At least one meal of every trip I have taken tends to be over-hyped and underwhelming. A.O.C. in Beverly Hills perfectly fit the bill on this trip. I had read about A.O.C. on EaterLA and when I mentioned it to Martie, she had already made a reservation. Unfortunately, both in terms of service and food, this visit was unable to replicate her previous experience.
The atmosphere and decor of A.O.C. was lovely. We sat on a covered patio that felt like you were dining at a Mediterranean house in Spain or Greece. But from the outset the service was disappointing. Our waiter seemed both overtaxed and disinterested throughout the duration of the meal. We had to flag him down for drinks and barely saw him after he took our order.I was left reminded of deli-style ham. Martie was hoping for a crispier bacon to balance the soft bread.
Unfortunately, the one dish I really enjoyed is not pictured. We ate it too fast! Imagine pappardelle topped with soft roasted Tahitian squash (similar to butternut or kabocha squash) and spinach with grated Parmesan and cracked black pepper.
For a restaurant that receives such high accolades, we were both surprised by the mediocrity across the board. Thankfully, neither of us were starved for delicious food this week and we knew more excellent meals would be on the way.