Louie, my boyfriend, and I had dinner last Sunday at A Taste of L.A. (or “L.A. Cafe”) in Don A. Roces Avenue, Tomas Morato, Quezon City. I give all credit to him for always finding unique places where we can spend a romantic night out. The fine quality food served complemented with dedicated service by this restaurant made our overall dining experience especially memorable, as we celebrated our sixth Valentine’s Day together. 🙂
Review of A Taste of L.A. (Tomas Morato, Quezon City)
As the saying goes, we should not judge a book by its cover. A Taste of L. A. has been opened since 1995. While its exterior looked pretty shabby, seemingly reflecting how the building has aged through the years, the interior design still offers an old-world charm that’s all about the details.
From the historic wood-paneled walls to the pieces of paintings displayed in every room, A Taste of L.A. is filled with quaint and romantic touches.
Its outdoor space is equally as wonderful, with an unexpected water fountain that works as a good backdrop for picture-taking.
Since we came at nighttime, the tables were just lit with candles. Match the dim ambiance with understated decors and relaxing instrumental music, and you get the feeling of coziness you deserve on a date.
What also exuded sophistication and elegance was how the different neighboring tables were set to fit over a hundred customers in two separate levels. We had a tour prior sitting down and found the entire arrangement tasteful, one that gives exclusivity or that desired level of privacy.
Despite the large number of guests (mostly couples) celebrating Valentine’s Day, there was no hiccup with the efficiency of service. The attendants never slowed down or were sub par. They were knowledgeable about the menu and also paid close attention to make sure that meals take place with enjoyment. All in all, they showcased a balanced warmth of friendliness and professionalism.
We shared a bowl of the Fresh Onion Soup (PhP 380) as a starter. Baked with a crust of Emmental and Gruyère cheese, the soup had a combination of slightly sweet and salty flavors with watery consistency. The bubbling crust of cheese was somewhat like mozzarella—gooey, nutty, and sharp. Its fragrance and savory texture managed to bring the simple onion soup to a next level.
For the main courses, we went for the house recommendations. A Taste of L.A.’s U.S. Rib Eye Salpicao Rice (PhP 560) was amazing and became our easy favorite. The steak cubes cut size was just great for chewing, and the marinade composed of garlic and chili did not overwhelm the beef. I suddenly remembered The Nest’s version of Beef Salpicao. (I can’t decide which one fared the notch better.) The bed of garlic fried rice was also tasty, and there was nothing to complain about.
Cooked to perfection, the Grilled Chicken “Hotel de Paris” (PhP 520) with fresh mushrooms, smoky bacon, Béarnaise sauce, and mashed potatoes on the side was another winning dish that’s well prepared by the café. The name sounded a mouthful but a delicious one. A twist to the tandoori chicken, the grilled chicken was tender and juicy. A worthy shout out was the Béarnaise sauce which was made of clarified butter emulsified in egg yolks, white wine vinegar, and flavored with herbs. Thumbs up!
Price for Value: ★★★★☆
Reminiscing the meal, I realized that A Taste of L.A. (L.A. Cafe) in an almost-hidden spot near the popular commercial area of Tomas Morato did a sublime job in injecting Italian and American food selections into the menu while retaining conventional Filipino recipes. They also offer a fine collection of wine and various types of liquor to choose from.
If you are looking for a decent venue in QC to discuss business ventures, catch up with friends and associates, or impress someone and are willing to spend about PhP 500-1000/pax, A Taste of L.A. is the place to be.