I was not really prepared for this caliber of food tonight. Romesco makes my draw drop at these levels: menu, execution, service and ambiance. In my book thats all four checks. In the future if I recommend Romesco to that Hotel Circle visitor when us SD chowhounds do our weekly concierge service, please don't laugh. That damn drive out to Bonita is nothing you will regret post-comida.
First of all, I must thank Pat with all my heart for inviting me for another amazing evening in the spirit of Laja. Your company makes me so happy.
To drink I had Cucupa's Obscura which I have to say I prefer over the Chupacabra. It drinks mysteriously smooth and bitterless for a dark beer. Delicious. EN - please seek this out. [Its available at the WF La Jolla if any SD Chowhounds are interested along with the new honey.]
>> 1st Plate Cold Tapas Section
We had the Crab and Shrimp stuffed roasted Poblano in a pinenut - guava mole. Elegant and light in all aspects. The silken sauce is one of the sexiest things I have tasted recently. I enjoyed the interspersed chopped shrimp textural contrast to the soft, shredded crab meat and the unexpected yet beautiful sweet encounter with the chopped strawberry garnish.
>> 2nd Plate Hot Tapas
Lengua en Pipian. The beef tongue in pipian sauce was the pork-jowl/egg dish of the evening. I closed my eyes at one point. I feared that this sauce would be ultra-rich from the ground seed base - but I could see the ratio to tomato and chile was carefully thought out in order to compensate the flavorful, melting tongue slices. I adored the cast iron pot presentation and the side service of tijuana sized tortillas. Accoutrement - two salsas and cilantro, onion. I also fear this tongue is better than the tongue I get at Cocina. [ One of my top 3 SD tacos]
>> 3rd Plate Entree
Duck breast over a fig, hazelnut and mushroom risotto. Wow. Earthy mushrooms, crunch of hazelnuts, sweetness of figs, and richness of a juicy perfectly cooked duck breast. Nothing more to say.
>> 4th Plate Dessert
Trio of petite cheesecake rounds. Patisseries need to start making Guava and Mango flavored cheescake immediately. Blueberry was spot on but not as memorable as those experiences.
I just wanted to mention that I was really impressed with the youth of the chefs in the kitchen they looked only a few years older than me. So cool.