Last summer, I went on a trip to the West coast of America with my family. One of the places we visited on our month long journey was L.A, of course. Most of the restaurants we went to, we picked while we were there but there was one or two that we knew in advance that we wanted to visit. This included The Ivy. If you don’t already know, The Ivy is probably one of the most famous restaurants in L.A because it is always packed with celebrities. Of course, the one time I went there, no celebrities showed up. Typical.
We started our day with a Warner Bros. Studio Tour, which was amazing! My brother is really into movies so this was his choice but I have to say it was so cool to see all the fake streets where things are filmed, the trailers where the actors take breaks and the sets of different t.v shows. I would definitely recommend it to anyone visiting L.A.
But onto our dinner at The Ivy. We were sat inside, which was nice as the inside is decorated with ‘homey’ things – cookbooks, strings of garlic and lots of cushions – so it felt like you were sitting in someone’s posh living room (in a nice way!). The table was quite small for four people, but I do like a lot of space to stretch out! Two of us were sat on a bench and two on chairs but the chairs weren’t particularly comfortable as they were wooden garden chairs, but hey ho. The food made up for it.
The waiters were fine, nothing special, but they were attentive and the service was quick, which always earns brownie points in my book! One thing I would say is that the restaurant doesn’t have a specific theme, the menu includes mexican inspired dishes, italian dishes, burgers, the lot. There were a lot of things I fancied though. To start, we got the Made to Order Guacamole with Tortillas (yum), the Fresh Wild French Fried Calamari (yum) and the Fresh Burrata with Roasted Baby Beets, Pine Nuts and Wild Arugula (again…yum). I would recommend all three as neither flavour nor presentation disappointed. As my main, I had the Penne with Fresh Tomato Sauce, Imported Bufala Mozzarella, Garden Basil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil (one of my favourite dishes ever, and I can confirm it did live up to my high expectations). Sorry I don’t have photos of the first two courses, they came out way too dark!
The starters and mains seem to have faded into the background though because all I can seem to remember from that evening was the desserts. I don’t even know where to start. My dad ordered the Key Lime Pie and my mum and brother got the Homemade Profiteroles with Homemade Pistachio, Caramel and Praline Gelato with Hot Fudge Sauce (A.K.A heart attack on a plate). I won the dessert round, however, because I wisely ordered the Homemade Banana Split which involves Homemade Vanilla, Praline, Chocolate Brownie & Chocolate Chip Gelato, Fresh Berries, Pineapple and Banana, Hot Fudge Sauce, Butterscotch Sauce and Freshly Whipped Cream (can you feel the diabetes ready to pounce?). All I can say is wow.
The light and fluffy profiteroles (pictured above) were generously filled with different ice creams and the contrast between the hot chocolate sauce and cold ice cream created this involuntary ‘mmmmmm’ sound to come from somehwere within. The two chocolate chip cookies on the side were probably the best cookies I have ever had… and I’ve had a LOT of cookies. Crunchy, chocolatey, soft in the middle and so, so moreish!
My banana split was more like a banana drowned in… well, everything… but I’m not complaining. Ice cream, berries, banana, cookies, banana, fudge sauce, whipped cream… what more can you ask for? I’m going to stop rambling about this dessert now because I think the proof is in the picture. My photography skills literally went out the window (along with my health) the minute this showed up (and they were already on par with a five year old, so that’s saying something). I will end on this though, just bear in mind you can order 1 pound worth of the aforementioned chocolate chip cookies to take home. Two words for you: DO IT. They still tasted incredible for the next three days.
Taste: 8/10 (desserts: 10/10)
What restaurants would you recommend in L.A? Have you ever been to any of The Ivy restaurants? If so, what did you think? Leave me a comment letting me know!
Thanks for reading,