livens up the place and makes it more welcoming than the previous establishments. I love the chandeliers, bright open lit bar and booth seating. I especially love the three large booths for larger parties in the back wall next to the bathroom entryway.
It was the Saturday after Thanksgiving and my husband, friend and I decided to check it out. Well, I did, they didn’t have much of a say.
We found parking on the street on Wilshire and entered the restaurant. An old lady was ahead of us and speaking to the hostess. Literally two minutes went by and the hostess didn’t bother to excuse herself for a second to check in with us. We were just standing there while the old lady was asking questions (def. not dining that night). I get the whole courtesy thing and the hostess could have continued her convo thereafter, but she was oblivious and never bothered to kindly ask us to wait a moment or call someone over to assist us or the old lady. A gentleman came over but he also ignored to check in with us or ask the hostess if she needed assistance. A bit obtuse of them, if you tell me…
I decided I didn’t want to stand any longer so I went to the bar until the hostess was done with her convo. The bartender came over and handed us the menus. I asked which vodka they had and she shared that they only had Chopin and Grey Goose. I don’t know what it is with Korean establishments but they love their Grey Goose. Which btw, they have 4 other vodkas that she didn’t share with me.
I didn’t want either and for my blog’s sake, asked her to make me the prettiest cocktail. Photo purposes of course. The first photo below is what she made me. If that’s their prettiest cocktail, they need to hire another mixologist.
When we finally got seated at our booth I was pleased with the lighting in the place. My Canon G7X was capturing great photos! (You can find photos of me on my personal blog.)
I was a little apprehensive about how the meal would taste so I let my friend pick the dishes. Usually I’d be the first to jump at the chance to order but I had no recommendations nor interest since my first 15 minutes of the experience was shitty.
We ordered Toro Tataki, Steak Tartare, Crispy Potatoes, Hamachi and Uni Rice.
None of us were really hungry, and even thought I REALLY wanted to order the beautifully presented 30-day Dry Aged Prime Beef, their market price was $5/oz. The ounces varied from 32-40. That’s $160 for a 32oz. steak, which is more than CUT or Mastro’s or whatever steak restaurant in Beverly Hills. I thought the price was ridiculous so I opted out.
The shellfish pasta was out that night, they literally ran out, when the occupancy at the restaurant at that time was maybe about 45%. So were they out or did the chef forget to put in the order prior to Thanksgiving weekend? 😛
As each dish was served, I was reluctant to dig in… but I must say, each dish was tasty and well presented. I’m not a fancy food eater, I don’t like flowers in my food and the presentation to be super artsy. I appreciate the effort but I just want it to taste fucking delicious. Fortunately, this was both, pretty and appetizing. I enjoyed every dish a lot, maybe because I had -zero expectations or because it was actually good. It may be the latter since the chef did come from Nobu.
Our server was sweet and attentive, the manager came by one time because I didn’t want my drink anymore because I thought it looked like freshly squeezed pineapple-orange juice, but I said it wasn’t anyone’s fault. I asked for a pretty cocktail for a photo and it turned out the be ugly and not tasty. On the other hand, I’m not a cocktail drinker. Give me a glass of vodka (anything but Grey Goose and other apparently lower quality ones, except Burrnetts) on ice with a straw and a splash of lime juice, I’m good. I don’t even need a fucking garnish.
That was my drink actually. They had 4 other vodkas that were names I couldn’t recognize. I asked for whichever one was not the well with the splash of lime juice. I was happy.
Onto the dessert. We ordered the K-Pop & Matcha Mille Fenile. Very beautiful to look at. I mean, there were gold leaves on the pop. I really loved the Matcha Mille Fenile. Probably on the top 10 desserts I’ve had in a restaurant.
Kudos to the pastry Chef Jason Licker. What a great last name…
3760 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010
(Don’t mind their About Us page and their social media menu which was NOT ready to go live)
Chef Danny Ye