189 by Dominique Ansel
Situated on the second floor above our Bakery, the menu is driven by the food we love – casual, honest, and with a bit of surprise. Our food is rooted in traditional French techniques, but the flavors range from different cultures and uses the best California produce we can get our hands on. The restaurant seats up to 150, including indoor and outdoor terrace and bar seating.
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Food was barely possible. The steak was horrible. The kids and brought food out at different times. And the desert, which you think would be amazing, as a frozen apple pie cake that tasted like cardboard
The concept was innovative and we were excited about trying 189 since we're huge fans of the cronut and have gotten them in NYC for years. The first issue was being seated. Although I had requested outdoor seating (and called to confirm), we were told the patio was full. On looking out the door I noticed there was only one table seated outside. I was told that since I didn't have a reservation we couldn't sit outside - - but I DID have a reservation. Finally they seated us at a very tiny, in the shadow of the building table which was right by the servers stand (not fun). It was upsetting when we left to see all of the many, many empty tables which were nice and in the sun. The concept was fun - they give you a check list with tons of food listed and then they bring serving bowls by your table and if you want some of it they put a check in that box and you pay for it. The problem was that we were there for an hour and only got sweet items - - after pancakes, waffles and chocolate souffle we really didn't want more sweet items. Food was very good but how many sweet things can you eat??? Disappointing for sure. Server was totally inattentive which was surprising as the place was almost empty and acted like he could care less. We were charged for ice tea refills ($4.50 a glass - - for tea?????) which was not mentioned on the menu. It was hard to get our check and pay which was aggravating. Always wanted to eat here and now am disappointed that I did. Server training would pay off big for this place. Will not go back.
If I could enter zero stars I would. Came for dinner with out of town guests on a Sunday night. We were seated, ordered drinks and all seemed right with the world. As we were discussing menu options our server informed us that the lone fish dish was unavailable. As an afterthought she mentioned that perhaps a piece of salmon from the kids menu could be substituted (combined with the ingredients from the original recipe) I had fleeting thoughts of a cringing executive chef who carefully planned his flavor profile around a Loup de mer, but okay.
We opted for the brick-pressed chicken instead. Turns out that too was unavailable. Chicken...unavailable...in Los Angeles. "We were really busy last night!" said our beleaguered server who promptly vanished. So with two out of only seven entree options gone we waved the bartender over and asked what they DID have. "Oysters!", he said. "Are they fresh?" we asked. "Oh yes, they were delivered yesterday". Needless to say, we found another place to eat in the neighborhood that somehow managed to have everything on the menu...It was delightful.
We went on a Sunday night. The place was practically empty and we experienced the first place as incredibly under staffed. It took too long to get our order taken and extra long for each course. There were several items on the menu that they were out of. The pasta dish we ordered was recommended and so salty we sent it back. I like to think that it’s better on a busy night, but that’s no excuse! I assume it’s a night that they consider training for the kitchen staff? Unbelievable, especially for the price point. Will not recommend or no plans to return. Utter disappointment.
Servers are nice but you have to get their attention. They only come to your table when they are asking if you want to try the new dish or pastry that came out fr the kitchen. Asked a few times for water refills n such.
The dimsum idea doesnt work for their menu unless they produce enough of each item at once otherwise you'll get served fried chicken then souffle then raw salmon followed by pancake then salad...so random...food comes out slow, they carry 1 item at a time n not enough of it...so you end up waiting longer.
I was celebrating running a half marathon. Dominique Ansel is a fave of mine and while the food was good, the service was poor. I probably won’t be back for a while.
Possibly one of the worst, slowest services I’ve experienced. Had to ask for water refill 4 times. Had to ask for the basic eggs twice.m before we finally got them. Food came around once every 5-10 minutes and every single table was sitting around waiting for food. Sometimes server would serve certain tables and just skip others as they walked around with food. Food was usually cold by the time it got served. Ran out of lobster rolls by 12:15 and restaurant opened at 11.
Love the dim sum style brunch at Dominique Ansel! Wish I lived close enough to go there every weekend. Amazing food, lots of things to try, everything is very fresh.
