AnQi is a heavyweight on the molecular gastronomy scene, but strangely unknown to most, says wasabica. This is not a walk-in restaurant. The only way to eat here is to book the place; dinner is a private affair, in a room with dedicated staff. You have to set it up weeks in advance and sign a contract, and you need at least eight people and about $160 for each person. What you get is 16 courses of experimental glory. Ryan Carson, the young, self-taught chef, is doing something unique in Los Angeles—a level beyond the Bazaar, says wasabica.

The course of the night for wasabica was Kumamoto oyster with yuzu lemonade air, jalapeño-soy mignonette, and Pop Rocks. “The pop rocks and oyster mouth sensation was so memorable. It was as if the poprocks actually made the oyster more oyster-y,” says wasabica. Other highlights included fake steak tartare made from compressed watermelon and mango, crudo made from beet sorbet and avocado silk, and jellied champagne topped with caviar.

There was Kurobuta pork belly in kimchee consommé with freeze-dried banana and peanut butter powder—an almost Caribbean dish, with just the right amount of kimchee flavor to cut the fattiness. There was silky foie gras in smoky bacon dust the texture of snow.

It’s a mind-blowing experience, says wasabica. Get together a group and try it before it disappears.

AnQi [Orange County]
3333 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa

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