Somni - Beverly Hills


#1

Had an outstanding dinner at somni, the most fun and delicious meal i’ve had since alinea and surprassing é in las vegas. Everything was good to excellent. Highlights were the foie gras, almond, spot prawn, scallop, the “crossiant” with the insanely rich and deep seafood broth, and squid. Service was also perfectly professional and friendly at the same time. Can’t wait to go back.

It’s a great time to be eating in LA right now, the restaurant scene is killing it.

"hojita"

apple & beet floret

foie gras wants to be corn

almond shell

pan con tomate y jamón

caviar hand
It’s not a tumor

spot prawn and that’s it

live scallop

"crossiant"

pigtail curry bun

hibiscus margarita

(new) fluke and white asparagus

kohlrabi and snap peas

fireflies

alubias con jamón

japanese a5 & bone marrow

nori empanada

"snowflake"

vienetta

matcha donut

merienda

mochi

"pepe" - future menu item

Somni
465 S La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(310) 246-5543


Anniversary dinner near West Hollywood?
Tasting Menus
#2

Thanks for the report! I’m going in a few weeks and skipped over all your pictures, but will be fun to compare notes after my visit.


#3

Pobre Pepe…


#4

Pepe should be nice and plump by then.

i think you’ll really like it, i preferred it over dialogue and the old saam. looking forward to your thoughts.


#5

how much?


#6

$235pp plus service, tax, and beverages.


#7

#8

This is BY FAR the best restaurant in LA in my opinion. Michelin ***


#9

it’s a solid 2 stars


#10

Following up on the excellent reports from @J_L (Somni (Beverly Hills): A Pictorial Essay), @yangster777 (in J_L’s thread), and @PorkyBelly (in this thread), I thought I would touch on some of the unique aspects of my meal not already mentioned, and give my impression of the wine service. All told, I left a very happy camper. The food was at a minimum very good to excellent, with the tangental aspects like service, surroundings, and just plain ol’ “fun” aspect putting it over the top for me. Everyone I chatted with, including the GM, Somm, sous chefs, and some of the cooks as they came by to present dishes, were wonderful with lots of passion. Very highly recommended.

Please excuse my poor photography. I tend to snap quickly and focus on the food.

Arrival:
Upon arrival, you are seated at a reserved table in the lounge area of Bazaar at the SLS Hotel. We were greeted by GM Eric Jeffay and shortly thereafter by Sommelier Brandon Miradi for our welcome apertif of what I believe was NV Clos Lentiscus Greco Di Subur Blanc de Blancs. The other Somni guests were seated in the same general viscinity, but in their own groups. I find the Bazaar to be a fun place to grab a drink, but YMMV.

Seating arrangement:
As can be seen from the various pictures, the 10 guests sit at a long wood-top counter in a semi-circle shape. This is actually a smart layout for a couple different reasons. Though you aren’t right in front of the cooking like at some chef’s table spots, there is a lot of space for the staff to approach you to present dishes or to chat, as well as the staff to monitor you from behind. And, throughout various times at the meal, I could have a conversation with the sommelier in front of me whereas the person next to me could have a conversion with the sous chef. The feel is both open and intimate at once. And the curved aspect of the bar helps a bit with the social aspect of interacting with and monitoring the reactions of the other guests, as well as being able to see everything. There is no bad seat. The brightness of the space is also super appealing.


The Food:

"hojita": woke up the palate with a strong mix of mezcal and lime being the primary flavors.

apple & beet flore / foie gras wants to be corn / almond shell: Here you see the playfulness in the cuisine, with some of the components being made to look like something else.

The 100% Meunier was notable in that so rarely do you get a chance to try this varietal straight up. Usually it’s blended with chardonnay and/or pinot noir in your typical champagne.

pan con tomate y jamon:

caviar hand:

spot prawn and that’s it / live scallop:

(after consumption, sorry)


This wine was amazing. Silky and perfectly integrated acidity at 9 years old, but loads of depth.

"croissant" / pigtail curry bun: Croissant stuffed with potato was top 2 or 3 bite, you dip it into the seafood stew. The bun had a mild dry heat, really lovely.


This chenin blanc was somewhat sweet, but had enough acidity to carry in through and cut through the richness of these dishes. Dangerously tasty.

(NEW) strawberry negroni: I was told this had Aperol in it rather than Campari, but it exploded in the mouth, delicious and refreshing.

kohlrabi and snap peas:

fireflies with pil-pil: A fun squid dish.


Surprising wine pairing here, with this red blend from Napa [edit: turns out this is only bottled in Napa, but grown elsewhere in CA]. Fresh, fruit foward, light, low abv. Reminded me of Beaujolais.

alubias con jamon: Sous chef Alex Staley brought out the molds to show us how they make the “beans”. Don’t be embarassed to pick up the bowl to slurp the last of the broth, it’s worth it.

(NEW) turbot and mushroom tea: Here you get two preparations of the fish. Both a breaded version, and also a version where you have to essentially suck the meat off the bones. For the latter, you use your hands.



japaense A5 & bone marrow: Wow.


Have to be a bit careful pairing a Napa cab with a delicate cut of beef like A5, but the wine was so well balanced and dealt with the richness of the bone marrow sauce.

nori empanada: Absolutely unique, yet familiar in flavors, with a sticki filling of sweet sesame paste.

Sauternes is never a bad move with dessert.

"snowflake":

(NEW) black forest pizzelle:

matcha donut:

mochi / merienda:

Optional post-dinner drinks / coffee / tea:

Vessels and Utensils:
As you can see from the various pictures posted, the vessels and utensils were wonderful. These are small touches that really make the meal extra special. The deejo knives (also shown in prior reports) were exquisite to use.


