Archive for August, 2011

Petrossian

Petrossian for a late lunch/early dinner is lovely. As there are very few diners at that hour, we get to really chat with the Chef and we can leisurely enjoy our meal.

BYO Champagne

Petrossian room

Chef Giselle Wellman – what a wonderful person. I love chatting with Chef Wellman and she is most gracious to even take our order!

Egg Royale – Scrambled Egg, Vodka Whipped Cream, Caviar – an old favorite and as good as ever.

First a dish is presented with Dungeness Crab, Fennel, Cherry Tomato, Serrano Chili, Avocado and Lime

Then hot sweet corn soup is poured on.

The finished dish – what is remarkable about the soup is that it made without cream or butter although it is very intense and rich tasting. It is made by slowly simmering corn cobs in water – this is an idea that I intend to steal.

Squid Ink Fettucini, Wild California Sea Urchin, Curry, Salmon Roe – to be honest I am spoiled by the quality of sea urchin served at Urasawa so this dish suffered when comparing Urasawa’s spectacular sea urchin with Petrossian’s sea urchin; perhaps this is an unfair comparison given that Urasawa is the best sushi experience in Los Angeles with unparalleled fish.

BYO White Wine – one of our favorites

Back of the bottle of the white wine

Striped Bass, Yukon Gold Potato Noodles, Vodka Creme Fraiche, Chives, Caviar –  another old favorite executed perfectly.

Prime Beef Burger, 2 Year Aged Cheddar, Cipollini Jam, Bacon, Chilies, Arugula, Lemon Aioli, French Fries – a truly gourmet burger. Notice the container for the ketchup!

What could be better than to spend a late afternoon drinking great wine and dining on ingredient driven cuisine executed with passion and dedication?

FOH/BOH³ at LaOn

I am not exactly impartial re FOH/BOH³ at LaOn as David Haskell is my son. But I feel it is a mother’s prerogative to at least let everyone know about this special event. Also, I am quite familiar with David’s unique ability to pair food and wine so this should be a very novel and worth-while experience.

FOH/BOH³ at LaOn

Featuring Tradional Korean Tapas by Jenee Kim of LaOn

and Lucky Cat L.A. Korean by Chef Zadi

1145 S. Western Ave, Los Angeles CA 90006

LOS ANGELES, CA (August 22, 2011)- FOH/BOH³: The Fixers debut at LaOn, August 27th-28th, 5:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m., 1145 S. Western Ave, Los Angeles CA 90006

Farid Zadi, David Haskell and Susan Park, A.K.A. FOH/BOH³: The Fixers, a hands-on restaurant management company, have teamed with highly successful restaurateur Jenee Kim of Park’s BBQ and Don Dae Gam to present traditional and modern Korean menus of small plates and wine flights at Kim’s newest restaurant LaOn (http://laondining.com).

According to Park, “Three hours after FOH/BOH³ met with Amy Scattergood to announce our new partnership on Thursday, August 18th, we went to LaOn to meet with Jenee Kim. We discussed the evolution of Korean cuisine, Korean restaurants in Los Angeles and our shared goals of promoting Korean cuisine”.

Haskell, who has a notorious love affair with Korean food, says “This is about seasoned restaurant veterans sharing infrastructure, human resources and know-how. I’m not merely consulting on a wine list or suggesting wine pairings. I’ll also training LaOn’s FOH staff on how to really taste food and wine pairings, so that they can engage customers to enjoy the same. We’re starting with weekends at LaOn. FOH/BOH³ can showcase our soft approach to hands-on consulting. We want to show results right away.”

“Susan and I created a special menu of 8 dishes for our first weekend at LaOn to complement their traditional menu.” says Zadi, who worked in Seoul for three years as a chef and managing partner at a restaurant. “I have a lot of respect for Korean cooking. My mother in law is from Jeon-Ju, the culinary capital of South Korea. “This isn’t fusion or even modern Korean. We’re taking Korean ingredients, flavors and techniques and recontextualizing them while retaining the soul of Korean cuisine: the bold, stick to your guts flavors that make it so satisfying.”

