As you know I went to the newest downtown LA restaurant, the Parish, on Friday night. Considering this used to be the location of quite possibly the worst restaurant in downtown, Angelique, I knew that there was nowhere to go but up. We ended up going on opening night, so with that in mind I knew there would be a few mistakes here and there.
The hostesses greeted us with a nice smile and led us to our table which was in the upstairs area of the restaurant. Right away I was pleasantly surprised at how nice it looked compared to the horrendous decor of its predecessor. You have to walk by the open kitchen where you can see the cooks working as well as catch a glance at Chef Casey Lane (who was a lot smaller than I was expecting). The bar upstairs was busy and filled with people trying to grab a cocktail while waiting for their table. It seemed as though everyone was enjoying themselves .The lighting made you feel as if you were in a speakeasy; dark and mysterious.
Once we sat down we ordered a nice bottle of gruner-veltliner which unfortunately was not served cold enough and had to wait at least ten minutes before we could drink it. My friend to the right of me ordered the gin gimlet which was refreshing, and was obvious that they used nice gin. Once we got the wine flowing we ordered the fried olives, which had a great complexity of flavors and textures; salty, crunchy, and bitter, balanced with the tastiness of the fried aspect. The only complaint was that they left the pits in and had the waiter not told us, we probably would have choked. Then we all shared the deviled eggs which were good, but I thought a were little plain, not worth the $9. The poutine fried oysters however were great. The oysters were fried to perfection and the gravy was not too heavy; the fries however seemed a little sloppy and perhaps had been sitting for too long. Next we had the grilled corn which was served with a honeycomb butter; juicy and sweet, by far the favorite of the night.
After we received these dishes we ended up waiting almost an entire hour before we received our last two; our server didn’t check in on us once. Also there were plenty of bussers to take away our glasses and silverware, but none to replace them. we had to ask at least twice to get some. Thankfully we had another bottle of wine to keep us going through the wait, but it didn’t go unnoticed. We finally received our fried chicken, which was ok, after the olives and the oysters I felt a little “over-fried” and couldn’t really appreciate the dish. The chicken seemed to be fried nicely, but there was some serious seasoning that was lacking. Lastly we shared the dal, which to me if you are going to put dal on the menu, it better be kick-ass. It was underwhelming and the piece of chutney toast that went along with it was tiny, barely enough for one person to get a bite (there were 6 of us, it was awkward).
Lastly, we decided to go all out and split the toffee pudding, which was incredible, not too sweet, nice choice of bread, actually one of the highlights of the night. Overall, I would say that the Parish needs improvement (especially in the service department) but on its way to be one of downtown’s top restaurants.