Over the weekend, we ate at Playa, the new high-end “urban Latin” restaurant on Beverly Boulevard (in the old Grace space).
Playa is an ambitious restaurant, which is a good thing. However, its ambitions are not always realized – meaning that it is a restaurant that will primarily appeal to foodies and adventurous diners.
On the positive side, some of the dishes we had were delicious – including a beautifully cooked duck leg:
The room is nicely designed, with fanciful touches such as pom-pom shaped lighting fixtures and a backlit bar:
On the negative side, we were kept waiting more than a half-hour past our reservation time (for a reservation that had been made weeks in advance).
And many of the dishes suffer from “ingredient overload,” where the chef seems to be trying to meld so many different things on the same plate that it just does not come together. Some of the dishes are too clever by half; for example, our dessert plate had about a dozen different elements that had little to do with each other. And that’s not a satisfying dessert.
If you like to check out hot new restaurants, go to Playa – it was packed when we were there. At this high price point, though, there are better choices in our neighborhood, including The Foundry on Melrose, Hatfield’s, Mozza, Street, and Eva.