Wine Service:
As mentioned in J_L’s thread, there are three tiers of wine pairings (and one non-alcoholic): Illusion ($75, non-alcoholic juices); Unique ($175), Prized ($250), and Vintage ($500). I opted for the mid-level $250 “Prized” option. This is a very important aspect of these types of tasting menus, not only to elevate the enjoyment of the food, but because it is a tasting in its own right. Not to mention this costs more than the food. :slight_smile:
Somni uses Zalto stemwear exclusively. These are among my favorite stems available and are what I happen to use at home for less casual drinking. These have become pretty ubiquitous at high-end places, but it is worth mentioning. While the effect of using such glasses on the taste of the wine is debatable, for me, they certainly make drinking wine more pleasurable in the end.

As for the wines themselves, the Prized pairing from my dinner seems to be quite different than from prior reports, so looks like the wines above are relatively “new.” There were a good mix of old world and new, but I sensed a slight theme of generally younger / up and coming wine makers. My palate is heavily European leaning, so some of the pairings surprised me, but in a good way. For example, pairing the the squid and two fish dishes with a red wine from Napa valley [edit: turns out this is only bottled in Napa, but grown elsewhere in CA]? But the wine worked quite well, due to its lowish tannins and light body, almost like a Beaujolais from France. Didn’t care for the first two sparkling wines, but after that, they were all wonderful. My wine of the night was probably that 2009 Vina de Martin Escolma Blanco. Wine is so subjective, but overall the pairings were well done with some creative combinations, if perhaps not good as value for money as the wine pairing at Dialogue (perhaps owing to the fact that they offer so many diffferent kinds here?).

Service was perfect. There was a moment where I had one more bite left of a particularly rich dish, but was out of wine. Somm. Miradi noticed and gave me another short pour to chase the bite, as the next course was almost ready to arrive. Just a example of the good service on offer. He was also nice to chat with about the wines.

Conclusion:
So yeah…looking forward to another visit, perhaps in August. :slight_smile: It’s better not to read too much about these kinds of meals. Just go and enjoy.


#11

A horseshoe shape is so much warmer and more convivial than an L-shape. Soft angles make life calm and beautiful.

P.S. Great report, I’m adding this to my list. :slight_smile:


#12

thanks for the excellent report, glad to see the menu is constantly evolving. what are the scale like things on the turbot?


#13

Just edible flowers if I recall, “glued” on with a sauce.


#14

Is the A5 dry aged?

Dying to go!!!


#15

Yes. 28 or 30 days comes to mind, but not 100% sure.


#16

Thanks for the excellent write up. I love those wine glasses.

I’ve found that generally, restaurants that offer a wine pairing service are more than happy to top off any of the wines being offered if you need/want more.


#17

Got to try Somni on Tuesday. The menu hasn’t changed much since @DTLAeater posted about it but we didn’t get the squid course. It doesn’t even seem like they substituted something else in it’s place. I won’t post my pictures since they’ve all been posted but just wanted to share some general thoughts.

I never got to try Ssam so I don’t know what the room liked before but I loved the clean aesthetics of the dining room. There was a minor service hiccup at the beginning of the meal. As the first courses arrived, we noticed that everyone had wine glasses set in front of them except us. So I asked the somm if there is supposed to be a pairing with this course and for some reason he was under the impression that we chose not to do the pairing (or any wine for that matter) even though no one had asked us. Looking back, I think the miscommunication happened when we were being walked in to the restaurant after the initial drink in the lobby where you’re presented with the wine menu. As we were walking, the server asked “Do you have any questions about the wine pairing?” And I replied “no” because we knew what we were getting. Somehow he took that as we’re not getting any wine? Besides that, the service was really amazing the rest of the night.

Few more thoughts about the wine. We went with the “Unique” wine pairing, which is their cheapest pairing at $175. They definitely do source smaller production wines so chances are, you’re probably not going to taste anything that you’ve had before. Some really fun wines but none of them really wowed me. There were also a couple of questionable pairings which I guess is expected when you’re serving 20+ courses but only 6 different pairings. If you’re not a big drinker, the pairing is definitely not good value. But what’s really cool about their wine program is that it’s essentially all you can drink. They constantly refill your wine glass throughout dinner so if you’re a big drinker, you should definitely get the pairing. And of course, as @DTLAeater mentioned, they use Zalto wine glasses which really heightens the drinking experience all the more.

The food was all presented beautifully. I would say there were 3 standout dishes, the spot prawns, lobster broth with potato croissant, and turbo fin. A few meh dishes and the rest fell under the “good but not memorable”. I think if one goes to Somni to eat the best tasting food of their lives, they’ll be disappointed. But if one goes to experience a unique, fun, and overall tasty dining experience, Somni sure delivers on that front. For us, it wasn’t the best food we’ve had but it was one of the best dining experiences we’ve had so we left as happy customers.


#18

Thanks for the report, I agree with your thoughts. The experience as a whole is fun, which makes you leave quite happy. I suspect the bigger menu changes will come after their mid-summer break at the end of August. Wine pairing was better and less expensive at Dialogue.


#19

Some dishes I have not seen in prior postings
Gin and pine ‘cocktail’

Shigoku oyster aguachile

Pizza margherita (crust made of almond meringue)

Sun and shadow. Coconut agar (black from squid ink) hiding some dungeness crab and uni.

Xuixo

Coconut custard

Fresas con nata


#20

Since I know so little about wine, I also know nothing Zaltos. Found an enjoyable article about them (posted to non-regional discussion about alcoholic beverages).