Every once in a while we try something new. In the case of Rothschilds Restaurant in CDM on PCH it is more of something old. They have been there since the 1970’s. Why it took so long to get to eating there I don’t know.
For years we have driven by Rothschilds on Pacific Coast Highway in Corona Del Mar and said “We should go”. We finally did. From the outside it is hard to make too many assumptions other than it must be good because it is always busy. We used Open Table to book a reservation online and look at the website. Walking in the door we didn’t find what we expected.
Passing the Bar
The bar and restaurant is quite a bit smaller than the impression the website gives. This isn’t a bad thing, it was just a bit unexpected. The crowd at the bar made it hard to get to the hostess for check in. In fact she came over and told people to move. We arrived 20 minutes early hoping to get a cocktail at the bar, but that didn’t happen. Thankfully our table was ready.
Because we arrived early we were in no rush and neither was the staff. We never felt like we needed to get out so they could turn the table. There are two Rothschilds apparently. We learned this on the way when I tried to put the location in the GPS. The other is in Los Angeles. This Rothschilds in CDM was almost two different places even though it was so small. The bar area was packed and full of energy in a small space.
The restaurant was three different areas, one downstairs outside, one downstairs inside and the area we were seated in. Up the stairs is a small dining room with just a few tables. The perfect spot for a birthday dinner or anniversary celebration. We caught the sunset as we ordered our cocktails.
A Wine List or Wine Book
Some publications rate a restaurant on the size of the wine menu. Personally that is a waste of storage and can overwhelm even knowledgable wine drinkers. My wife and I are both WSET level 2 award holders, and when I am handed a 10 page wine book I find it like an insecure child bragging about how many toys they have. Most of which they have never played with. What we look for is a small list with a great breadth of wine. Something for everyone and every meal. Rothschilds had exactly that list. I didn’t need to select from 15 St. Emillion Grand Cru’s. To me that says they select good wine and move on instead of buying it all hoping someone doesn’t have a clue and buys something.
The next step was the menu. Once again, a nice selection of choices without so many as to be overwhelming. Just two steaks, one lamb plate, and a couple of fish and chicken options along with pasta and some sides. We started with the truffle fries to go with our cocktails while we watched the sunset and pondered our dinner choices. I was stuck between the Lamb Pasta and the chicken dish. At the last second I changed to the filet.
Le Vache Tells The Story
I was once told you can tell everything about a restaurant by the filet, especially when ordered “Blue”. Several articles suggest that blue isn’t the right way to order a steak. In this case I disagree with both. Blue was the correct way to order the steak I received. It also wasn’t representative of the entire restaurant or the eventing. Like many restaurants the steak had a salt crust. Not something I like or prefer. The salt takes away from the meat. After cutting into the steak it was perfect. The mushroom sauce was an excellent compliment.
My wife ordered the salmon which was amazing. We are going to give Rothschilds our highest score because the drinks, wine list and staff were outstanding and other than the salt crust on the filet the meal was flawless. I get it that some people like the salt crust too. Next time I’ll ask for no salt and see how it comes out. For now we suggest giving it a try, but with a reservation of course.