For reservations please call 323-798-4648 or email David Haskell magnumdh@gmail.com

                                                                                                                                                  LAON  MENU (traditional tapas)

 편채 PYEON CHAE Beef carpaccio with onions,sesame leaf,radish sprout- 10

                       칠절판 SEVEN WRAP Cucumber,carrot,beef,shiitake mushroom,egg with radish wrap – 7

어선 FISH WRAP Steamed fish and assorted vegetables in an egg wrap.- 10

궁중떡볶이 TEOKBOKKI Rice cake in soy based sauce.- 10

갈비찜 GALBI JJIM Braised short rib.- 15

오징어순대 STUFFED SQUID Stuffed with tofu,beef,squid & vegetables.- 10

전복요리 OPEN FLAME ABALONE Lightly seasoned fresh abalone.MP

잡채 JAPCHAE Clear noodle with mixed vegetables.- 7

 FOH/BOH³: Lucky Cat LaOn

Spicy chicken kochi/ foie gras fat fingerlings/ garlic chips- 12

Crab and kimchi brik/ orange and onion salad- 8

 Thai cobb ssam- 10

Thai curry bacon, avocado, duck rillettes, quail egg, tomato, fried shallot, lettuce

 Grilled oysters- 3 each

Dashima, ponzu, serrano mignonette and gochujang vinaigrette

 Uni and scallop chawanmushi- market price

 ½ dozen peel ‘n’ eat grilled prawns/ shiso chimichurri- market price

Laotian curry marinated whole prawns

 Braised beef cheeks/ slow roasted corn cheese/baby carrot/arugula quick-chi- 14

Riff on braised kalbi

Villetta

Villetta was absolutely perfect Saturday night – Chef Pippa outdid herself and one dish – the calamari dish was one of the best dishes I have ever had. Before going into an in depth post re the cuisine, I thought a few general comments are in order.

We have a propensity to return to the same places over and over again. We find that building a relationship with a restaurant is an important part of the experience for us. We often get little surprises from the chef and/or a personalized menu selection as they know our likes and dislikes so well. We often do BYO and my husband finds that he can pair the wine much better if he has eaten the chef’s cuisine on a regular basis.

BYO Champagne – photographed in our wine cellar

Pizza – Santa Barbara Spot Prawns,Zucchini Blossoms, Crescenza and Meyer Lemon – this was in a word delicious – perfect crust, fresh ingredients. This has just been added as a  pizza preparation and definitely worth ordering.

Local calamari ‘in zimino’ with chick peas, spinach and grilled polenta – this was an A+ dish. The braised calamari was so tender and spiced so perfectly that you almost held your breath as you ate it, not believing how good it was. If ever there was a signature dish of Chef Pippa, I would put this at the top of the list.

“In Liguria today, zimino is the sauce left over from cooking beet greens, spinach, or Swiss chard in a little water and olive oil. But it is an old word that Giordano di Pisa used in 1304 in his Libro della cura delle malattie (Book for the care of illnesses) to mean a kind of seasoned cooked dish. Modern linguists have made a case that the word derives from the Arabic word samin, meaning fat or something buttery.”

http://www.cliffordawright.com/caw/recipes/display/recipe_id/779/

BYO White Wine

Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi with toasted hazelnuts, butter and sage – I was thrilled to see this on the menu again. It is a great dish and as good as I had remembered it from a couple of weeks ago.

Polletto ‘al mattone” with toasted ciabatta panzaanella with green apples, smoked alpine goats milk ccheese, toasted walnuts and cider vinaigrette – the chicken was juicy with lovely crisp skin.

We had 4 dishes and each one was excellent – this is a food lover’s dream of a restaurant – the ingredient remains supreme and the execution is flawless. This is not a chef who throws lots of ingredients together just because she can where the end makes little or no culinary sense. This is refined food done with great care and passionate dedication.

We  were four for four – a great culinary adventure.

Valentino

We were invited to a special event at Valentino – “An Evening with the Umbrian Wines of The Briziarelli Estate.”

“Umbria an up and coming wine region where the Sagrantino di Montefalco grape varietal is one of the most sought after gem of central Italy, and the wines of Briziarelli are an example of great wine making in this ever growing wine region.”

