Gordon Ramsay’s high-calorie comfort food palace in the Grove.
Well, he also taught me the basics of how to cook a steak. So that was nice.
I went into his new temple of all things fatty, meaty and caloric Fat Cow with an open mind.
The vibe is…well, along the lines of what you see at a long of these newer Chef owned places. Long woodblock tables, some of them communal. A line of antique mirrors along the right-hand wall. Kitschy red vinyl sofa-wells on the same side.
The big, lit up sign saying “FAT COW”. Yeah, that’s different.
Reading the menu, it was an amazing mix of stuff that you just don’t expect…at least not together.
Okay, for one, if you see the name Fat Cow, you might think Steakhouse…but you’d be wrong. You do see steaks. You see burgers. You see the epononymous foods of Chef Ramsay’s native land: Fish and Chips, as well as Shepherds Pie.
But you also see Buttermilk Fried Chicken. Okay, not something I normally associate with Europeans…or at least Englishmen, anyway. You see Branzino Ceviche. You see hand crafted Pizzas and Donut holes for dessert.
The aim seems to have been to create that experience of going to a noveau-hipster place serving high-end comfort food, but at regular people prices. At least, close to normal people prices. (Still dropped $80 bucks, including tip that night). In that area, he’s succeeded grandly. The fact that the Hostesses are all managing their affairs and running around with iPads, definitely a nice touch.
Then there’s the food. The food…definitely does not suck. It definitely isn’t “meh”, or ordinary. I really liked what I had. I just didn’t love it. And that’s not the fault of the restaurant or the Chef, that’s on me. I think I saw the name, the brand, the legend, Gordon Ramsay, and expected that my mind was going to be blown…and it wasn’t. It was just a good meal. It’s weird, I don’t feel a hankering to go back, yet at the same time, there are a number of curiousities still on the menu I wouldn’t mind trying.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Well, I went in a bit of a odd directions. I went with two appetitzers and a Pizza. I saw the Charcuterie and Cheese on the menu, thought of England, and dove in. Not bad at all. The slices of cured meat was tasty, as was the hunks of blue cheese, and what appeared (and tasted) like gouda. The mind-blowing thing about that dish was the bread. Man, was that bread good. We got seconds of that.
Next, we got the meatballs. It reminded me of a tapas I once had at the late great Cobras Y Matadors. Very nice. Then we got the Spicy Sausage, Burrata and Fennel Pizza. This was also very, very nice. The fresh cheese tastes like the smoothest, creamiest, sweetest, loveliest sour cream you’ve ever had…only, you know, nowhere near sour and…great. Wonderful counterpoint to the rest of the Pizza. Only drawback, at least for me, the sausage, while fantastic…was nowhere even remotely spicy. Then again, Gordon’s facing the same battle the Ludo Truck did. Since I’m raised by Texans, we’ve got a very specific definition of what spicy is…and that ain’t it. Other than that, fantastic.
I wrapped it up with a pair of sugar crusted donut holes, filled with a chocolatey hazel nut cream. Very good. It’s not going to make you miss the Begniets down over at The Gumbo Pot, but very good. Plus, this place has a benefit, The Gumbo Pot doesn’t have…
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Fat Cow is literally, physically attached to the Grove’s Pacific Theater Complex. There is literally an entrance inside the Theater, opposite the human powered Ticket Counter. During my screening of The Hobbit, I noticed that a few of the patrons were coming in with small wrapped desserts from Fat Cow, something the Theater is apparently cool with. Take my advice, and take them up on that. Sure, nothing beats popcorn, but nothing beats those donut holes while you’re tucked away in your screening of whatever.
PARKING: Well, you’re parking in the Grove’s Parking structure. Trust me. Life is just easier that way.
The Fat Cow
The Grove L.A.
189 The Grove Drive O-10
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Sunday – Thursday 11am to 11pm
Friday – Saturday 11am to 12am