March 24, 2015 Achrafieh Beirut Lebanon Middle East

La Parrilla: You're Promised Amazement... I Expected Better

Phone Number: +961 1 585885

Address: Saint Maron Street, Gemmayzeh, Achrafieh, Beirut, Lebanon

Website: http://www.la-parrilla.com

Price Range: 70-110 $

La Parrilla La Parrilla
3.45 out of 5 based on 1 professional review.

RATING:69/100

Welcoming: 3/5

Food Temperature: 8/10

Ambiance / Music: 4/10

Menu Choice: 3/5

Food Taste: 24/30

Architecture / Interior: 7/10

Food presentation: 5/10

Service: 6/10

Value for money: 6/10

A wall covered with horns. A professional and classy table setup, a piano... I discovered La Parilla while taking some architecture photos for an international magazine and planned to come back for a review as soon as I could. It was my birthday, what better way to celebrate.

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Located in an old Lebanese house in the historical Gemmayze neighborhood, La Parrilla steak house and bar has been in operation since 2007. La Parrilla recently underwent a series of renovations to uplift both the interior and the menu, while preserving the authenticity and sophistication of their identity.

Under the concept “Maison de Chasse Contemporaine”, welcome to La Parrilla. The restaurant boasts five themed halls characterized by traditional architecture accentuated with gilded metal. Past and present come together to transmit an atmosphere of vintage and avant-gardism through an alternation of shadow and light.

The revisited menu, already offering meat, now includes a large selection of gourmet dishes including pasta, risotto, ceviche, tartars and carpaccios.

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The architectural details:

  • The restaurant is fully covered with horns on all sides. Different sizes depending on the rooms.
  • A very low light makes the place look like a nightclub.
  • Beautifully set tables fill in the space. Fine cutlery with porcelain plates printed with the restaurant's name and logo.
  • A piano plays an important role in adding a touch of finesse to the decor while creating a special identity.
  • To the left is a private room for intimate or corporate dining.
  • The bar occupies the right room, centered around wine bottles.

A high ceiling, five different rooms, but the decor is a bit claustrophobic. Too many elements in a space that's not as big as it looks. Smoking is supposedly permitted in the bar and right sides room but since the restaurant is small and all sections open to one another prepare yourself to smell smoke all night while your clothes absorb the smell. Air quality is mediocre.

Dinner starts with a basket of fresh, warm crunchy bread served alongside a herb sauce mixed with crushed olives, all while we awaited to be served.

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Dinner was served:

  • Zucchini and mint soup
  • Potato and shrimp salad with a bed of purslane, lemony, fresh and with full-bodied shrimp. Fresh, simple and tasty.
  • Fresh baby artichokes with lemon salad: Salad and artichoke with lemon sauce
  • Lentil and grilled soujok salad: An interesting innovation
  • Salmon sushi-style salad: Wraps of salmon served with bean sprout on the side alongside green beans and cucumbers. A plate which radiates finesse.
  • Quinoa salad, a mix of red and white quinoa with cherry tomatoes.
  • Risotto with porcini mushrooms: Not too watery, al dente, tastes deeply of mushrooms. Parmesan on top.
  • Black mushroom meat: A funny plate where a single chunk of meat is served next to three cherry tomatoes. A tender meat indeed, but a plate that’s a bit ridiculous for a fine diner like La Parrilla. On another hand, I loved the potato puree, the spinach on the side and the corn puree. The French fries are also very good.

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Desserts:

  • Pain Perdu looks weird and unappetizing. It's too chewy and too sticky. 
  • Creme brûlée is tasty with its crunchy top and flavorful heart.
  • Chocolate cake: A fondant that isn’t watery or too creamy, but a kind of airy cake with a feel of lightness. Dark chocolate with a long lasting, enjoyable flavor.
  • Tiramisu served in a cup with chocolate sauce.

Food is fine and desserts are good.

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The minuses:

  • The menus are way too big and didn’t even fit on the small table. We were six on a table that would be better used for four people. Cutlery, center piece, cups and the menu are too many elements to fit on the table.
  • The tables are small, so we were stacked on top of each other. Not only tables, but the space between the tables is also tight.
  • It’s too hot in here!
  • The lights are too dimmed for a restaurant.
  • Service is good, but the staff had an unpleasant, arrogant attitude.
  • Meat served alone on a plate doesn't look appetizing at all. 
  • I believe descriptions of the plates should be added to the menu listing.
  • Smoking is allowed in this tiny small and closed space

A bizarre place for a special experience. Bad air quality, the smell of smoke, unsmiling waiters, tight spaces, undecorated servings, small portions, high prices... We paid $100/person. The food is good, but lacks something for the wow effect that La Parrilla promises.




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