Saturday, August 17, 2013

Restaurant Review: Lion & Compass

Lion & Compass - visited for dinner on July 30, 2013
If you're keeping an eye on the dates when I bake things and when I go out to eat, I'm caught up to August for my baking experiments but the eateries are still where I've gone in July. Yeah, I really do eat out a lot.  And this isn't the last restaurant/eatery/bakery post for July either.
Macadamia-Crusted Seabass
Lion & Compass is the quintessential restaurant for business lunches and dinners.  It's in a bit of an odd location in that it's a standalone restaurant amidst a residential area of condos and apartments but across from a half-empty office park and right off the freeway. But the restaurant is large and portions of it can be sectioned off and there are little rooms that would cozily hold a party of 8 and a library (yes, it really seems to be a library if you call a room lined with bookshelves and books with dim lighting a library) that can hold a larger group of 16-20.
Grilled Filet Mignon
Its cuisine is best classified as upscale American fare and they do a nice job with various seafood, pasta and meat dishes. They also have a good selection of salads and vegetarian entrees so it's usually safe to take business acquaintances and colleagues here and not have to worry that someone won't be able to find something to suit their dietary preferences.  It's a higher price point but the food is generally pretty good. For this dinner, I ordered the filet mignon pictured above and it was cooked perfectly, was tender and the mushroom sauce was delicious.
Someone ordered this but I can't remember what it was
I get together regularly with a group of former colleagues from my last company.  Our get togethers started out as my VP and another VP doing combined team dinners so all the team members can relax and get to know each other.  Turns out we liked each other outside of the office too and it's now morphed into friends getting together for dinner, no longer bound together just by work.  Which is really nice, especially considering that out of the 9-10 people in the regular group, only 1 person is still at our old company yet we all continue to get together because we like seeing each other.
Soy-Seared Salmon with Shrimp Potstickers
There were seven of us at this last dinner as a few others couldn't make it but we had a good time and were lucky enough to be in an enclosed room.  It wasn't such a tight squeeze that we were sitting on top of each other but it was secluded enough from the rest of the restaurant and the bar just outside the room that we could talk comfortably and not worry about making too much noise or having the noise from the rest of the restaurant intrude on the conversation.
Butterscotch Pot de Creme
All the pics posted here aren't what we got at the last dinner (just the first 4 above were taken then) but since I've been to Lion & Compass often enough before, I'm also adding the pictures I've taken on previous visits.  I had the filet mignon and didn't have room for dessert this time around so these dessert pictures are from past visits.  The Butterscotch Pot de Creme above is my dessert of choice when I want to indulge (and have room).  While I normally don't like custard-type desserts, I make exceptions for creme brulee and creamy custards like this one.  I also don't normally like butterscotch since it can get too sweet but the one from Lion & Compass was really good, smooth and creamy with the perfect butterscotch flavor.
Apple Tart
The Profiteroles are quite good as well because a) they're filled with ice cream instead of whipped cream, b) the choux pastry is crisp and light and c) they're smothered in chocolate sauce.  What's not to love?

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