I was in LA on Friday on a business trip and decided instead of torturing myself with a red-eye back to NY, I would treat myself to a dectable culinary experience at Doug Arango's. What a wise decision.
A friend joined me for dinner at Doug's. We were starved and asked if they had a tasting menu. The hostess/owner Julie informed us that although there wasn't one listed on the menu that night, she would speak to the chef and see what he could do.
What followed was a great dining experience with eight courses and a real value @ $95.00 per person.
Course One/Amuse: Cured salmon with dill creme-fraiche and capers. I really liked the salmon as it was perfectly smoked.
Course Two: Arugula salad with fresh orange slices and tossed with a light aged sherry vinagrette. A superbly fresh tasting salad that left you wanting more.
Course Three: Pacific Northwest Oysters (not sure what kind). They were tender and buttery and drizzled with aged vinegar and a dash if Jalepeno.
Course Four: An incredibly thin and crispy shrimp pizza, with red pepper, garlic, a touch of cilantro and drizzled with lemon aoili.
This pizza was fantastic!
Course Five: Seared Scallops with saffron risotto and peas and garnished with two slices of crispy italian bacon. The scallops were cooked perfectly - - seared with a crust on one side and yet still moist and medium-rare on the inside. This was my favorite course.
Course Six. Spicy Tuna Tartare served atop a sticky rice cake. The tuna is diced and tossed with some avocado and jalepeno and is truly spicy. If you enjoy spice as I do, this is a must have. This was the only course where we strayed from our wine selection and had a glass of sake.
Course Seven: NY Steak charred with a peppercorn crust and served with grilled rapini and the best French Fries I think I've ever had.
Course Eight/Dessert: Although we were stuffed by this point, I chose a delicious orange rice pudding with a carmelized (creme brulee-like) top and raspberry on the bottom. My friend had a wonderful chocolate mousse cake that was dense yet your fork would slide through it like butter.
We chose a white Burgundy (per the sommeliers recommendation), a very well priced ($95)Chassagne Montrachet that was lighter than a Puligny Montrachet that I was going to order and at half the price. It was a 2003 and although that wasn't the best year, this wine was excellent and a real value.
We also had a red Burgundy. It was 1998 Comte des Vogues Chambolle Musigny Les Amoureures for $220. This was a very refined, well balanced burgundy and very well priced. I was thrilled to see the label read bottle # 00036. I've never had a bottle number that low before. This was a great wine as if from the proprietor's personal stock.
All in all, this was a fantastic culinary delight. I am glad I decided to spend the evening in LA.