Had the opportunity to have lunch at Water Grill yesterday, and by all accounts ... it was fabulous.
Crab Cake: In flavor (if not necessarily in size), this thing is like a hockey-puck on steroids. Meaty and earthly delicate at the same time. The yogurt cucumber sauce that comes with it is IMO the perfect contrast to highlight the salty sweetness of the crab meat. This might be my favority crab cake in all of SoCal. At $16 a pop for ONE cake, it's not cheap, but then the good things in life never are ...
Hamachi Sashimi: This is the one dish that left us a little disappointed. The fish was fine (sushi-grade, so no complaints) but the dressing that came with the hamachi seemed a bit overwrought and tended to drown out, instead of enhancing, the flavor of the fish. The vinegar was just a bit overpowering.
Foie Gras: Yes, I know, why go to a seafood place and order liver, right? But honestly, the rendition at WG is probably one of the better ones around. Sweet, a little pungent, and just the right amount of bitterness. Texture was like softened (room temperature) homemade butter. Fabulous.
King Salmon: I'm usually a sucker for the Big Eye Tuna at WG, but I decided to break out of my rut and try something different. This was a good thing. The salmon was terrific. It wasn't flakey in the sense that it was overcooked, nor was it too rubbery in the sense that it was intentionally undercooked. It was just right and this time the vinegar reduction that accompanied the dish seemed to hit the right note -- bringing out the sweetness to the salmon while tempering the inherent oiliness of the fish.
Loup de Mer: This dish just looked fabuluous. And I could smell the delicate aroma of the sea bass clear across the table and the horseradish sauce that encircled the dish was a nice touch.
Vanilla creme fraiche cheesecake: Nice way to end the meal. Nice tangy-flavor to the cheesecake, but I think there was a bit too much ginger in this rendition - still good though. How can you go wrong with vanilla and cheese?
Only thing missing? The chance to sit outdoors in this fabulous spring weather ...