November 22, 2009
This was a during a happier, simpler time. A time when a nice dinner out was a still a novelty and the taste of foie gras still a luxury. A time when my stable accounting gig still gifted little bonuses for jobs well done. A time when I still had a boy by my side.
My memory of this meal is so vivid, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget it.
I first heard of Hatfield’s in September of 2007, but I didn’t have the opportunity to try it myself until the following May. I had just finished my first year in public accounting and – like I had expected – I worked hard that first year. Hard enough that, at the end of it, I got a nice little bonus to make up for those twenty-one 14-hour days I worked in a row in February and those long 8AM to 3AM days I worked in April. The boy had been working hard too – he had been studying for his CPA exams all spring – and both of us deserved a little treat.
My little bonus paid for our meal to Hatfield’s.
I can still remember the name of our waiter – not because I documented it in a review the day after – but because I’ve still never had a waiter as good as Hans. Just to give you an idea of the quality of service we received: The boy and I ordered the tasting menu and wine pairing – 7 courses for each of us (14 different dishes in all) and 6 glasses of wine. We asked for a copy of the menu to remember the meal – Hans wrote every single course down on the menu by hand. Like I said, to this day, I’ve never received service better than I did that day at Hatfield’s.
I’ll admit, Hatfield’s was my first real fine dining experience. Yes, I had been to a couple fancier restaurants before but they were typically steakhouses that focused on meat. Hatfield’s was different – the focus wasn’t meat but rather the components of the dish and how they worked together. Some dishes were average, some were amazing and one left me absolutely speechless. It was an eye opening experience. The boy and I said it was the best meal we had ever had.
I never went back to Hatfield’s after that. I was afraid that, if I went again, it wouldn’t live up to expectations so I never returned. But, I’ve always remembered the meal – This is the meal that started my love for fine dining. This is the memory that I think of when I think of a perfect meal.
Good food… Good wine… Good company… I’ll never forget it.
Hatfield’s – MOVED
(new location information)
6703 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038