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Chateau Hanare – West Hollywood, CA

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Chateau Hanare is a newcomer on the Chateau Marmont lot, just off of Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood.  Chateau Marmont with its long celebrity history has partnered up with restaurateur Reika Alexander from En Brasserie in the West Village in Manhattan, New York to open a Kaiseki-style restaurant in an unused bungalow next to the hotel.  Chef Abe Hiroki is at the helm preparing an a la carte menu, as well as two tasting menus featuring some of the freshest Japanese comfort food in town.

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The ambiance of the newly renovated building has casual, but high-end flair with an exquisite patio offering low lighting and teak furnishings tucked into the Hollywood Hills above.  The staff and manager all eager to begin service with elegance and warmth you would find in such an institution.

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The menu begins with housemade soft tofu served warm in a ceramic bowl and drizzled with wari-joyu, a combination of soy, marin and dashi.  The tofu mimics a rich custard that melts over your tongue like a savory creme brulee.  Carved strips of Amberjack Kampachi with white sesame sauce and scallions settle in with elegance and earthly pleasure, a second bite is quite inviting.

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Tomatoes with Truffled Burrata and dashi gelee was a plate straight from a Michelin 3-star restaurant – elegant, seasonal and divine.  The chilly squares of dashi enrobe baby tomatoes as if they were grown together in the garden and the creamy cheese brought you back to a small town cafe in Italy.

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Baked Ninjin displayed as a bed of Roasted Heirloom Carrots lying in a pool of barley-miso mayonnaise.  The rustic presentation with earthly mix of flavors was much more delightful than anything you could find in Mr. McGregor’s garden.

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The Rice Pot was worth the 40 minute preparation, created in earthenware and steamed to perfection.  The flaky rice and salmon delicately scooped from the pot and served in small bowls with fresh salmon roe, reminded me of one of the best summers spent at the sea.

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Matcha Meringues eaten by moonlight was a nice finish to a meal in the middle of this bustling city.  A nice place to unwind with smoothing ambiance and updated flavors of Japan.

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