Jiraffe- a restaurant that I have been wanting to try since the DineLA event last year, but did not get the chance to do so then. So I made sure to put the place on top of my list of restaurant to try this time around.
I am so glad that I did.
My reservation was at 6:15pm. I left my home more than an hour earlier anticipating the heavy traffic of the 405 freeway at around traffic hours. I was beyond shock that there were literally no traffic on the freeway at that time! I breezed through the drive in under 36 minutes which was amazing, a true record.
The restaurant is situated very near the 3rd Street promenade, so the area was bustling with people and energy. Being that I arrived there so early, I was able to park my car almost right outside the restaurant. And I found out that I did not need to pay the meter after 6pm – great.
The place is not huge, but the feeling is airy and comfortable. The decor provided a very warm and homely feel with its dark wood, high ceiling, and crystal chandelier. Very importantly, the place felt very clean. There was a loft (2nd level) once inside the restaurant.
We were seated in a small table right next to the window. We started with the Mushroom Cappuccino, served piping hot in a tiny egg shaped vessel. The mushroom flavor was strong and fragrant with a smooth and creamy foam on top, really good.
The Black Linguini with red deep sea crab had absolutely the tastiest big chunks of crab that I have ever eaten. The linguini was al dente with a delicious fresh cherry tomato sauce.
I ordered The Alaskan Halibut BLT, while my companion had the Angus Filet of Beef. The fish was done to perfection, moist but firm at the same time. The ultra thin layer of potato crust was light and crunchy. The flavor of the cherry tomato sauce complimented the fish well with its slight tanginess.
The Angus beef was probably one of the best I had ever had – melt-in-the-mouth soft, juicy, and flavorful.
The desserts were as good as expected. A good dessert is one that should not be too sweet. One should be able to taste all the different components, instead of just the sweet flavor. The Chocolate Bourbon Cake was exactly that. It had a light chocolate taste with bits of sweetness, and a dollop of fresh cream on top. The Nectarine and Blueberry Cobbler had mostly chunks of nectarines baked under cookie crumbles and topped with ice cream. I would have preferred the nectarines softer, but nevertheless, it was quite refreshing.
A strong cup of cappuccino rounded off the evening for me. With the excellence of the food, the cheerful attentiveness of the waiting staff, the relaxing, airiness and comfort of the atmosphere, Jiraffe did not disappoint.
Jiraffe: 502 Santa Monica Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90401 Phone: 310-917-6671