The brunch was vastly underwhelming. Even with a Travelzoo deal, it was not worth what we paid. I will not return.
Love *everything* that Chef Ansel creates, but not a fan of the brunch format at this location.
There is a lot of room for improvement at 189.
If you’re not seated in a particular area, you’re last to get any offerings. If you’re a family of 4, the servers give you a portion for two people by default. It was frustrating to dine here - and multiple requests for fruit or other dishes was/were simply ignored.
We also had a beverage served with a gnat floating in it and it was a long wait to get a replacement, not to mention we also waited and re-ordered another (separate) drink for another person in our party three times. Servers were simply not happy to be there and definitely not focused on the customers.
The food, on the other hand - whenever you were lucky to get something- was truly delicious.
awesome style open table brunch, love the choices, cute space and very quite early on the weekends
My husband and I are in town for a wedding and received a recommendation from my girl friend that this brunch experience was a must, and we were not disappointed!! So delicious and an overall special experience!
first time being here. maybe because we came early, the restaurant just quite empty. we ordered some happy hour food & others from the menu.
the drinks i ordered were very delicious!
not to mention, the service was super awesome. thank you for taking care of us and for the birthday treat :)
Staff seemed very poorly trained. No one greeted us when we were sat and explained how the menu and dining experience works. They bring out items “dim sum” style, however they very infrequently brought items by, a lot of them were not fresh and or warm. Over all staff and experience felt very disorganized and was a very large tab for cold not fresh food and having to constantly look for servers
This is my fifth time at Dominique Ansel. This should tell you something about satisfaction with 189.
The service, the food, the setting, and the food are excellent.
Terrible format. They bring out food dim sum style so it’s hard to plan what you will be eating. For example, the lobster roll came out at the end when we were full so we had no opportunity to try. The dishes are also carb heavy.
Food was amazing, service great, and because it was DineLA week their special meal was a fantastic value. The ONLY downside was that we sat in a virtually empty dining room. It made for a very odd situation. The rest of the restaurants downstairs in The Grove were all buzzing with excitement and people.
The place was empty with only a couple tables occupied throughout the evening. There seemed to be only a skeleton crew of a staff: one server, one bartender, a runner, and a busser. For the most part, the staff was friendly, although service was slow because there were so few staff members. Where was a manager?
We had the dineLA menu and were disappointed. The gnocchi were flavorless, the ribeye fatty and tough (I know ribeye isn’t cheap, I’d rather have a small portion of really tasty, well prepared meat than the large mediocre steak we were served), and the hamachi had an odd texture (chewy and a bit leathery) perhaps being frozen by the lime granita which overwhelmed the dish. The mushroom Cacio e Pepe dish was over peppered to the point where my companion and I both had coughing fits while eating it.
The cocktails were good.
We understand dineLA can be hit and miss as well as really stressful for a restaurant staff, so perhaps don’t participate anymore. It certainly didn’t seem to bring people in and the food was so disappointing that even at what is supposed to be a discounted price point, we felt overcharged.
Someone put some love into this place or call it a day. My friend and I have both worked at restaurants that have trudged slowly towards death from neglect and recognized the symptoms pretty quickly during our dinner.
If someone does read this, my regards to the FOH staff who did the best they could with the resources at hand. I can’t speak for the kitchen as I don’t know if it is fair to blame the hourly staff working on a Sunday for issues (quality of food, creation of dishes, so much more) that perhaps originate higher in the company.
Rip off. $60 for finger foods. Waiters interrupting your meal way too often
Dominque Ansel is of fame particular for being the creator of the cronut, the beloved new sweet pastry with the taste of a donut but having the multiple layers and complexity of a croissant. As a pastry chef, the food that hover around being baked are what excel here. This is why the bakery downstairs is always packed while the restaurant itself is sometimes empty, even on a Friday night.
The interior of the upstairs dining room is absolutely beautiful with translucent emerald leaves floating below the ceiling and clean white everywhere. The center bar is beautiful and adds a bit of industrial feel to the ambiance and the balcony portion on the outside gives a great view of the Grove, with live music usually playing in the evening just below.
