JiRaffe is one of the finer Cal-French restaurants in LA. The ambiance is lovely, it's a two story building, located along popular Santa Monica Blvd. People who love JiRaffe LOVE it. And I can see why. It's great food with simple charm. To quote Town and Country Magazine, "It's the sophisticated comfort food and the elegance without attitude that have kept (JiRaffe) bustling."
That is Chef Lunetta in the pic with my dinner party. He was very amiable and worked the room all night. The entire staff at JiRaffe was excellent, they went above and beyond.
I hate to write reviews like these because I know that JiRaffe is an excellent restaurant and should only get praise. That's what my head tells me. However my tongue and stomach give the place 4 stars. It's completely subjective, simply put, the food did not agree with me. The dishes were innovative and expertly prepared, but I felt they were "off".
I started the night with the Cucumber Martini. Now, I love my Cucumber Martini cocktail. Every high end place seems to have one; Hatfield's, Providence (called the Lyone), and Copa D'Oro. However JiRaffe's version was off, it wasn't a cocktail, it was literally a Cucumber martini, as in Cucumber juice and vodka. I hated it. I wanted my muddled mint, lime, elderflower liquer, etc... not a martini that tasted like a salad. I gave the mixologist another chance and got the kumquat cocktail. It was much better, however it looked like a forest was growing in my tumbler. Sorry. I usually don't care about details but for some reason the big stalks of herbs and fruit irked me. Pic is below.
For the main meal, I got the Caramelized Pork Chops. They were excellent. I've never had better stuffing and sauce. I'd love to have drizzled the sauce over good, slow-cooked beef. However the pork chops are thick cut, JiRaffe believes in big portions. Again, it's a matter of taste, I do not like to taste my pork. I prefer my pork chop thinly cut, breaded, and with some type of filling in the middle. I ended up taking my slab of pork home. Pics below along with other dishes from my party.
Below is the Tiger Shrimp salad and the Osso Bucco, the best dish of the night.
Best part of the night were the desserts. I got the Chocolate Truffle Cake, delish, and pictured below is the Lemon Meyer Souffle, another hit. I highly recommend both.