7/3/19 – Axpe, Spain – Asador Etxebarri

A bit surreal to actually make it here. Perfect in its simplicity and one of my favorite days of 2019.

6/3/19 – Lima – La Mar and Maido

La Mar

La Mar is one of those places that I could happily eat at every day.  A perfect choice for the first meal when arriving in Lima.

Maido

Mashua, chicken liver, duck heart, chalaca

ocopa

ahi negro chawanmushi

poda cebiche – sabandija cream, catch of the day, shallots, ahi limo, chulpi corn, nikkei leche de tigre sudado – catch of the day, sudado reduction, seaweed cuy-san – cauliflower cream, garlic and rocoto cream, torikara sauce, Pachacamac greens Nigiris gindara misoyaki – cod marinated in miso, crispy Bahuaja nuts, apple gel, Procon mushrooms powder Cabrito dumpling – baby lamb, beans foam, creole sauce with loche, northern style cilantro and chichi de hora sauce beef rostra rib 50 hours, native potato cream, crispy rice, cushuro

sea urchin rice – chiclayo rice, attic sea urchins, avocado cream, wan yi, baby corn theobroma cacao – granadilla with mandarin sorbet, mucilage foam, cacao nibs, lucuma ice cream, raspberries Theobroma bicolor – smoked ice cream made from macambo seeds with shoe, crunchy nibs, sugar coated macambo, camu camu, goldenberry and mucilage

5/26/19 – San Francisco – Angler

Yes it is expensive but everything I have had at Angler has been perfect as are service and the setting. If the world ever returns to normal I would so love to have a repeat of this meal.

Tuxedo #3

Amberjack, cultured cabbage & pear

Parker House Rolls Sweet Chicory Caesar

Grilled Asparagus

Whole artichoke with swarnadwipa spices Hot fried quail Sundae

 

5/23/19 – Big Sur – Post Ranch Inn

I had wanted to visit Post Ranch Inn for quite a while and was so disappointed on this particular morning when I realized that the may gray was not going to burn off.  However even without a sunset (which I hope to get back for some day) the view is amazing.  And even when the fog rolled in limiting visibility to about a foot, the effect was still worth experiencing.  View aside, this was a really great meal with impeccable hospitality.  And I have been craving smelt ever since.


Morro bay oysters, rhubarb, sweet William, tarragon

beer battered smelt, anton’s borage, remoulade, meyer lemon

monterey abalone, post ranch mushrooms, fava bean, green garlic

romanesco cauliflower, nasturtium gremolata, meyer lemon confit, pine nut

farm egg, white anchovy, leeks, pencil asparagus

lone mountain wagyu beef ribeye, beets, spring onion, bone marrow jus

cheese

hazelnut & chocolate, hazelnut meringue, garden lemon curd

seared apricot, rosemary, buckwheat, local honey

4/9/19 – Antwerp – The Jane

The Jane is housed in a repurposed chapel of a military hospital which makes for stunning setting for this lover of architecture and food.  The restaurant suffered a fire after I booked and was closed for several weeks.  I was afraid that our reservation would be cancelled but the stars aligned.  This lunch was delightful.


we got burnt

chu-torro, scrambled egg

sea urchin spaghetti

langoustine, quinoa, carrot, vadouvan

foie gras, rhubarb, hazelnut, nano-hoshiko

white asparagus from stephanie longiune, smoked eel, teardrop peas

perte blanche from bourcefranc-le-chapus, plankton, kaffir

pollock, grey north sea shrimp, chateau-halon

pollock, grey north sea shrimp, chateau-chalon

suffolk lamb, ramsons, morille, black truffle

pigeon from steenvoorde, cassis, bbq-cabbage


4/6/19 – Copenhagen – Noma, Iluka, & Barr

Noma
I’m not sure how my next visit will possibly top this one.  However I said that the last 2 times!  Lunch is definitely the best time to visit Noma 2.0.





