Excellent food, great service and wonderful ambiance!! :)
Excellent food, great service and wonderful ambiance!! :)
I was in town for a concert on October 3 and had just read about some of the top vegan restaurants in the country in the USA Today. Crossroads was on the list. Before I start on the food, I would like to compliment our server, Maisie. She was wonderful...cheerful, knowledgeable and provided great recommendations and guidance.
The restaurant serves tapas-style. We ordered five plates, one dessert and a 1/2 bottle of wine. We started with the popular artichoke caviar and hearts of palm calamari with an aioli dipping sauce. I loved the "caviar"! Sitting on an artichoke leaf, it's an explosion of flavor in your mouth. In no way am I dismissing the "calamari". I would get it again...if I could dine there weekly! We were wanting the daily risotto, so Maisie recommended that we have a protein and a vegetable to accompany. We ordered the Scaloppini Au Povre and Oven-Roasted Brussel Sprouts. The risotto was good...nothing that really stands out, although I did have two servings. The scaloppini was very tasty. The brussel sprouts had a great flavor, that I eventually figured out was the mustard vinaigrette. They were sprinkled with pine nuts and cooked to perfection!! The time for dessert rolled around and Maisie mentioned the seasonal Pumpkin Mousse, which as much as we should have passed on dessert, we couldn't. My mouth is watering and my jaws tingling as I think about the deliciousness of it all. It was layered with, I'm guessing, "cream" and graham cracker (?). Seconds, please!
This place was spectacular. I've never head a vegan cheese before that I liked, but their cheese plate was as close to real as you can get. The "shrimp" cocktail with mushrooms was better than a real shrimp cocktail. Drinks were pretty fantastic too. Great place to spend our anniversary.
What a crazy experience! We were treated to our meal by friends, which was like paying for our college tuition, but everything was very good. Tortellini, cheese plate, and the oysters were the highlights for us. I was surprised to find that the chicken dish was just gardein instead of a Tal Ronnen special thingy, but gardein is good!
I feel like I've now eaten here a million times and I'm never disappointed. The menu changes often to reflect the best produce for the season. I brought a table full of Midwestern steak lovers that did nothing but ooh and ahh over their meal. I'm not entirely vegan, I'm allergic to shellfish but I think it's so inventive and well done here that most everyone would love it.
Fabulous energy, beautiful space, wonderfully diverse clientele, affable staff and super attentive service. Started with a virgin citrus cocktail, orange, fizzy not too sweet flavors bounced on my taste buds, then the Marinated Spicy Mediterranean Olives with warm briny flavors complemented by the
crunch of Marcona almonds (wouldn't describe them as spicy though) served at the same time Spiced Chickpeas in a warm savory tomato sauce followed Kale Spanikopita, little flakey, buttery delights accompanied a dish of Spicy Morrancan Heirloom carrots, these were good but again not spicy as the name indicates was hoping for a bit of a kick to them. We also ordered one of the specials which was a portabella mushroom
scaloppini encrusted with panko bread crumbs, pan fried and topped with roasted thinly sliced mushrooms and a creamy sauce crusty and crunchy.
We ended with decadent desserts that did not disappoint the Pumpkin Tiramisu spicy velvety sweet pumpkin cake and puree combo tastes like Autumn and the Caramel Apple had a delightful butterscotch caramel smoothness that I wanted to hold on my tongue as long as possible. I am still reveling in the flavors of the evening and am eager to return and try other menu items, but I’ll most likely have the same dessert.
The restaurant is beautiful, service is attentive and excellent, cocktails awesome, food very beautiful with great attention to detail. However the flavors were not that memorable. Some dishes - especially risotto and tortelloni - were perfect. Some were less. The bread service did not have enough bread for all the delivered spreads and you cannot have more bread. The cheeses did not impress. I liked the fried mushroom cocktail, my companions loved the oyster artichokes. At $260 for 4 people, including cocktails and tip, it was a bit overpriced but we had a very good time.
