Dining Out LAX...part 4~ ink

you saw him on top chef...he has lots of tats...he kicked ass... "he cooked like his opponent on his days off"...he won~ enter Michael Voltaggio. Although I only had a couple nibbles and a few cool "mocktails", it is a keeper. Can't wait to go back. He was in the kitchen looking out over his domain with that ever noticeable frown and look of serious contemplation and evaluation. Maybe even discontent, I don't know. What I do know is that his team of cooks were putting out some cool food. The cold line and the bar especially. Cool frozen components from the liquid nitro bath to hand crafted cocktail counterparts by the cool bar chick. Fun, lively and energetic. Dining room servers seemed a bit full on themselves like their shit didn't stink, but oh well. It's LA right? What I did appreciate is that they stood by what they were serving and selling. "is this the mojito" said a guest who got up to interrogate the bartender with the mindset that this doesn't look anything like one..."you're damn right it doesn't" she said!
lollipop kale, lardo, crispy pig's ears, togarashi aioli

fresh & flash frozen, pea tendrils, surf clams, dungeness crab, almonds, pea blossoms

Dining Out LAX...part 3~ Osteria Mozza

Mario Batali and crew know how to freakin do it. Cool. Hip. Tasty. Lively and Fun. Definitely crowded and a bit too packed for their own good(and mine). Servers were over taxed and a lot of crowded work spaces and bottlenecked intersections. Thinking that experts in the restaurateur realm would be a bit more polished as I witnessed crew continuously bumping into one another, stopping and going with irregular movements. Busy for sure, granted, but not smooth. A bit slow on the service due to the server dude having way too many tables dumped on him at once, but nonetheless, a great time. very fun sitting at the mozzarella and burrata bar! Could sit there for hours, and just snack. Next door at spacca and mozza to go were cool too, but no pics...sorry!
crispy pigs feet, apple-frisee salad, mustard, chives, sherry vinegar dressing

spicy mole salami panini, provolone, fresh batard bread, arugula

fresh burrata, hazelnuts, brown butter dressing, asparagus, pancetta

oxtail ragout, tagliatelle, calabrian peppers, pecorino

chilled squid ink "chitarra" pasta, dungeness crab, uni, chilis, sea urchin essence

warm bombolini, white chocolate cremeaux, mascarpone gelato, huckleberry conserva

Dining Out LAX...part 2~ Bouchon

a few shots from the "if you have to ask, you can't afford it" sector...Keller has a great thing going.

grilled asparagus, sous vide hen egg, hobb's bacon lardo, asparagus ribbons, fig

quiche lorraine, bacon, onions, gruyere, farmer's lettuce, lemon, olive oil

delice au chocolate, caramel mousse, dark chocolate ganache, joconde, sablee
chocolate sauce, tangerine sorbet

Dining Out LAX...part 1~ Providence

on a more recent trip to the sunny golden state, specifically SOCAL...I had a chance to dine at some more cool spots, hang outs, foodie stops and crazy beverage watering holes as well as some insane chef-driven meccas! Ahhhh...the sunset strip...Melrose...Hollywood Hills. LA has changed a bit since my last jaunt there. first up~ Providence & Chef Michael Cimarusti. Then A.O.C. & Suzanne Goin. Taco Trucks et al. Bouchon Bistro Beverly Hills & TK, Osteria Mozza,spacca and mozza to go with Batali & cohorts, ink. & Michael Voltaggio, and lastly The Bazaar by Jose Andres. Serious food overload, but way cool.
wild hamachi, red miso vinaigrette, hearts of palm, micro fennel, compressed cucumbers

seared striped bass, smoked miso, white asparagus, sesame, green asparagus coulis

santa barbara spot prawns, vadouvan curry, fennel compote, vadouvan emulsion, peas

sous vide veal loin, tomato confit, arugula pesto, salsify, black garlic, onion blossoms

harry's strawberries, rhubarb, pistachio sablee & crumble, strawberry sorbet, white chocolate-rose mousse
bachelor buttons


Dining Out PDX...

a recent trip to Portland and all of it's cozy, quaint, hip-yet-laid-back sleepiness brought forth some cool bites, tasty treats and very flavorful nibbles and noshes! My youngest and I ate around town stumbling upon coolness whilst my oldest; "system d" got his groove on at the Lakers vs Portland game. There was some newness to the scene that I had not been privy to as yet. A sense of refinement, a level of distinction and a realm of awesome food. I bit into that right away. What was going to start out as a bite at the local sports bar, ended up to be one of culinary stimulation for my lad and I. He tried almost everything and liked it. Way cool. Here is how she rolled...

sous vide egg, chick pea fries, radishes, hazelnut romesco, greens
sous vide octopus, nettle pesto, artichoke aioli, albarino jelly, artichokes
the pig at LARDO
cubano panini, smoked coppa, roasted pork shoulder, provolone, pickles
mustard, spicy salumi
the fun at voodoo doughnuts, and only had to wait in line 45 minutes this time!


Whatever, Whoever, Whenever...

diver sea scallop ceviche, black radish-endive-ugli salad, avocado
american sturgeon caviar, yuzu-champagne-elderflower sabayon, lotus root chip
It boils down to just that while the team and I are cooking. Doesn't matter what I am cooking, and to what degree and whatever the ingredients are. Doesn't matter for whom I am cooking for. Kings and Presidents...rock stars...sports celebs, high profile business leaders or just simple folk like you and I. I always try to put my heart and soul into it. Make it special. Make it real. Make it memorable for them as well as for us in the kitchen, for if we aren't stoked, they won't be either! And, it doesn't matter when it is. Could be a Monday. Could be a holiday. Lunch, or at a time when I really would rather be out on the town with friends or colleagues. If I am cooking for my guests...I'm gonna make it what I can. As Het sings..."nothing else matters", granted a slightly different context and meaning of course. Just a couple shots here that helped make one's father's 70th a special and joyous memorable moment in time, for we really have so few. It was an honor to cook for them to say the least.
fennel pollen crusted alaskan halibut, spring pea pancake, black garlic puree
green garbanzo bean-asparagus-pea salad, meyer lemon olive oil powder, spring onion coulis
bacon-onion jam
spice crusted moularde duck breast, pecan-cacao nib waffle, king trumpet mushrooms
carrot creamed nettles, apple-lentil "salpicon", cassis-merlot-shallot essence