In honor of dineLA, my friend and I decided on an impromptu trip to Craft at the eleventh hour. Now, Craft doesn’t really have the greatest selections of choices during dineLA, so we opted to order from the regular menu. Part of my rationale for choosing Craft, as I could recollect, was due to the phenomenal service during my last experience. Since then I’ve always had an affinity for Craft and it has remain within a special place in my heart. The other 99.5% was due to the fact that it was within a 0.5 mile radius of where I was at the time, which you can thank my unrealistic distain for driving in LA for the review. Unfortunately, the service was subpar at best this time around and I was quite devastated by how slow the service was. I was just so disappointed with my overall experience at Craft, which one can analogous to how an Asian parent feels when their child comes home with a B- at best, that I had to muster every ounce in my body to not wallow in my aghast. We had ran into a bit of a mishap while trying to pay our bill, as to my luck, their credit card machine decided to malfunction. Now – I understand shit and blunders happen, so I tried to remain as patient as I could. However, 20 minutes of our time was wasted as the staff tried to repeatedly process our payment electronically, failing miserably at each fruitless effort. After several attempts and to no avail, the staff finally manually processed our payment. I was a tad annoyed, but fortunately I remained calm, collected, and sane and hid my crazy as if my life depended on it. Now – let’s talk food.
1. SWEET CORN MOUSSE WITH CRISPY SHALLOTS [Complimentary] – Though I appreciate the gesture, the complimentary bite size morsel didn’t sit well with me perhaps due to the lackluster combination of flavors and the odd texture. This tasted like an experimental concoction gone array. It was forgettable at best and was not the most pleasant start to our meal.
2. ROASTED & MARINATED OCTOPUS & FALAFEL [$19] – I can appreciate how the octopus was perfectly cooked; crispy, charred and tender. A solid and flavorful dish, though I did not care much for the falafel. Not sure if I’d order this dish again.
3. DRY-AGED RIBEYE 26 OZ [$105] – I thought 26 oz. would be much larger, but I guess not. This was a savory piece of cow, but probably not the best steak I’ve had. It was moist but didn’t have that buttery tenderness I was hoping for. I expected better quality for the price point.
4. YUKON GOLD PUREE [$12] – Creamy and rich; good but not great. It was a bit too heavy for me. I’d probably opt for a different side if I dine at Craft again; that is, if my arteries can survive after the massive clog from butter overload.
5. PANNA COTTA WITH FENNEL PICKLED BLUEBERRIES [Complimentary] – I love panna cotta, usually, but not this time. My heart fluttered when this dish came out, but my excitement quickly dissipated and I lost interest; a similar fact pattern that I am all so familiar, especially when it comes to previous relationships. Though it was not overly sweet, subtle; let’s face the facts, it wasn’t very flavorful. I kept eating it, hoping that it would get better, like most disillusioned failed relationships. You panna cotta have done a disservice to all good panna cottas out there.
6. STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE [$12] – I didn’t care for the vanilla crème fraîche, but the strawberry sorbet was delish.
7. GRANOLA [Complimentary] – We got to take home a bag of granola, which I have yet to eat with my breakfast tomorrow. Craft failed to meet my expectations this time around – though many of the dishes were perfectly cooked or flavorful, each dish seemed to be missing a certain special wow factor I was hoping for. Perhaps Craft has become complacent without much innovation. Don’t get me wrong – most of the food was solid, but it lacked a finesse I was hoping for. I would definitely give it another try, hopefully the next dining experience would be better.