Recently, I read a review about a new innovative dining experience called 'L2 grill' Since this restaurant was once the 'Fantasy Grill and Lounge' I already had my doubts but the review was RAVING about how wonderful this place was. As I'm always drawn to the possibility of great dining in this city like a silly moth to a flame, I decided to check it out.
The location is hidden in the corner at the mall... right across from the chapel inside WEM. It's a strange location and if you didnt' know how to find it, you probably won't. It's in the hallway between Eddie Bauer and Alexis. The exterior has changed immensely - and the design reminded me of the entrance to a nightclub inside one of Vegas's hotels. It was nice - glowy and showy. They had a menu posted outside and I took a look - pretty standard dishes of chicken, steak, lamb, and pasta. The prices were also reasonable from the mid $20 to mid $40 range.
There was a coat check which was a nice touch and rows of booths with small tables off to the side. There was also a curtained off area which looked like a nice place to hold a party. The booths were large and comfortable and were spaced properly so you wouldn't end up accidentally listening in on someone else's conversation. A waiter came and introduced himself - and I must say, was probably the most awkward waiter I've ever encountered in my life. He would ask us what we wanted to drink. Then pause. Then when we just settled with water, he would pause and then ask us if we would like any cocktails. After we declined, he stood there for a moment before walking away. It also didn't help that he looked like Imhotep from the Mummy... and that whatever we ordered, he would pause, ask us to show him on the page... and then he proceeded to carefully copy down the order onto a little notebook.
We ordered our dishes and were given bread to nosh on. Pretty interesting selection of flat breads, rolls, and a choice of butter, tzaziki sauce, and a red pepper hummus like sauce. The waiter returned with an amuse bouche... which was some sort of smoked salmon roll... it seriously tasted like Philadelphia smoked salmon cream cheese... meh.
Our dishes came fairly quickly - which was great since I was starving. I ordered a pasta while my partner in crime ordered the Tagine of chicken... The flavours were definitely fusion and heavily inspired (in my opinion) by the Mediterranean. When we asked the waiter if it was Mediterranean inspired, he said no... it was inspired by the chef's love of cooking... (btw, the Tagine of chicken IS a Moroccan dish...heh)
Since the portions were fair, we ended up ordering a marscapone strawberry bomb for dessert. Very creamy and lightly flavoured with strawberry. It was a nice end to the meal.
The bill came with a plate of house made chocolates... another nice touch. Overall, it was a lovely dining experience with a hint of awkwardness thanks to Imhotep.
Overall - I wouldn't go again unless I wanted to try their Kobe beef burger with foie gras. It does offer interesting dishes for reasonable prices and if you are stuck at the mall and wanted something other than the Old Spaghetti factory or BPs, give L2 Grill a try.
Service ~ 6/10 Imhotep was too weird... and the other waiters were greasy looking. The coat check girls also disappeared so we had to grab our coats from the closet ourselves after dinner.
Ambiance ~ 8.10 Very nice decor, right amount of lighting, kudos for using LED candles instead of the real thing...
Food ~ 7/10 Good uses of flavours and not afraid to experiment.
Price ~ 7/10 not overpriced for the food you get
Overall ~ 7/10 Not bad for Edmonton but not spectacular.