Growing up my family has a tradition of going up to LA for the day. In recent years we have started at The Grove to get some shopping done and then head to St. James Episcopal Church for a service, ending the evening at the one and only Norms for dinner. We go about two weeks before Christmas every year. Growing up as kids we hated going down for church it felt like the service lasted all night. But by the end of the night, we were rewarded with a delicious hot fudge brownie sundae.
Every time we drove to Norms on La Cienega Blvd. we drove past The Stinking Rose. I always watched the restaurant as we drove to Norms. Once I realized it was a restaurant based on garlic I knew I had to go. It has taken years but I finally went last Friday night!!
My boyfriend took me there as a surprise. I had no idea. We were "lost in LA" and as soon as we turned on to La Cienega I yelled out "The Stinking Rose" and sure enough a minute or so later we pulled up. I always seem to guess where we are going. Blindfold or not! 😉 I am so lucky to have someone who wants to surprise me and thinks of places I love!
Anyways we had a reservation, but it appeared it was not necessary. It was a very large restaurant We were tucked in a little table underneath a black and white tent. We sat down and were immediately given some water and garlic rolls by a server helper/busser. The waiter came over and offered us other drinks and helped us decided on an appetizer. He was very honest, which I really appreciate. Working in the restaurant business myself, I find it so helpful and wise to go with what the staff recommends.
The first thing we ate were the garlic rolls. They were good. A few tablespoons of garlic definitely pumped up their goodness 🙂
We started with the Garlic Spinach Fontina Fondue. It was very tasty. I definitely needed more garlic in my opinion. But luckily the table had a container of chopped garlic on it, so I felt free to add as much as I wanted!
The Fish N Chips were served with tons and I mean TONS of "chips". The chips they served were really skinny french fries.
I ordered the Petite Filet Mignon. I ordered it medium-rare, the filet was a little more rare than I would have preferred but I did enjoy the filet none the less. The dinner came with garlic yukon mashed potatoes and creamed spinach. All the juices that were coming off of the filet mignon were fabulous! I kept soaking them up. I loved the garlic on the steak, but again it could have been more garlic-y, since I am garlic fanatic I'm probably just being too critical.
I toyed with the idea of garlic ice cream but I just couldn't do it. I love both dessert and garlic but some things are not made to be together. So for dessert we ended with the Strawberry Sundae- homemade kustard ice cream, strawberry coulis and whipped cream. It was larger than life, but nothing special. The fresh strawberry sauce was very nice. But otherwise it was just a basic ice cream sundae.
The service was good. The actual waiter we saw only a couple of times. But there was plenty more staff running out of our drinks and food.
I really enjoyed my dinner and look forward to going back one day.