Iluka
We only had room for a few bites after Noma but they were great and I am looking forward to going back very soon.

langoustine and pink pepper
queen scallop


cured and smoked salmon

hart bakery bread & butter

Barr

lumpfish roe, grilled belgian waffle and soured cream


tartar – raw beef with damson and pickles

3/23/19 – Chicago – Kumiko

Now one of my favorite places in Chicago.  If you haven’t been, what are you waiting for?


eggplant – miso, lots of herbs and rice crackers

steam buns, berkshire pork belly, spicy pickles and an herb bouquet


tempura prawn – head mayonnaise, yuzu and mint

short rib – braised with pickled plum, puffed beef tendon and beef fat hollandaise

Loup de mer – grilled with bok choy, furikake and ponzu

japanese milk bread – fermented honey ice cream and perigord truffle

gianduja – crémeux with genmaicha, coconut and lime

2/16/19 – Bogota – Leo

I am still a bit conflicted about Leo.  This is a very interesting and educational experience and I would never otherwise have a chance to experience most of these ingredients and the beverages that were a part of the pairing.  There was a table next to me that did not want to even try some of the more exotic ingredients and they missed out.  However I didn’t find any of these dishes to be delicious and there was not one that I would choose to have again.  And there was more than one that I really struggled with which rarely had happened to me.  Perhaps go for the experience because it is one that you won’t otherwise have.














11/20/18 – Budapest – Onyx

Dinner at Onyx is a perfect 2 michelin star experience. Service was very welcoming and friendly despite the fairly formal space and all dishes quite good. The bread basket is perhaps the best one I’ve had and its truly a shame that I couldn’t put more of a dent in it. Definitely a do not miss when in Budapest.



water buffalo tartare, shallot, mushroom

goose liver, coffee, almond

catfish, bacon, fish soup

oxtail consomme

venison “montage,” duck ravioli, celeriac, chervil


turo rudi, forest fruits

11/17/18 – Paris – Clown Bar and Chez la Vieille

Clown Bar
Clown Bar is easily one of my favorite places in Paris and lately has been my first stop for lunch after arriving.

mackerel tempura/piquillos

radicchio/beets/black olive

milk-fed veal tartare/paris mushroom

Chez la Vieille
Another of my absolute favorites.  I would be quite happy eating here at least once a week.  Always at the bar.

blanquette de veau

herring  and potato salad

10/6/18 – LA – Bavel & Simone

Bavel
I can’t quite believe I haven’t been back yet.  My only criticism is that these fantastic dishes that stood out to us on the menu collectively came with too much bread.  If you haven’t been yet, a definite must-do in LA.

Josef – clove infused gin, apple brandy, almond, fennel, lemon

hummus!

lamb tartare – burnt onion creme fraiche, pickled chive blossom, mint, cinnamon

grilled octopus – orange infused yogurt, sumac, dried bell pepper, sun golds, chervil

slow roasted lamb neck shawarma – tahini, pickled turnips, fermented cabbage, laffa

Simone
Simone was highly anticipated after a very delayed opening. But after being plagued by a host of ownership and management issues, and without food that compensated, it is now closed.

seasonal pickles

tomatoes, mustards, sorrel, whipped tahini

red lentil hummus, smashed cucumbers, nasturtium

pole beans, urfa chili creme fraiche, purple tomatillo, almond

ricotta gnudi, grated tomato, guanciale, basil

charred squash, nectarines macadamia salsa macha

hoja santa sturgeon, roasted corn, blistered shishitos

9/2/18 – Seoul – Soigne

The last dinner of a whirlwind trip to Seoul was really quite good. The theme of the menu was “Stamina Food” which reflects the Korean philosophy of food in the sense that it is not nearly a means of indulging in the pleasure of eating but as medicine for protecting and recovering one’s health. The very detailed dish descriptions provided described how each dish was chosen and how it was cooked. Very thoughtful even if too long to post here.












9/1/18 – Seoul – Mosu

In 2017 Sung Anh moved Mosu from San Francisco to Seoul. It is definitely Korea’s gain as this was an absolutely lovely dinner with fantastic service and delicious dishes, especially the abalone “taco.”

burdock bark

small bites






sea perch, white kelp, habanero

mackerel, pine cone, grilled carrot

black truffle, hog fennel, rice

short rib, shiitake, shaoxing wine

quail, ground cherry, pearl onion

black raspberry, kombu, almond

caramelized milk, amaranth, cognac

Costa Mesa & LA – 8/18/18 – Taco Maria & Vespertine

Taco Maria
The pork belly taco was the best taco I have had anywhere.

Paloma

Aguachile – Hokkaido scallop, cucumber, jalapeno, avocado, cilantro oil

Arrachera – hanger steak, roasted chilis, applewood bacon, queso
Tocino – pork belly, piloncillo glaze, plums, salsa de aguacate

Vespertine
I’m still not quite sure what I think about Vespertine. The building is fantastic. Photos really do not do it justice as you need to see it within its neighborhood. I loved the outdoor space where we started and finished as well as the rooftop. But the dining room just felt odd and dark and cold and the music was mind numbing. I can’t say that any of the dishes were memorable but were all just good. At the very least it makes you think.

V E S P E R T I N E – Menu – 08.18.18