Archive for December, 2009

Drago – Santa Monica

Drago in Santa Monica is one of my favorite restaurants, particularly for lunch. The food is always well executed, the service couldn’t be better and the ambiance is soothing and calm.

BYO Wine

No photo – Arancini amuse

Beef Carpaccio, Arugula, Parmesan Cheese, Truffles – we tend to order this alot – excellent beginning

Polenta, Mushrooms, Fontina Cheese, Summer Truffles – very rich and very delicious

Grilled Marinated Quail, Gorgonzola, Walnut Salad – we haven’t ordered this before and we should have this on our most haves.

BYO Red Wine

Small Rigatoni, Kobe beef meatballs, Tomato and Romano cheese – another first for us – excellent at Drago and excellent as leftovers at home.

Flannery Standing Rib Roast

Why oh why would someone buy a 7 1/2 pound rib roast for 3 people? Well, Flannery beef was a definite must and why not have too much of a good thing?

Flannery roast packaged

Flannery beef ready for roasting

Flannery beef roasted – used the high temp method -

Recipe here:

Flannery beef, creamed spinach, potato gratin, yorkshire pudding popovers

Leftover beef

Saturday night – a rerun of the Xmas meal

Sunday – Football and Beef sandwiches with leftover popovers, leftover gratin and epoisse cheese from Bryan with old Madeira

Monday Night: Flannery Roast Beef Hash with freshly made Popovers

Cheated on the eggs and used an egg poacher

Tuesday Morning – a rerun of the hash – my photos in the morning are lousy

Bottom line – 7 1/2 pounds of Flannery beef gone.

Bouchon- Beverly Hills

Even though we had just returned from Yountville, we decided to try Bouchon Beverly Hills again. Yes, the ambiance is different, but the food is spot on.

White wine – bought

Bagaduce Oysters from Maine, Fanny Sweet Carraquette Oysters from New Brunswick, Canada and Golden Mantle and Fanny Bay Oysters from British Columbia – great slurping oysters

Tuna Tartar – cubes of tuna not diced, with pickled fennel, orange segments, arugula, mango sauce – I have never had this preparation at Bouchon in Yountville. I really liked the citrus component.

BYO Red Wine

Country pate – chicken, veal and turkey wrapped in bacon, cornichons, thinly sliced radish and Dijon mustard – excellent

Boudin Noir – blood sausage with potato puree and caramelized apples – as good as in Yountville

Perfect Christmas Eve lunch.

Redd – Yountville

After a very extravagant lunch at Etoile, we decided on a “lighter” 3 course dinner at Redd.

BYO White Wine

Sashimi of hamachi, sticky rice, edamame, lime ginger sauce – this is one of my favorite appetizers and seems to be always on the menu

Fried Tomales Bay oysters, fingerling potato salad, frissee, hard boiled egg dressing – the oysters were cornmeal encrusted and were in a word fantastic – I felt as if I was in New Orleans.

Tasting of  foie gras preparations – seared foie gras, Fuyu persimmon, house-made English muffin, cold foie gras mousse with pear compote  and puff pastry, cold foie gras torchon encrusted with huckleberries and pistachio served with brioche, foie gras terrine, frisee salad – another favorite. This was served with a glass of Coassart Gordon 15 year old Bual Madeira – perfect.

Palate cleanser of pearl tapioca, pomegranate, yuzu granite – a present from Karen, our excellent server.

A perfect day of food – 3 courses at Etoile and 3 courses at Redd – what more can one ask for?

French Laundry – Yountville

In an earlier post I explained the transition from Corey to Tim. Basically I am going to let the photos tell the story.

No photo, but champagne to start.


Salmon Cornets —  a special comment to Michael Bauer, SF Chronicle restaurant critic – this has never been nor will it ever be ahi – his latest review of a similar type of meal did in fact state ahi cornets.

Warm Stinging Nettle Soup with Hen-of-the-Woods Mushrooms and Frog’s Legs

California White Sturgeon Caviar, Raw Island Creek Oysters, Applewood smoked bacon, fried sunchokes, finely diced, Romaine lettuce

First wine

Penobscot Sea Urchin. The sea urchin is from the famous lobster supplier Ingrid of Maine. The sea urchins are sent live!

Uni, crème fraiche panna cotta, grapefruit, leeks, hazelnuts, garden mezuna, black truffle puree

Atlantic Cod “Shirako”, nicoise olive crumb, San Marzano tomato compote, crispy Shirako (cod semen sack coated with panko), gratin of cardoons

Japanese BigFin Squid, Piquillo peppers, garlic sitting on a fried cylindar of panisse, arugula

Chawan Mushi with Dungeness Crab, Monterey Bay Abalone, Brioche crumb

Sauce Grenobloise

Blurry picture of the Sauce Grenobloise added to the dish



Animal Farm – last cow is now named Keller

Garden heirloom beets, celery branch, petite lettuce, Fuyu persimmon, crème fraiche, tarragon

White wine

Black Truffle Lasagna, Mendocino uni, wilted spinach, hazelnut foam

Lasagna plated and uni plated

Nantucket bay scallops “poelees”, cauliflower, pomegranate, pumpkin seed, butternut squash puree

Red Wine

Risotto dish presented

Alba white truffles presented

Carnaroli risotto, Castelmagno cheese from Italy, brown butter

Thomas Farms Squab presented

Thomas Farm Squab “en cocotte”, stuffed with Moulard Duck foie gras wrapped in Savoy cabbage, pear-roasted chestnuts, black truffle, watercress and sauce Perigourdine – for me this was THE dish of the night.



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