Oct 16, 2009

Los Angeles Restaurant Week - Campanile (Closed)

Who ever came up with this restaurant week idea, you are a genius!

Usually it's a two week event in Los Angeles area,
But this time the event got extended to three weeks, great news people!
So basically the participating restaurants will create a three course menu for a certain set price,
Cheaper than usual of course.
Not only it helps driving the local business, it also raises the awareness regarding LA's vibrant dining culture.

The biggest benefit of all (at least to me), is that I get to try some of the well known but pricey places at a more wallet friendly price!
You know, usually eating at some of the more high end restaurants can costs hundreds of dollars,
Especially for me, if I don't set a limit on myself...man....this Asian girl can out eat everybody!
And the same things goes to the bill...it can get pretty scary...
However, the worst case happens when the food is not even that great!

Eitherway, the jaw dropping bills can't really stop my urge for trying out new restaurants...
(As my wallet flattens....)
What scares me the most is paying so much $$$ and the food turns out mediocre!
Thanks to this restaurant week thing,
I get to try some nice places with affordable price,
So IF**, if the food turns out ok only...at least I won't feel so bad to my skinny wallet.

And today, for lunch, I've decided to give Campanile a try!

Resaturant interior-

I didn't take any other pictures of the place,
It's hard to hold up my bulky camera and point it toward every corner for pictures, while everyone else is trying to eat in peace,
I feel bad....because someone...not at Campanile, but someone did turn away her head to avoid my camera before...
All the sudden...I felt like a privacy intruder....
To solve this problem, I tend to sneakily take one shot then I'm done for the day,
At least I try to make it quick!

By the way, you can read more about the building of campanile on their website,
Pretty interesting, here's the direct link.

So I started out my lunch with soup du jour: roasted tomato soup-

One baguette slice was topped with melted cheese, placed in the center of the plate, garnished with finely chopped chives.
Roasting the tomatoes does make a difference, it adds more depth to the flavor,
I also really enjoyed eating the crunchy baguette edges with creamy soup, spoon licking good.

As for the entree, my friend ordered fish,
Giving a big knock on my head now...can't belive I don't remember what kind of fish it was!-

Seared perfectly, but a little bit too salty,
Maybe it should be light on the salt since the fish was served with pesto sauce,
Besides that, it was very juicy on the inside!

I chose wild mushroom risotto cakes-

Fork licking good! Probably the best risotto cakes I've ever had so far,
It was simple but delicious,
The Parmesan cheese just oozed on top of the cakes,
The coating was flavored with some herbs? (I think, according to my taste buds),
They browned the coating perfectly, it was crunchy and full of that "secret" hint that I couldn't quite figured out,
The tomato sauce was amazing too!
I don't know what kind of cooking liquor was used in the sauce, but the aroma was absolutely there!
If I have to pick on one thing about this dish...maybe not enough sauce,
I love the sauce, I wish there was more...more...MOREEEEEE!

As the savory side of my stomach was satisfied, it was time for some sweet stuff-

Bread pudding with caramel sauce and creme fraiche.
Unlike most of the bread pudding, this one really had a "pudding" part in the center,
So there was soft, silky pudding surrounded by harder, but kind of airy bread,
Heaven! I love bread pudding!

Our three course meal came up about $24 each including tax,
Not bad huh?

One guy came to our table while I was taking bread pudding pictures,
He introduced himself, saying that he is the owner of Campanile,
Asking if I was taking pictures of the dessert, then I forgot what else he said..
Ok...I was nervous...I get nervous easily...ah stupid me..
Felt like I could have talk more to the person....
Only a short moment, he shook my hand and left the restaurant.

Later on, I was browsing Campanile's website,
Came across this page,
Eh? Was the guy who shook my hand the executive chef?
Rubbing my eyes...maybe I was wrong..I don't know...Mmm...(@#($&#&$!)
Guess I'll have to go back again and figure it out myself,
I totally don't mind at all though, the food was good, definitely worth going!

Sorry my tiny little wallet..

Overall rating: 7 (for now, it has the potential of 8 if I try more dishes in the future)

624 South La Brea
Los Angeles, CA 90036


  1. you are one lucky girl and i am jealous. when i lived in l.a. my home was not too far from campanile and i dined there often. mark peel is wonderful. the place has such a great vibe. and i have many fond memories of fabulous meals there. thanks for sharing yours.

  2. To Kelly~
    I really like Campanile! Actually I drove all the way from Irvine to try out that place, glad it was all worth it! (plus I was stuck in traffic for a long time..)