Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sona's Little Pleasures

So I finally decided to give Sona a try since overall I've heard positive reviews about it. It was hard getting a reservation through OpenTable although when I arrived the restaurant was practically empty. Kind of sad, but at least his Comme Ca is doing well (they did have more tables filling up as the night went on, although still wasn't packed).

The place is well decorated with a sleek, minimal style.

We started with an amuse bouche: a shot glass of watermelon "gazpacho". The shot was chilled and was actually sweet, almost as sweet as pure watermelon juice.

They had 4-5 different types of bread, including an interesting Earl Grey one which I tried.

One of the great things about Sona is that when you order their Chef's tasting menu, they will try and serve each person a different dish - but along the same line - giving you even more opportunities to try out different dishes!!! (This was one of the reasons I can't remember all that I ate - there were so many different ones!)

The chef de cuisine was Japanese and so they have been serving a lot of Japanese-influenced dishes. Tonight, also, we started with a couple of sashimi dishes.
One of them was a kanpachi (i wuv my kanpachi):
The pieces were nice and fresh and I really enjoyed the sauce and garnish.

The other fish was I think, albacore? I can't really remember anymore, it's been a while.

Then we had the veal sweetbreads and lobster ravioli (!!!!)
How much goodness can you fit in one dish? I haven't had that many sweetbreads in my life, but this was the best one I've had so far. The lobster ravioli and its broth was pretty light and managed to cut the richness of the sweetbread very well.

The roasted corn soup was also a great dish:
It was served with a braised pork belly. The pork belly was just a wee bit dry, but overall good, and the corn soup itself was amazing.

We then moved on to the fish dishes. One was the seabass.
The sauce for this dish was great, but as far as the fish itself goes, I've had better seabass. This one was a little overcooked/ a little dry.

The other was a halibut. Now, this was delicate and delicious.
It was cooked just right, flakey and juicy. I believe it was served with english pea puree.

Then came the meat dishes. This one I believe was Venison.
Cooked perfectly medium rare, it was a very tender piece of meat.

One of us got the roasted squab, which was delectable!
I liked this better than the venison, personally.

Then they proudly presented the Seared Wagyu Beef
It was definitely delicious and well-prepared, but I'm not sure if I'm that big on it ... it was very fatty - you can see the marbling! I somehow felt like I was eating fat (yes, I'll devour foie gras any day), so it was a bit weird ... although again, it was delicious.

A mint-cucumber granita was served as a palate cleanser. I always love these granitas as they are always so refreshing, and mint is a love of mine :)

We were offered a cheese platter, which I accepted (they charged extra for it though, which I wasn't aware of before :( ... Providence didn't charge!)

Again, couldn't really remember ... there was goat cheese for one ...
The three cheeses were served with: 1) balsamic vinegar, 2)hazelnuts and 3) sea salt caramel (yum!)
Now, on to the desserts: I don't really remember what this dessert was - I think there was some passionfruit in it.
Anyway, it wasn't anything memorable.

Next was some sort of panna cotta with coffee gelee. This dish was really small. The gelee and panna cotta were ti~ny, not even bite sized.
It's hard to say how this was, the little bites barely allowed for any taste, especially since Panna cottas themselves aren't exactly bursting with flavor.

My favorite dessert that night was the Chocolate Beignet:
Melted dark chocolate inside a rich chocolate dough with a crispy outer layer. This was also served with ice cream which I didn't take a picture of.

All in all it was a wonderful, leisurely meal. On the whole everything was well done with quite a few of very memorable dishes. Everything was very beautifully presented of course. Compared to Providence, the dishes are less innovative, but on the upside it provides a certain 'comfort level' for both chef and customer ... (the salt and pepper ice cream from my last Providence visit for example I found ... strange). Anyway, I really enjoyed my meal and will definitely be back another time. Maybe rotate with Providence now? Or Ortolan?

401 North La Cienega Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90048
310 659 7708

Sona on Urbanspoon


H. C.

Haha, I tend to have a hard time keeping my dishes straight in a tasting menu too -- I usually try to see if I can keep the menu and take copious notes with my Blackberry, to the chagrin of my fellow dining companions (as if the photo-taking wasn't enough!)

But looks & sounds like a fantastic meal overall. I don't know if I can handle that many fatty dishes at once tho... sweetbreads, wagyu beef, squab! I can imagine tastebuds going "oh yay!" and my arteries "oh no!" at the same time!


The seared wagu beef looks the least appetizing to me too! I don't think I would care to bite my way through all that fat! The pork belly on the other hand...


It's certainly true that the fat would turn off a lot of people!
But as far as photos go, I still think that's one of my best - because of the black board it came on! :)


that last pic - the chocolate dessert looks like some sort of insect!!!!!

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