I had read about this place opening on happycow and finally came here 2 days ago. I thoroughly enjoyed my meal; in fact, I've added it to my HappyCow Top 10 Favorites list.
The chef Tal Ronnen is presently the most celebrated and talked-about chef in the vegetarian and vegan food world. He has cooked for Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres, and consulted for Steve Wynn's Las Vegas hotel restaurants.
Here's my Crossroads review. We went in for an early weekend dinner and was among the first to arrive. The place is gorgeous inside. Its decor is modern with rustic hints of wood. Seating is divided into vinyl booths, tables, and bar stools in front of a wide full bar. Everything glistened with cleanliness, and large windows let in light. The high ceiling contributed to a feeling of spaciousness even though guests seat intimately together.
The staff was very cordial and attentive, and our food arrived quickly--an advantage to eating early.
Since another friend had told us that the plates were all small in size, my friend and I decided ordered many different savory dishes to share. We got: the cheese platter (yum); the caviar and fried oyster mushroom over artichoke leaves (surprising, delightful); the crab cakes (pretty, tasty); the kale spanikopita (hot, delicious); the day's special in-house made pasta with crushed red chilis, asparagus, and olive oil (great pasta, though too spicy); and the lasagna (hot, creamy, yummy).
For dessert we share the panna cotta with berry spread on top (good), and the cannoli (awesome).
Overall we both enjoyed our meal and were totally impressed. Would definitely return to try the other dishes.
Do make a reservation (especially on weekends); otherwise you could wait for a seat at the bar.
Do expect to pay. You'll need to order several dishes to fill up and get a good taste of the many wonderful flavors chef Tal creates.
My partner and I happened to be in town during the first week after they opened. Knowing that a nationally renowned vegan chef was behind this restaurant, I was beyond excited to try it out. But I'm sorry to have to say the whole experience proved to be a disappointment.
FIrst off, there was a major snafu with our reservation on OpenTable. My booking got canceled in a seemingly arbitrary manner. So I remade the booking online, only to receive another cancellation email. Then I phoned them about it, they said they didn't know what happened and had never canceled my reservation, blah blah blah. After a few calls, we finally managed to get a confirmed table for dinner. To be fair, it could've very well been a glitch in the system, especially as they just opened, so I'll give them that. Still, this put a small damper on a potentially great Friday night out.
The main issue I had with this place was the food - which is after all what I eat out for - and it just wasn't the quality you'd expect from a famous chef:
Kite Hill cheese plate - AVOID, most underwhelming dish of the evening. Overpriced for three tiny pieces of mousse-like "cheese" that were tasteless. Texture was too soft. If you've ever tried Dr Cow, I can guarantee you'll be sorely disappointed.
Artichoke oysters - Interesting concept and presentation, but taste was meh.
Crab cakes - The better dish of the evening.
Kale spanakopita - Not much taste besides salt.
Risotto-stuffed banana peppers - So-so, had a weird tang to it. You might want to avoid if you are like my partner who doesn't take heat too well
Tortelloni - Nothing special. Tangy sauce.
I don't even remember if we had dessert because the whole meal was just so unmemorable. I found all the flavors one-dimensional - predominantly salty/tangy without much nuance. I'm all for tapas-style small plates but the quality was lacking for the price.
On the plus side, the décor was stylish and had a retro touch to it. Our waiter was exceptional. The manager came over multiple times apologizing for the reservation confusion while checking up on us. He also comped our drinks, which we appreciated.
To sum up, our experience was unimpressive for the most part. Service was good, setting was nice, but the food just didn't cut it - although I must admit my hopes were quite high. I think it's just one of those must-try new restaurants that garnered a lot of attention. I hope they will improve on the food to live up to the hype.
Minestrone soup, kale salad, pasta that looks simple yet tastes special, mini-chocolate decadence dessert ... It was all beautifully presented and delicous! From looking at the outside of the building you have no idea what a treat is waiting on the inside. Beautiful wood floors and comfy booths with interesting architectural touches everywhere. It is swanky and relaxed at the same time. The staff is knowledgeable and attentive. Overall a delightful dining experience and I am looking forward to going back the next time I visit L.A.