Some of their staple items are the milk bread "elote" which has the smooth texture of a milk bread but tastes just like the Latin street corn so loved in Los Angeles food culture without the heaviness behind it. Seared Hen of the Woods Mushrooms with Fresh Egg Cacio e Pepe (Cheese & Pepper) Sauce is a very subtle flavor and won't fill you up but has a great feel in your mouth. The pork belly was delicious though a bit too fatty for the cut they gave us. Also, all the items are small in portion so if you're thinking of getting full off one dish you'll be sorely disappointed. You'll probably need more than 3 entrees to truly feel satisfied.
The price is high for the items which is why ordering multiple courses will be a costly night out. Highly recommend this place as an intermediate dinner spot, a place to grab a bite and drink before heading to an actual dinner. But if you do find yourself here make sure to go to the bakery and get some of those famous cronuts before heading out.
Saturday Brunch review
With Travelzoo voucher
Interesting dim sum style concept, ambiance is very nice. Food was few and far between, there were 6 tables of eaters for a busy Saturday at the Grove. It was basically empty. The Travelzoo cost was for $59 per person and we only could eat about $45 per person of food and non refillable coffee since we did not drink.
Food was ok and we ended up with the “scrapping” of the bowl remnants quite a few times. Favorite were the eggs and thick cut bacon.
Servers were helpful and friendly. Concept might work better if restaurant was full and food would come out hopefully more frequently.
Glad we tried the Brunch concept and will try the bakery next time.
Service was slow. Not much attention to detail, especially on the patio. Way overpriced. Restaurant was mostly empty.
Food was very slow to come out during our visit. Very long periods between dishes. While our waiter was great? He explained there were only 2 people in the kitchen preparing food. So not sure whether that was the case or that dishes were not fired in a timely manner.
Tried this restaurant during Dine L.A. What a great find and what a great meal for a reasonable price. Even included a glass of wine, coffee and a delicious dessert. I am so glad that I tried it for dine L.A. week and will certainly be back again and again. Sat out on the patio...had their mushroom appetizer that was delicious. My friend had the little dough balls which went perfectly with the mushrooms. Then I had fresh, and I mean, fresh, fish and my friend had the steak. Everything was presently beautifully and everything was delicious. Dessert....cheesecake and apple pie...neither of them are what you expect those items to be...they were perfect, flavorful and delicious. Wait staff were very friendly, helpful and efficient...very low key...they didn't look down their nose at you. A casual, fun place to dine. Outside was perfect. a lovely evening...quiet....and a view of the grove water fountains with a bit of music. Don't miss it.
The food was good but noise level isn’t good . Too loud . The waitress was very helpful .
We bought pastries downstairs in the bakery and they forgot to give us our frozen s’mores. My daughter was very disappointed. But called the manager the next day and Jake and Rachel was helpful . They refunded me and gave my daughter after frozen s’more .
I really enjoyed our brunch. The starter of eggs, coffee, and juice is a must and such a great value at $10. Everything else we had was delicious and the portions were great. Food was coming out of the kitchen at a pretty steady pace, but there were items that we wanted to try that just didn't make it out in the time we were there. We tried the fried chicken, which was juicy and crispy, the spicy potatoes which were good, but not even remotely spicy, the pancakes which were delicious and fluffy, and one of the baked goods (sort of sugary croissant muffin thing) that was pretty good, but I would probably skip it next time. Overall, really good food, loved the dim sum style serving, and I will definitely be back.
We loved the food, and our server Bri was so nice and funny. I would definitely recommend it for a birthday or special occasion
The ambiance is good for the location. But the food was not up to the hype. It might be a good tourist spot, but as a local I wouldn't go again. The drinks were blah, the scallops were bad. The burgers were fine, but nothing to return for.
Very expensive! Yummy though!
