Grand Time at Grand Lux

I'm not a big fan of chain restaurants or packaged foods.  This is no secret.  However, I am not so highbrow to miss the fact that some chains and franchises became brands because they do, in fact, know what they hell they are doing.  Can you expect wildly creative, locally-sourced, genius haute cuisine from a Cheesecake Factory?  Probably not.  But you can expect consistent food and service, simple pleasures, and a few favorites.

It is with this knowledge that I happily joined Joel at one of his favorite spots, Grand Lux Cafe in LA's Beverly Center.  I let him pretty much order (which you know means I must love him).  Gotta tell you, I was a little surprised at how yummy the food was.  Cozy booth, perfectly fried volcano shrimp and a smooth extra dirty martini?  Sign me up.

But the kicker — OMG I can't believe I'm going to admit this — was their chicken parmigiana.  I have been conditioned, as an Italian, not to like anything I don't either cook myself or get on the east coast.  Well ... I think I have to give that up.  This chix parm was pounded to the size of a small hubcap, perfectly seasoned, cheesy, tender, and came with al dente pasta in an amazingly garlicky marinara.  Shut up.  

I couldn't stop eating it.  I hate myself.  But I couldn't.  Mind you, it was so enormous that I shared it with a grown man and we still had to struggle to finish the plate, but then, that's why you go to chains, right?  Value.  Value + yummy is a pleasant surprise.

Then, oh sweet heaven, Joel insisted we get the Build Your Own Cupcakes platter for dessert.  I don't even need to describe this thing.  Look at the picture.  Pick up a cupcake and put sugar on it.  How can that fail?  When the cupcake is moist and they give you peanut butter frosting, toffee and confetti candy, it can't.

My FMF rating on this chain experience?  Amazeballs.  Thanks, Joel!


jessica v at: August 8, 2012 at 5:19 PM said...

was it better than the chicken romano?

Marleine at: August 9, 2012 at 1:33 AM said...

It so was, Mary!

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