What can be said about Sensi that I haven’t already said either here at The Valley Vegan or back in the annals of The Vegas Vegan? In fact, I’m a little behind in my Sensi “reports” because we were actually at Sensi back in May of this year and I did not post any photos! Not only that, I robbed myself of the opportunity to convey to you the chef’s intention to use local organic produce and to base the menu on foods that were in season. It’s been fun to visit and find the different veg on my plate!
Seriously, I think Sensi should employ me as their Vegan Advocate in Advertising! I just love this place and love the food. The service is always off the hook, the drinks top notch, and the experience at the top of my list. I wish there was a Sensi here in LA so we could visit it more often, but for the money, this is dollar-for-dollar the best value I’ve come across. I have never once had an accidental cross-contamination at Sensi. In fact, that the kitchen is literally under glass gives you every insight into the cleanliness and thoroughness of the kitchen staff.
Back to Present Day: 9/15/2012:
We returned to Sensi this weekend to celebrate my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary. Look how cute they are!
And they look exactly the same now! It was a real gift to celebrate this milestone with them. 40 years… We should all be so lucky. We figured that many years deserved at least a round of drinks and some appetizers since they forbade us from paying for dinner.
The compromise was DELICIOUS! I ordered my favorite appetizer: Potato Samosas and a Ginger Martini. Oh yes oh yes, if you love ginger (and I understand that it is very particular flavor for some) you’ll love this. I kept commenting on how I expected little pieces of grated ginger to be floating in it! The “heat” of the ginger drink worked nicely with the mint chutney and even the tomato sauce that came with the chips & naan (which is not vegan).
We moved our party from the bar to the dining room, our usual server, Nick, was there to take care of us, along with manager Amanda who we met on our last trip in May. It’s so nice to see familiar faces, get a friendly “hi how have you been?” Even other servers who have waited on us in the past stopped by the table to say hello and wish my parents a happy anniversary. Seriously… who could ask for anything more?
It’s incredibly difficult not to fill up on these delicious lentil chips. Our servers separated the chips from the naan, in two separate baskets (not something they do for every customer, by the way) so I did not have to worry about any butter on my chips. Where else will you get this kind of thoughtfulness?
Since we already had appetizers at the bar, we jumped straight into dinner. But not without an amuse buche served directly from the hands of Chef John. What a treat! Marinated tofu with thinly sliced fennel and microgreens. One tiny little bite of heaven.
I was just dying for risotto, and Sensi was there to deliver! I was told that I would be given the risotto that is usually served under the Halibut: sweet corn risotto. And was it ever “sweet”! Like candy… I guess, considering that corn syrup is the sweetener of choice for most big food companies, I understand now why. In it’s most pure form, corn and the water that it leaves behind after cooking, is delicately sweet and creamy all on its own. I feel like this list of veggies only scratches the surface of what was actually put into this risotto: corn, sweet peas, sugar peas, asparagus, yellow and green zuchinni (the UFO’s no less), micro greens and carrots. I asked how the chef managed to get the risotto so rich and creamy, and the answer was just the starch from the cooked corn and rice. Wow. Just wow. It’s been years since I’ve had a risotto with cream or cheese, and nothing with dairy could ever compare to the lightness and finesse of this dish. Who needs it anyway?
We were all going to skip dessert. We had overindulged at lunch, clearly outdone ourselves at the bar, so the polite conversation was started of “I’m not sure I want dessert” and “is anyone else thinking dessert?” Except for me. I kept repeating “I don’t care how full I am, if there’s coconut sorbet, then there is no question that I am getting dessert.” Thankfully, on this blog I have made no mystery of the fact that I think Sensi’s coconut sorbet is the BEST coconut sorbet on the planet. Clearly, they’ve read a few of these posts and what was given to me without even having to order? You guessed it! A scoop of coconut sorbet, along with two of their other daily offerings: lemon and mango. I am funny about mango (both the fruit and any mango flavored items) but this was delicious!
Don’t think for a minute the non-vegan guests at the table were ignored for dessert! They were treated to that amazing chocolate dream bar and a raspberry sorbet (which contains honey) that was quickly devoured by all those who had just minutes ago claimed they “couldn’t possibly eat another bite.” Yes, there is always room for dessert.
So… what? Yeah, I have to say that of all my vegan exploits, Sensi remains one place I know for a fact that I will get a great meal, no fuss, no questions asked, no problem. It’s a little gem tucked away at the Bellagio (remember to walk past the chocolate fountain to get there!) that could easily compete with any of the “name brand chef” restaurants and win. So put on your good shoes, grab a friend or a lover, and have a great dinner!