Sadly, all good things come to an end, be they vacations, bacon-infused chocolates, or long lived scifi t.v. shows. The other day, Akemi and I bid L.A. a fond farewell in fine style – with dinner at Jose Andres’ Bazaar,compliments of Martin Gero, and his lovely better half, Chelan Simmons.
The evening took me back to some of the memorable meals I enjoyed in Tokyo, every dish imaginative, delightfully surprising, and, most importantly, delicious…
We started with two versions, the caviar cone pictured above and a salmon and lox with salmon roe. The latter was accompanied by cream cheese (within the body of the cone), the former creme fraiche.
The traditional version was pretty damn good but the modern version, contained within a thin-walled gelatin capsule, was bursting with liquid olive flavor.
Blackberries, Scotch Islay Mist and flame in the form of dry ice. Sweet and strong but not overly so.
And yet, like most molecular creations, it possessed the flavor of the very best version of the dish it was trying to capture.
Martin and Akemi’s favorite. Akemi insists she can make this one at home using the sous-vide machine and foamer. We’ll see.
Good but my least favorite of the night. A tad too tart for my taste.
Spain’s vaunted Iberico pork on full display here. It melts in your mouth, leaving behind traces of its salty sweetness.
Very good although, I have to be honest. Ever since I had wagyu in Tokyo seven years ago, nothing in North America quite compares.
The chicken was unbelievable. Incredibly moist, tender, with crispy skin to either side!
Not for everyone – but certainly for Akemi, Martin, and I. A variation of the mini uni sub I enjoyed at Jose Andres’ restaurant in Las Vegas.
They were sold out of the night’s squid special, so we settled for the regular version – and did just fine. The meatiness of the body with the crispiness of the tentacles = perfection!
We concluded (the savoury portion) of our meal with these mini Philly cheese steaks – the aptly named “air bread” ultra thin, containing the melted cheese hidden inside.
From there we moved on to dessert – at an adjoining dessert room, its walls and counters lined with choices, everything from jellies and marshmallows to cookies and cakes. And, in addition, there were the menu items to choose from!
Florentine, financier, chocolate chip, wedding cookie, double chocolate, pecan, hot chocolate mousse, red velvet cupcakes – just a few of the items we sampled. It honestly felt like we’d been invited to Willy Wonka’s private lounge.
A wonderful meal to cap off four days of fantastic dining (with the exception of that first restaurant).
Monday morning, we were still mighty satisfied from the pervious night’s meal. But there were two more places we had to hit – it being our last day and all.
We picked up two cupcakes from Sprinkles –
And two more from Crumbs –
– before retiring to our hotel for our Cupcake-Off! The results?
Akemi preferred the Sprinkles carrot cake, finding the Crumbs counterparts too sweet, the icing in particular. I, on the other hand, like sweet and, while I may have agreed with Akemi on the frosting, I preferred the carrot “cake” from Crumbs for its superior moistness. In the battle of the red velvets, we both gave the edge to Sprinkles.
And that was it. We caught our half-hour-late flight out of LAX and arrived in Vancouver just a little before 7:00 p.m. The dogs were, of course, thrilled to have us back and, after taking them for a walk, Akemi and I even managed to get in a workout.
That’s it! I’m on the program! It’s going to be oatmeal and fish (and occasional dark chocolate only because it’s good for me) from hereonin!