We've already listed it as one of our 8 Must-Try Restaurants on Wilshire, so it was only a matter of time until we posted our full review. We had high hopes for Cadet, and it did not disappoint. From Kris Tominaga, formerly of The Hart and the Hunter fame, Cadet is a beautifully rustic retreat with a wood-burning oven and intimate feel. The restaurant serves French Countryside classics with Korean ssam-like additions, creating an interesting combination of creative comfort food.
The cocktails were a nice start to the meal. The Martinez was a solid drink, but maybe a bit strong. The Bardot, however, one of their signature drinks, was fun and refreshing.
We started out with the Petite Brie cheese plate, which was wonderful. The Brie was a true brie-- rich, creamy, and flavorful. The bacon and onion jam was also really delicious, but all together made the dish a bit too rich. If the jam had a bit more acid, it would have really complemented the brie.
Though we were hoping to try the Sea Urchin Tartine (they were out), we opted instead for the Beef Tartare Tartine, which was still a great choice. The bread was fluffy and delicious, while the beef tartare was fatty, yet not too heavy. The chive and smoked oil added a bit of lightness to the dish, and overall it was a really great hor d'oeuvres.
According to LA Eater, the Rabbit Boulettes are the most popular dish at Cadet (and one of the best dishes in LA!), and for good reason. This was easily our favorite dish of the night. The rabbit meatballs were tender, meaty, and so flavorful, while the dumplings were incredibly moist and delicious. The sauce, which is apparently rabbit stock, mirepoix, garlic, cream, and herbs, was one of the best sauces we've ever had. We even asked for more bread to sop it up. This dish is definitely a MUST for Cadet patrons.
For the entrees, we got the Wood Grilled Shrimp, Octopus, and Swordfish. We also ordered the Wood Grilled Pork Collar, Pork Toro, and Milk Braised Shoulder. The entrees come with Korean ssam-style accoutrements, including sourdough flatbread (which had the texture of a crepe), lettuce pieces, and an assortment of sauces and mustard. The idea is that the customer had the ability to make little tacos or burritos with the simply grilled meats, which was a fun addition to the meal. From the seafood, the octopus was my favorite; it was perfectly cooked and really flavorful, while the shrimp and swordfish were both solid. The wood grilled pork dish was also great-- very flavorful, though it could have been a bit more tender. Since both dishes seemed very simply prepared, the sauces and wraps made the meal interactive, and therefore, that much more memorable.
Overall, the meal was a really fun one, and we were completely stuffed afterwards. We would come back anytime, as long as they have those Rabbit Boulettes on the menu! We definitely recommend making a reservation SOON, before Cadet becomes too popular!