Over the past few months, Time Out has released a series of Iconic Table reviews, which are meant to reevaluate some of the more established restaurants in the city, and see how they are holding up over time. For the first two reviews, Tru and Blackbird, the answer seemed to be pretty well. Both had managed to evolve and grow despite the fact that neither had the celebrity chef that first put them on the map. But the same can’t be said for the new L20, which lost Laurent Gras to New York back in November. This, of course, happened after it won three Michelin stars. So why did Julia Kramer give the restaurant only three out of five stars?
While Kramer is “far from dancing on the restaurant’s future grave,” she did think that “things at L2O are precarious.” While the service is still top notch, some of the dishes had “strangely low” aspirations. That included the shrimp ceviche, which could “have easily been scooped onto tortilla chips.” Also there were multiple times when the seafood tasted “gritty.”
The best dishes tended to be the ones that Gras had created before he left. That brought on other issues for her: “Why bring in chefs to execute the old L2O rather than taking the restaurant in a genuinely new direction?” As things stand, she believes the respected seafood restaurant currently has a “strong resemblance to a cruise ship. Which is unfortunately fitting now that L2O is navigating such rough water.”
Restaurant Review: L20 [Time Out]