Chi Lin is so LA.
Sexy. Sleek. Pricey.
(Also, David Spade drove by me in some beat up car while I was waiting outside and yelled out “Is that place open yet?!”)
Forget all that noise, what drew me in was the mouth-watering menu.
I’m a sucker for any Asian cuisine. I could eat it every day, for every meal.
So, when someone comes along and does some cool stuff with it, I’m sold.
Don’t be frightened, I wouldn’t call this fusion. Just super high quality meats and produce, combined with unique uses of traditional ingredients.
To be honest, I don’t drag my ass up to Sunset very often (even though it’s literally four blocks away from me).
I wouldn’t exactly call it a foodies paradise. Douchies paradise, perhaps. But the hot, GOOD restaurants don’t often choose that location.
They usually choose the scariest street, next to the scariest crack den.
But IDG (Innovative Dining Group) is known for a lasting array of restaurants in their repetoire. They also own Boa Steakhouse, Katana, Sushi Roku and my favorite lunchspot (located right next to Chi Lin), Riva Bella.
They know their sh*t.
But that sh*t don’t come cheap.
You’re on Sunset Boulevard, people. Someone’s gotta pay that enormous rent!
I don’t mind passing out the bucks if the food’s good and thankfully Chi Lin really impressed me.
In a world of “meh”, I’m not easily impressed.
Before I go into the food, remember that the portions are definitely on the smaller side (and prices on the higher).
Hot and Sour Martini – You must order this version of a spicy margarita. Best drink on the menu, hands down.
Orange Glazed Baby Back Ribs: They were perfection. Tiny, tiny perfection. No fat or gristle. Remember to utilize the kumquat sauce drizzled all around it. Excellent flavors here.
Prawn, Crab and Asparagus Toast: Shellfish Alert! I actually ate and ENJOYED shellfish! What is happening to me?? Mark this day on your calendars. And remember to order this dish if you come here! So good.
Scallops with Toasted Black Beans and Garlic: Super spicy and super delicious. Scallops were excellently cooked. The heat is in the finely diced garnish, so don’t keep scooping that in your mouth if you’re afraid of the heat. Dummy.
Black Pepper Two Basil Filet Mignon: One of the best things I’ve ever put in my mouth!! Oh my god, this crap is good! Bold, tangy, mildly spicy sauce on crazy, crazy tender beef. I want more. I want more NOW.
The Pea Leaf and Water Chestnut Dumplings were good, but not great. A little too simple for my tastes. Order the crab and uni dumplings instead.
The Chile Garlic Brussels Sprouts were…..awful. I’m sorry, they were just terrible. We were warned they were going to be served cold but they were rubbery, bland and undercooked. I will not discount Chi Lin for this. It’s their first week of operation and they’re still seeing what works and what doesn’t.
One of the best things is that everyone at Chi Lin was VERY friendly!
Huh? Friendly on Sunset? You heard right, folks!
Our server, Courtney, was the best! Super nice, no bullsh*t, awesome.
Alan Young, the asst. general manager also swung by and was definitely a cool dude.
Overall, I LOVE this place. It’s perfect for a full on “night on the town” dinner or just sexy drinks and apps. You’ll pay a bit more (we spent about $100 per person, that includes tip) but was definitely no buyer’s remorse.
(JUST A HEAD’S UP, IT WAS SUPER DARK IN THERE, MY PICS AREN’T GREAT)