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Highlights from Ame, Redd, Koi Palace

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Highlights from Ame, Redd, Koi Palace

Porthos | Feb 21, 2007 03:54 PM

This past week was a week of decadence. I'll save everyone the trouble and just highlight the most memorable dishes from each

Ame:

We finally had a chance to go Sunday evening. Overall the food was solid and the sake list contained multiple daiginjo selections. They graciously let you sample the sake before committing to a glass. . Best dishes of the night were:

1. “Lissa’s Staff Meal” Cuttlefish Noodles and Sea Urchin
Tossed with Quail Eggs, Wasabi, Soy Sauce and Gobo."

The cuttlefish noodles weren't pureed cuttlefish as I was expecting but slivers of very tender marinated cuttlefish. The dish could also have been called "Eggs, Eggs, Eggs" because the cuttlefish was mixed with tobiko, topped with ikura, sea urchin, and accompanied by a quail egg yolk.

2. Tempura Tuna Poke. Not really innovative but it's very tasty. Flavorful tuna poke was wrapped in nori and quickly fried. This gave the nori a more substantial flavor and texture.

3. Porchetta on Chanterelle Mushroom Risotto with Natural Jus and Truffle

The porchetta was cut VERY thick and it was so garlicy and flavorful and it was love at first sight. I wish Oliveto had served something like this at the Whole Hog. The risotto was almost overkill with the heavy scent of parmigiano reggiano...almost. There was also a strip of excellent crispy pork skin.

Koi Palace

1. King Crab is back at Koi Palace and once again, we had the body steamed with garlic and the legs fried to sweet deliciousness.

2. The snapper was also delicious steamed. I'm not sure what kind of snapper it was but the meat was finer in texture than your run of the mill snapper.

3. Whole dungeness crab XLB. As good as 6 months ago.

4. Live baby abalone. A steal at 3 for $20. Again, steamed with garlic was the best prep.

Redd

Chef Reddington's cooking is wonderful and each dish has multiple layers of flavor.

1st course winners:

-Hamachi with sticky rice and edamame. 4 very thick and fresh slices of hamachi (as fresh as any sushi restaurant in the bay area) were served on a bed of very savory sticky rice. The dish isn't your boring raw fish appetizer that every restaurant seems obligated to offer these days. The richness of the hamachi with the savory rice and the touch of sweetness in the seaweed all tasted better than I had remembered.

-Caramalized pork belly with gobo. Rich silky pork belly glazed so it doesn't become cloying. Genius and still a winner.

-Risotto with rock shrimp, white truffle oil, and lemon confit. The lemony scent contrasted well with the sweet rock shrimp and the earthy truffle oil.

2nd Course winners:

Fish dishes rule here.

-Japanese Tai seared to perfection with a deliciously crispy skin

-John Dory with mussels and a shellfish reduction with foam.

-Skate wing with sunchoke 3 ways (pureed, braised, and fried). The sunchokes were delicious and nearly stole the spotlight.

Dessert:

Very playful but still managing to be tasty

-chocolate souffle with frozen thai tea. The "souffle" was more like your standard warm chocolate cake but the thai tea ice cream concoction had a wonderful scent of lemongrass.

-Citrus tasting.

With the bill came chocolate truffles that had a bright bubbly taste to them and chocolate and caramel nougat on saltine crackers. The salt in the saltines actually highlighted the chocolate and caramel.

Now if you'll excuse me, I really need to go to the gym...

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