The evening began with passed appetizers – Salumi, Crostini with mushrooms and Crostini with Chicken Liver served with Soter Brut. (No photos)

We were then seated in the private dining room and saw a film that showed us the beautiful grounds of the Briziarelli Estate. Introductory remarks from the noted culinary journalist and gastronome Luigi Cremona and a son from the Briziarelli Estate set the tone for the evening. Notice the wonderful Piero Selvaggio on the right. The evening was hosted by Societa’ Agricola Briziarelli SRL.  “Societa’ Agricola Briziarelli has received a mark of excellency for its wine, and as a result has become a favorite of wine aficionados throughout Italy. Cantine Briziarelli’s next challenge is to bring its unique wines to the U.S. market.” Be sure to look for them!

Beef Carpaccio with Umbrian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Laurel, Olives, Parmesan, Proscuitto paired with

Rosso Mattone  2008

Rosso Mattone (Brick Red) wine  “is a tribute to clay. The grape varieties are a blend of Sangiovese (65%), Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (20%) and Sargrantino (15%). The grapes are hand-harvested and charged in small boxes. (We were given lengthy descriptions of the fermentation and aging process for each wine that I won’t replicate here.) The wine is clear with a ruby red color. The nose has intense touches of blackberry, ripe cherry and a touch of cinnamon. On the palate, the wine is perfectly balanced, medium-bodied, soft and round with nice tannins.”

Tagliatelle with White Summer Truffles – Piero added this dish to the menu – he couldn’t resist not using the white truffles.

Artisanal Penne with a Variety of Sausages paired with

Uno Nove Zero Sei 2007

UnoNoveZeroSei is “named after the year that FBM was founded. This wine is a blend of Syrah (25%), Merlot (25%), Cabernet Sauvignon (25%) and Sagrantino (25%). Once again, the grapes are hand-harvested and charged in small boxes. Uno NoveZeroSei has an intense purple color, with an enticing nose of terroir, ripe fruit, camphor and a touch of cinnamon. In the mouth, the wine is rich and substantial, with a long, lingering finish.”

Wild Boar with Juniper Berry, Roasted Potatoes, Spinach, Garlic and Pepper paired with

Vitruvio 2007

Vitruvio, Sagrantino di Montefalco, DOCG wine’s name “is a tribute to the well-known Roman architect and writer who lived in the second half of the 1st century BC and was the most famous Architecture theoretician and one of the first to use clay for large constructions. The Sagrantino grapes are hand-harvested and charged in small boxes. Il Vitruvio has a dense ruby hue, and shows some intense notes of ripe and soft fruits, with a fresh hint of balsamic blackberry. Its structure is powerful but smooth, with a creamy, rich texture, and a long finish.”

Cheeses from the Region with its Traditional Condiments paired with the Vitruvio 2007.

Hazelnut-Chocolate Semifreddo with Caramelized Bananas – sorry for the blurry photo.

All in all, it was a lovely evening.

Bar Bouchon

If you are looking for us on a late Saturday afternoon, 50% of the time we will be at Bar Bouchon.

Sancerre from their list

A gift from the chef – Vichyssoise

Oysters – Beausoleil, Misty Point, Umami, Shiny Sea, Fanny Bay and Luna – I like to slurp oysters right from the shell. Most places I wouldn’t dare do this as the shuckers tend to leave either tiny bits of shell, debris or anything but the pristine oyster. This is never a problem at Bouchon and you can slurp away.

Pate de Campagne – country style pate with watercress, cornichons and radishes – probably one of the best pates de Campagne in Los Angeles.

BYO Red Wine

Softly Scrambled Eggs with Summer truffles – Bouchon is so customer friendly – no request is too much. This wasn’t on the menu. I just asked if there were any truffles in the house – their response was yes and how would I like them used. Hospitality = A+

served with toasted Brioche

Thon poele – pan seared big eye tuna, pickled melon, Hass avocado, nicoise olives, fennel and a coriander ravigote. Two weeks ago, this was just added to the menu. The tuna was perfect and the broth and accompaniments were a revelation. This was a perfect balance of flavors, textures and just poetry in one bite. This dish could have been on a French Laundry menu - it was that well executed with finesse.

Now I am somewhat of a nut case. John was going out of town so I ordered the Poulet Roti to go – my tonight’s dinner at home! Even the way Bouchon packages “to go” orders is first rate.

The photos are before being cooked – just the packages done Bouchon style.

Roast Chicken

with a corn succotash

chicken jus

an extra side of red rice

Bouchon just gets better and better – what more can one ask for?


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