So disappointing - Sunday Brunch served haphazardly in a weird walkabout with trays of cold food - terrible idea and worse execution
I had a Travelzoo deal for $60 for brunch. This was a FANTASTIC value, but I don't think I would have paid the full $140 or so. However, the food was delicious and came out warm, and we were able to sit out on the patio and it wasn't too loud or crowded. I would come here again with another coupon!
The ambiance felt comfortable and calm. The food tasted delicious and artistic in aesthetics. Overall a very good place for a good, quality meal.
Staff and servers were very nice however it took forever to get our food and the restaurant was may 20% full. My burger came with the bun burned and since we had tickets for a live show, I just removed the most of the bun and dealt with it. The server offered us a comped dessert but the burger should have never been brought to the table that way in the first place. We politely declined. Also, we were seated at the corner table with a lovely view of the Grove however, it was ruined by a fly inside the restaurant that kept banging against the window, a moth, and other small insects that kept flying around. This made no sense to me. This was a $100 dinner for two... insects should not be included!!!
This is a restaurant that I rally like. The service level was disappointing on my most recent visit.
Great brunch, especially the sweet dishes. Go with an appetite and someone to share food with
It was my girlfriends birthday. We had a party of five (our moms, us and my teenaged son).
- The place was nice lookin
- we had no trouble making a reservation thru open table
- the servers were very nice
- we love the dim sum like experience
- the fried chicken, Dutch pancake, salmon and Apple tart were really great.
- some of the food was a little cold (hash and sweet potatoes)
- while the servers were very nice, the service was pretty bad. We had to constantly ask for refills and there were long pockets of time where they weren’t passing out food. By the end of the meal I actually had to ask if they’d brought everything around (they hadn’t). It should be noted that only four other tables were occupied at the time.
- sometimes they brought the same food twice when we hadn’t even been offered other options yet (so you’re filling up without trying everything)
- my girlfriend asked for the eggs to be cooked well but they still came out runny and someone luke warm
- the Matcha pancake and pork sausage weren’t so great. Eggs were ok but not enough toast.
- honestly... I think it’s overpriced and under delivers on the dim sum experience.
Having said all that we had an ok time and experience but I really feel like with a little training it could be a great experience. I’ve been here twice and both times it’s been mostly empty. Probably these are the reasons why.
Food was good and service was attentive. Over the top pricing as in $25 for a burger and fries. The pastries are outstanding.
My waitress Erin was very inattentive. She checked on us once which was only because I asked a question. The party that sat down next to us 10 minutes after we were seated got all her attention. She checked on them frequently and made pleasant conversation continuously with them and overlooked us. I did not find that professional. All guest should be treated equal. Though the food was good my family’s experience was ruined by the very poor service. I expected more from this establishment.
The food was decent, the pastries and baked goods being the star of the show. We were there for a dim sum style brunch and the service was horrible, despite the restaurant being maybe 1/3 full. We asked three different people a total of five times for creamer for coffee. We asked the same waiter three times for the juice we ordered. We had to ask twice for silverware. It was actually laughable at one point. Perhaps this brunch style is new for them and the kinks are getting worked out. I would skip the brunch and just go downstairs and buy individual pastries.
First, the facts: The restaurant is located on the second floor in The Grove. So you'll have to deal with the parking and crowds there. But that's OK. Next, the incredible bakery of Dominique Ansel is on the first floor. It's hard to leave without buying something there. The restaurant is lovely - a bright, open space with an outdoor dining area overlooking the Grove crowd below that's enjoyable. The service was wonderful - but that might be because there wasn't much of a crowd for lunch the day I and a friend ate there. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised at the atmosphere and service. It's a beautiful place. But now, the food. Keep in mind I was only there for lunch, and the dinner menu is different. I had the Tender Chicken salad, which is healthy and good. Nothing spectacular, but did the trick. My friend had the Rotisserie Chicken, which was not only bland, but under-cooked -- so much so that my friend couldn't eat it. (They didn't charge us for her meal.) Bottom line: I feel it's hard to judge a place based on one meal. I will probably come back for dinner just to see how it is. It could be my friend's meal was an outlier. So while I cannot recommend it, I can't say it was a bad experience either. Despite her meal, we enjoyed ourselves.