Rarely, does a restaurant knock every dish out of the park. Even some of the best restaurants I've been to were 80-90% successful.
Tonight, Chef Laurent Quenioux was flawless. I keep saying the food is like Ludobites meets Providence with a touch of Pierre Gagnaire. In fact, I would go as far as to say it's as good if not better than some of the much acclaimed 2 seatings prix fixe places in Paris. I thought the food was more creative, innovative, and refined than Spring. Our neighbors thought it blew away Le Chateaubriand. We're talking world class.
Amuse of fried cocks comb served on top of sweetbreads in a chipotle sauce and a wedge of clementine coated in a vanilla sauce. This dish summarizes Chef Quenioux's genius. A master at combining Asian, French, and Mexican cuisine. Only in LA.
The first dish was hamachi with an otherworldly black sesame panna cotta, soy gel, avocado smear, and black sesame powder. That rich black sesame panna cotta is now my top #1 taste of 2011. Words cannot describe how good it is. Paired very nicely with our champagne. Genius on the level the uni tapioca. That panna cotta has got to stay on the menu when his restaurant opens. Wow.
Second was ham hock bouillon, cabbage, poached smoked salmon in lard with lentil cream fraiche. That says it all. The ham hock was wonderfully smoky but also tender and silky. Leave it to Chef Quenioux to take ham hock to the next level! Everyone drank the very last of that wonderful broth.
Next was declination of peas: pea guacamole, pea gazpacho, and seared foie gras over a pea bacon ragu. This was such a hit from last week that it remained on the menu. I'm running out of superlatives here. The foie gras had subtle hints of asian spices and anise which just rocked with our 1995 La Mission Haut Brion. The pea gazpacho was very light. Mix in some of the pea guacamole, and you get a little different flavor. Drizzle some of the juices from the pea bacon ragu and voila, refined bacon split pea soup. It's so good it's sheer madness. Again, perfect French, Asian, and Mexican fusion.
The final course was veal 2 ways. Veal tenderloin tartare served over a tuna salad. "Tonnato Style". Then veal sweetbread with uni lobser coulis. A little side of watercress "spaghetti" which was watercress puree made into spaghetti, a little delicious and judicious nod to molecular gastronomy. A few perfectly roasted baby chanterelles. I mean, can you see the man's genius? Surf and turf, sea and earth. The veal tartare atop the tuna, the veal sweetbreads coated with a uni lobster sauce. Even the vegetables...watercress and chanterelles.
Dessert is very asian. Pandan coconut tapioca, guava gelee, with passionfruit, and green tea emulsion. The pandan coconut tapioca tasted like the classic Vietnamese dessert.
I don't know how many seats are left for Monday and Tuesday but I would highly recommend it. This menu doesn't miss.
Word is, there will be a very special, very decadent, very luxurious, white truffle dinner coming in November...
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