Latest Adventures

The Terrace Restaurant at the Langham, Pasadena


Category :

To celebrate Valentines Day, my husband and I went to The Terrace for dinner. We figured that we liked our Dining Room experience last year, so there should also be good food there for less buck. Plus, Open Table offered us a bonus of 1,000 points to dine there, so it was a pretty good incentive.

Before our appetizers came, we were served with a bread basket, which featured the regular sourdough bread, along with a parmesan/asiago cheese cracker bread. It also came with butter and a sundried tomato tapenade. The tapenade was excellent - I would have finished it, but our dishes came.

For starters, my husband ordered the Seared Sea Scallops, which were two delectable scallops served atop sauteed wild mushrooms, which were on top a truffle celery root puree and veal jus. I only had a small bite, which in my opinion was excellent, but I am a sucker for perfectly cooked scallops. It was also combined with one of my favorite things: mushrooms. I wish I had taken the time to savor the celery root puree and the veal jus, but frankly, I was enjoying my appetizer much more. Judging by the way my husband practically licked his plate clean, I would say that it was a great way to start the meal.

I ordered the Slow Braised Short Rib, which was served with a Castroville artichoke and a micro green salad. Let me preface the negative comments by saying I've never had a microgreen salad or a fresh artichoke. In my opinion, the salad would have been great if it hadn't been over salted (which will be a recurring thing); the leaves were tender and had a very "verdant" taste, for lack of better descriptors. But the salt overpowered that verdant taste, and killed it for me. The artichoke was served with roasted winter vegetables, some carrot and parsnips. It was uneventful for me, because I don't know how a fresh artichoke is supposed to taste, nor do I know if it's cooked perfectly or not. Besides, I was eagerly looking forward to polishing off the star of the dish - the short rib. Words cannot describe how good that short rib was. So I won't.

For my entree, I chose the bone-in rib eye, which was served with spring vegetables and bearnaise sauce. The steak was cooked perfectly, slightly pink and was very juicy and flavorful. My only complaint is that it was slightly on the salty side. The vegetables comprised of zuchinni and red peppers, tossed with dried rosemary and maybe some thyme, very boring. It also came with some red potatoes with caramelized onions, also very boring in terms of flavor profile. The bearnaise sauce was good, not too much champagne vinegar, although I thought that it was a little on the thick side.

My husband ordered the John Dory, pan roasted and served on top of ratatouille and beurre blanc. Quite frankly, I was so enamored with the short rib, I didn't pay much attention to the fish. But I thought the ratatouille tasted like tomatoes, and the fish tasted fresh.

For sides, we chose the creamed spinach (because I love creamed spinach) and ham and black truffle macaroni and cheese (because we have never had black truffles before). First the spinach: it was nasty. It was oversalted to the extreme, as if someone forgot that it has already been seasoned, and proceeded to season it again. If the salt wasn't bad enough, the overpowering scent and taste of the nutmeg will get to you. It was an overwhelmingly disappointing side dish. Now the mac and cheese: it wasn't that much better. It tasted like processed cheese, although I'm pretty sure it was most likely a low-grade sharp cheddar. The sauce wasn't really velvety smooth like it should be on a mac and cheese; it was clumpy and it seemed like the dish was left sitting under a heat lamp for a while (which would make sense, considering we got these dishes very late into our entrees). As for the truffles, it was only so-so. Seeing as I don't have a basis for comparison, I really can't say whether it was good or bad.

For dessert, I had planned on ordering something off the menu that one of the waiters highly recommended when, lo and behold, our server brought us a complimentary dessert of Dominican organic chocolate souffle accompanied with a sauce. It was a very yummy souffle, although it didn't make me forget what I originally wanted: coconut risotto, caramelized pineapple, coconut sorbet with a guava coulis.

It was an overall pleasant dining experience, more so for my husband than me, however. He got a second glass of whiskey on the house. For me, it seemed like I reached the pinnacle with that braised short rib, and everything went downhill from there. Dessert seemed to bring it back up, although I still think that the coconut pineapple dessert would have brought it up higher.