I have to say first that I am a huge fan of Tal Ronnen's cookbook. I love it and every meal that came out of it. Therefore, I had been waiting for the opening of this restaurant for a while and my expectations were admittedly high. It was announced as upper scale dining at moderate prices. That it indeed is an upper scale dining experience is immediately apparent and the decoration is unbelievably bautiful and classy and the staff is simply outstanding. When you look at the menu you are surprised at the prices ranging from $8-$14, and you are surprised even more when the waitress then tells you you will be needing 4 to 5of those because they want you to "experience as many flavors as possible". Oh well. It was a special evening so it was ok. We ordered the crab cakes, marinated olives, lasagna,lentil flatbread,rissotto stuffed banana peppers, red quinoa and one more I can't remember.
I know it is not a popular thing to say but I was not impressed. Like I said, I had high expectations but still, is that a reason that dishes that I made out of his book and that were extraordinary such as the crab cakes or the stuffed peppers were nowhere near as good in the restaurant and some things were bordering on being bland. I am very disappointed because this restaurant stikes me as the the next fad, a place where everyone flocks for a while and then it dies a quiet death because there are other vegan restaurants that deliver at least the same quality at lower prices (minus the outstanding ambience).
So my advice is, go try it out, be aware that you will be sampling different small dishes rather than eat one full meal and only go if you don't have to watch every buck.
We made dinner reservations for Crossroads on the first weekend they were open. We arrived early, but it was packed full by the time we left. The decor is contemporary and neutral. Very classic and upscale. There is a full bar with seats as well as two person tables and larger booths. Vegans have been waiting for a place like this.
The menus is various starters and small plates. It's recommended to order 2-3 plates per person. We shared everything: lentil flatbread with 3 spreads, artichoke oysters, crab cakes, tortelloni, biscuits with mushroom gravy, wood-fired meaty lasagna, chocolate bundt cake and citrus panna cotta. It was all delicious and beautifully presented. We especially enjoyed the tortelloni, biscuits and lasagna. Both desserts were small, but very tasty. Dirk loved the panna cotta. Desserts come paired with wine or they can be ordered without wine. We got the port with the chocolate cake. We'd also started the evening with a cocktail and beer.
The service was attentive and accomodating. Even though they just opened, everything appeared to be running smoothly. We are already looking forward to our next visit to try other items on the menu. Please go check them out. We need an upscale vegan establishment showcasing the creativity and variety of vegan food.
We had dinner the other night at Vegan Chef Tal Ronnen's new CROSSROADS restaurant. I tried to make a reservation for 8:30PM, but the place has quickly become very popular, and they didn't have a table available until 9:30PM. It was quite a treat eating at an all-vegan upscale restaurant. Although I felt the music and restaurant were a bit loud for my taste, I enjoyed the Manhattan vibe, and the food was delicious.
At first glance, it seems like the restaurant is inexpensive, but the portions are quite small, so it is advised that each person orders several dishes, and the cost adds up very quickly. Expect to pay about 45 dollars and up per person. We ordered the crab cakes (tiny portion of two little "crab" cakes), but they were just outstanding, and our favorite item of the few that we ordered. We also ordered a flat bread, a banana pepper filled with risotto, the and the "meaty lasagna". The flat bread was delicious and the portion size was sufficient. The banana pepper filled with risotto was very tasty, but I felt the pepper was a bit too hot for my taste. Tal brought us a small glass of fresh almond milk to clean our palate after we told him that we felt the pepper seemed excessively hot. Had the pepper been less spicy, I would have given this dish high marks as well. The "meaty lasagna" was quite good, but I have had better vegan lasagna at a couple of other restaurants.
Overall, I feel CROSSROADS is a wonderful addition to the LA restaurant scene, and it is a liberating feeling to be able to go to an upscale all-vegan restaurant. The food is quite pricy, but I will definitely be returning.
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