Grace - named for the chef's teenage daughter - is my favorite restaurant in Los Angeles and I dine out a lot at many of the best establishments on the west side of Los Angeles. To start with, I love the ambiance. The design of the restaurant is simple, modern and clean. I like to enjoy conversing with my dinner companion and at Grace, you can hear yourself talk. The background music is complementary, but never intrusive. The diners are not trendy and brainless but a wonderful cross-section of Los Angeles..from the young and beautiful to older people who love to eat. I usually eat at Grace once a month, so I have enjoyed everything on the menu and like virtually everything on the menu. Chef Neal Fraser likes wild game, so bison, elk, wild boar and venison are often on the menu. He also likes seafood and the menu has many items flown in from New Zealand. Fraser's meals have wonderful reductions, never over-spiced. He gets the essence of whatever he is cooking and never overpowers it with garlic or other spices. From his first restaurant Boxer on, you realize that Fraser has an instinctive ability to combine interesting ingredients to create his meals. I have always found the service to be exceptional and Scott and some of the other servers have been at the restaurant for years and are professionals rather than actors waiting tables. I have never been rushed...always enjoy lingering over an excellent meal. The catering is also good and I hosted a dinner there for more than fifty people and the staff did an incredible job for me. So, both my thumbs up, way up for Neal and Amy Fraser's exceptional Grace..go it introduce yourself, visit a few time and everyone there will become friends.
I love coming to Grace. From the ambience, decor, service, and especially the food.. everything is excellent. I suggest the wild boar, sea urchin/pumpkin risotto, and the donut dessert (which is only offered on wednesdays).
If the cost of butter was $50 per pound, I could understand better our dinner at Grace. The food was overly rich, entree portions less than generous (my three scallops were drowning in a small pool of almost inedibly rich risotto) and prices seemed to have no relation to the cost of the ingredients (a $16 roasted beet salad with field greens and a bit of nice cheese). Dinner for three of us (3 starters, 3 entrees and coffee plus a $65 bottle of wine) exceeded $300.00. If it had been a wonderful meal, we might have a different attitude. I was a great fan of Boxer when Neal Fraser opened it; unfortunately his creative culinary edge seems to have been overwhelmed by fanfare and fat grams.
I have eaten at Lucque's a couple of weeks before my visit to Grace. It was nice and had I not gone to Lucque's first, I might have enjoyed it more, but Lucque's food is quite a bit better and equal on ambiance, price and service.