Restaurant Reinvention: Gordon Ramsay at The London and Catch at Casa del Mar Look to the Sea

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Braised pork belly with quail egg scallop and clams, at Gordon Ramsay at The London Photo: Tatiana Arbogast

Poised over the voids of being both functional enough to process over-nighters and attractive enough to keep guests from straying into the city's more gabbed-about destination, the hotel restaurant is more often than not faced with an uphill battle in an already competitive playing field. On the tail of Caulfield's reinvention at The Thompson Hotel last week, we smack into two more hotel restaurants revising their plans of attack, both spearheaded by a heavy arsenal of seafood.

The glided cages of Gordon Ramsay at the London Hotel can feel a little stiff in our day of small plates, part of the reason chef Anthony Keene is remaking the menu. Intent on infusing a more "Californian" feel to his roster, the bill of fare is now re-calibrated into a selection of 27 shareable plates merging East and West, along with three entree-sized items and two hulking dishes served for two.

50% of the new list centers on seafood, with dishes like a seventeen-dollar lobster roll, shrimp agnolotti, halibut with chorizo, jalapeno, and Gigante beans, snapper with kaffir lime and curry shrimp broth, and blackened John Dory with cotija, avocado, and tortillas. Prices mostly fall along the mid-to-late teens, while starters include marrow toast and polenta with aged goat cheese, and entrees include Liberty Farms duck with duck meatballs and star anise and a six-ounce Wagyu New York steak with marrow crust. Check out the full menu online.

Catch

"Grand" Shellfish Platter at CatchCatch

Over in Santa Monica, Catch at Casa del Mar is utilizing a new corporate chef, Sven Mede, to oversee a complete overhaul of its menus. Mede served Michael Mina's outfit for twelve years and was recently the executive chef at his Aria restaurant, American Fish. Reps with the restaurant tell us Catch is concentrating on "being the premiere seafood restaurant on the Westside."

The new menu offers four crudos, including Maine diver scallops with black truffle and green apple, as well as Skuna Bay salmon with pineapple and jalapeno, along with servings of whole fish, cioppino, tagliatelle with clams, salt-baked blue prawns, and a $68 grand shellfish platter with Alaskan king crab, Maine lobster, oysters, Cherrystones, shrimp, and ceviche. See Catch's full new menu below.

CATCH MENU

raw bar

OYSTERS-EAST COAST OR WEST COAST
Half dozen, Sherry Mignonette and Smoky Cocktail Sauce | 18

SKUNA BAY SALMON CRUDO
Pineapple, Jalapeno, Cilantro, Crispy Capers | 12

MAINE DIVER SCALLOP CRUDO
Black Truffle, Green Apple Matchsticks, Basil | 14

HAWAIIAN BIG EYE TUNA CRUDO
Preserved Carrots, Crispy Ginger, Asian Pear | 14

JAPANESE YELLOWTAIL CRUDO
Jaime Farms Radish, Cucumber, Meyer Lemon | 14

MARINATED BEEF CARPACCIO
Pine Nuts, Arugula, Garlic Chips | 14

CIOPPINO
Mussels, Clams, Scallop, Shrimp, Seared Local Sea Bass,
Saffron-Rouille Crostini | 28

appetizer

GRILLED SPANISH OCTOPUS
Smoked Potatoes, Paprika, Merula Olive Oil | 16

CEDAR-SMOKED TASMANIAN OCEAN TROUT
Weiser Farms Carrots, Parsley & Pink Peppercorn Vinaigrette | 16

STEAMED CARLSBAD MUSSELS
Saffron Cream, Garlic, Grilled Morcilla | 11

CRISPY ARTICHOKES
Black Olive Dust and Meyer Lemon Aioli | 10

ROASTED KUROBUTA PORK BELLY
Grilled Onion Marmalade, Mustard Seeds, Jalapeno-Corn Muffin | 15

NANTUCKET BAY SCALLOPS
Salad of Chanterelles, Ruccola and Caramelized Apples | 19

soup & salads

ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
Crème Fraîche and Toasted Zucchini Bread | 11

GARDEN GREENS
Fuyu Persimmons, Pomegranate,
Sweet & Sour Pears | 12

FARMERS MARKET ROASTED BEETS
Burrata, Grapefruit, Arugula, Toasted Pistachios | 18

MARINATED HEIRLOOM TOMATOES
Basil and Shaved Peccorino | 16

RUSSIAN RED KALE SALAD
Pine Nuts, Serrano Chile, Maple-Sherry Vinaigrette | 12

seafood
Served with Roasted Local Vegetables, Garden Herb Vinaigrette & Grilled Lemon

GRILLED SKUNA BAY SALMON | 26

MUSTARD MARINATED CALIFORNIAN BLACK COD | 30

PEPPER CRUSTED HAWAIIAN BIG EYE TUNA | 29

WHOLE GRILLED TWO POUND MAINE LOBSTER | 55

WHOLE MEDITERRANEAN BRANZINO
“Head to Tail” | 38

ROASTED NEW ZEALAND JOHN DORY
“Meuniere” | 36

SALT-BAKED PACIFIC BLUE PRAWNS
“Head-on” | 32

MIXED GRILL Selected Shellfish, Ocean Fish & Spanish Chorizo | 30

grill
Served with Skillet Potatoes, Cippolini Onions,
Brusselsprouts, House Made Steak Sauce

MARINATED SKIRT STEAK | 8oz | 28

CENTER-CUT PRIME FILET | 8oz | 42

WASHIMI FARMS WAGYU
BONE IN RIB EYE | 24oz | 68

JIDORY CHICKEN BREAST | 26

COLORADO LAMB CHOPS | 40

entrees

SLOW-BRAISED SHORT RIB
Grilled Broccolini, Skillet Potatoes, Black Garlic Gremolata | 28

TAGLIATELLE & CLAMS
Baby Artichokes, Cippolini Onions, Heirloom Spinach | 24

WILD MUSHROOM RISOTTO
Swiss Chard, Ruccola, Candied Hazelnuts | 22