Archive for September, 2012

Milo and Olive

Chef Jason Mattick continues to amaze me by his skill, his passion, his execution and his dedication. I urge everyone to treat this as a “fine dining” restaurant and just let Jason do his thing.

We bring our own wines but share with everyone!

Kumamoto Oysters from Washington State

Served with a champagne mignonette – champagne, shallots, black pepper – perfect

San Diego uni on toast with a jalapeno infused olive oil  - this was ecstasy for those who are uni lovers which I am!

There are no words to express how great this was. On one toast point was Tasmanian trout ceviche style, 2 month old preserved lemons, capers and chives. On the other toast point was confit of sardines (done in house at 170 degrees in the oven for 30 minutes), plugra butter, pickled shallots, rocket arugula, fleur de sel, shaved radish, fennel. Absolutely spectacular.

Smelts served with a tahini and lemon sauce – reminded me of the great smelts at Bistro Jeanty in Yountville

Butternut Squash soup with fried squash seeds, summer chanterelles, pancetta, creme fraiche – delicious

The squash before becoming soup. Jason has developed special relationships with the farmers and goes to the Santa Monica Farmer’s market every Wednesday. His produce is extraordinary.

Orecchiette (made in house), pork sausage ragu, baby kale, bread crumbs – what a difference in house pasta makes and the pork ragu was perfect

Braised Lamb shank (the lamb had been braised for 48 hours and then roasted), fresh shelling beans, arugula, oven dried cherry tomato, garlic confit – we were getting quite full and this was a wonderful dinner the next night.

To go to Milo and Olive for a quick bite or just have a pizza would be missing one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles with a creative and talented chef. I can’t wait to go back.

Valentino

Valentino is the finest Italian restaurant in Los Angeles. I state this emphatically. You can expect superb cuisine executed to perfection. You know that only the finest ingredients will be used. The service is always A+. The wine list is extraordinary. I strongly urge everyone to go and just let Chef Nico and Piero do their “magic.”

Chef Nico and one of the best restauranteurs in the country – Piero.

Chef Nico devised a special menu for us that he labeled “Surf and Turf”

Prosciutto di Agnello (lamb), Melon and Ricotta Salata – a lovely combination

All wines were chosen by Piero – first wine of the evening

On the left Angus Beef Carpaccio with yellow tomato and orange oil. On the right thinly sliced Yellowtail, cucumber and anchovy colature (brine) and sliced cucumbers – light and delicate and an excellent example of “surf and turf.”

On the left Tongue Braciola – this was a one bite wonder – Chef Nico had used the stuffing of a Braciola and placed the tongue on top. On the right Grilled Cuttlefish on a bed of Cous Cous Sicilian style – this had strong hints of an African influence and both were an incredible pairing of taste and texture

Second wine

On the left Borlotto Bean Soup with mixed vegetables, veal and beef meatballs, parmesan – rich and hearty. On the right fresh corn soup with grilled shrimp wrapped in pancetta – light with a huge flavor punch.

On the left risotto with lobster and crab – delicious. On the right pappardelle pasta with wild mushrooms, speck and parmesan – another wonderful juxtaposition of meat to fish

Third wine

On the left poppy seed encrusted Royal Dorade that had been sautéed, basil, garlic and topped with onion. On the right oxtails on a bed of mashed parmesan potato. Both were fantastic but we were getting quite full and took most of the oxtails home. Piero had the kitchen add extra potato and I think oxtails so our dinner the next night was spectacular.

This is a restaurant that should be on everyone’s must go list. You just won’t get better Italian food anywhere as good as this in Los Angeles.


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