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Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)
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April 10-16, 2007
April 16, 2007
Straighten up and Bi-Rite
The cholesterol levels in our blood streams were running the risk of being restored to normalcy and if those National Geographic Jacques Cousteau specials taught us one thing it’s that it’s dangerous to depressurize too quickly (you don’t want to get the bends) so we dashed over to Bi-Rite Creamery and Bakeshop:
... to get a couple cones of their house-made churnings.
Chubby got a single scoop of mint chip ($2.95) on an organic cone. Shards of chocolate gave textural interest to his lightly minted, creamy treat.
I preferred my scoop of salted caramel ($2.95) which had a lingering (but not overwhelming) saline boost to its caramel goodness. Definitely reorderable.
We also picked up a couple cookies (75¢ each):
I’m normally not into chocolate chip cookies with nuts (I mean why take up valuable chocolate real estate with non-chocolate structures?) but the toasted walnut flavor of these babies changed my mind. The CCC was a tough act to follow but the toffee cookie was even more craveable due to its caramelized bits of buttery, sugary punctuation.
So if you need to keep your sugar levels up, you should head over to Bi-Rite. They also do ice cream sandwiches, sundaes, ice cream pies, cakes and hot chocolate. If you want something lighter, they have a couple of sorbets too.
Bi-Rite Creamery and Bakeshop
From today’s bunrab email, Deborah writes in response to our belly busting French Laundry dinner:
"would monsieur care for a thin mint?"
Luckily, we skipped the wafer thin mint so no bucket (only a jacket) was required.
April 15, 2007
We woke up with industrial strength food hangovers and couldn’t imagine ingesting anything ever again after last night’s hedonistic parade of food and wine. That Monty Python wafer scene came to mind towards the end of our meal (but luckily we didn’t find ourselves re-enacting it.) Little did we know that as we were filling our bellies last night, Adam was lurking in the restaurant bathroom.
Went to Place Pigalle to meet him and some fellow bloggers:
... as we stuck to sparkling water to reassure our livers that we were not so bad after all.
April 14, 2007
French Laundry List
Pierre Gimonnet Brut 1er Cru Champers washed down our amuses of gourges and crème fraiche filled, salmon tartare capped, sesame cornets before we moved on to:
Broccolini soup with meyer lemon and ham
Chanterelle soup with San Marzano tomato compote and green garlic
Sturgeon caviar over pistachio butter
Oysters and pearls - oysters with pearl tapioca and sturgeon caviar
2005 Naiades Rueda
Santa Barbara uni over a Granny Smith apple granite:
I can see why they called this roe a “tongue” of uni. Although it was sticking out at the diner, it was far from rude with its taste of the ocean washed over by waves of icy fresh fruit.
Kahala tartare over prawns, crème fraiche with asparagus and yuzu sorbet
We each were presented with a shell filled with the most perfect escargot dish ever:
Mary’s garden escargot with green garlic, bacon and farro was snail-licious. These perfectly cooked spiral bodied, tender trail makers were escargone quickly
Coddled hen egg with truffle bruniose and brioche soldiers
Truffle custard with potato chive chip
Crosnes, mizuna, pear and toasted pine nuts
Hawaiian peach palm, naval orange, beets and Haas avocado
2005 Franz Hirtzberger Rotes Tor Gruner Veltliner
Sunchoke torteloni with fava beans and olives
Russet potato gnocchi with San Marzano tomato compote, mizuna, and shaved bortaga
2004 Marc Colin et Fils St. Aubin 1er Cru Les Combes
Two plates of confit of bluefin tuna:
...with cauliflower, sultana raisins, black rice and curry emulsion This tuna was not the chicken, but the butter of the sea.
... with peas and black truffles over a dried corn emulsion
Butter poached lobster tail with bortaga emulsion, braised romaine, and melba tuille with grated bortaga
1989 Bert Simon Serrig Wurtzberg Riesling Auslese
Foie gras cake:
... with pistachio cake base, duck consume gelee with strawberries, celery and whey sorbet. When this plate was placed in front of me I exclaimed “no whey!” to which the server responded “whey.” This nutty preparation takes the cake.
Foie gras terrine with cashews, kumquats, celery and cashew butter with toasted brioche (refreshed with newly toasted brioche at mid-eating point.)
2004 La Spinetta Ca di Pian Barbera d’Asti
We each liberated a serving of Liberty duck breast confit with Swiss chard, cipollini onions and cherry coulis
Both of us were then recipients of the most incredible 50 day dry aged Wagu beef:
...with carrots and globe artichokes in a reduction sauce
Our cheeses were:
Malvarrosa (sheeps milk) with Delta asparagus
Adante Dairy Accapella (goat) whipped with crème fraiche and served with rhubarb jam and brioiche
The shiso sorbet with lime curd and yogurt snow was a spectacular combo of tangy, minty flavors and creamy and snowy textures
Sierra beauty apple sorbet was served over compressed apples (which were a brilliant idea – balls of apple meat that were compacted into a dense, focused, apple-essence) this was served with a cinnamon tuille
Then came the signature coffee and doughnuts for each of us. Hot, fresh, cinnamon-sugar coated police chow with a demitasse of cappuccino semi-freddo was arresting even though we had priors.
2004 Domaine de Durban Muscat de Beaumes de Venise
Chocolate terrine with peanut nougatine and marshmallow sorbet
Chocolate red wine cake with chocolate mousse and chocolate sorbet each made with different 100% single origin chocolates.
Meyer lemon posset
Crème brulee with Tahitian vanilla
Chocolate coated macadamia nuts
Orange and bergamot lace cookies
Milk chocolate and walnut caramels
Dark chocolate with almond caramels
From the tray of chocolates there were the usual delish varieties that we have had in the past, but I had to try the newest flavor of red fruit with pepper which was enrobed in white chocolate and had a wonderful balance of fruit, richness and a hint of hotness to finish.
The level of detail that goes into the preparation of this amazing chow extends beyond the meal that you are served. They pull up the records of previous meals to insure your dietary restrictions and food enthusiasms are addressed while never getting a carbon copy of your last experience. They are always innovating, always finding the best sources and employing some wacky-ass thinking to make the some of the best meals that we have ever eaten.
April 13, 2007
Z and M know how to cook.
Deep fried artichokes and slices of meyer lemons:
...with home made caper mayonnaise, boiled eggs and olives were heralds of the good chow to come.
Tongue with onions, carrots, celery, orange and bay:
...was so delicious that I had seconds. This improvised dish had wonderful aromatic elements from the citrus peel and fresh celery which lightened this savory dish for the season.
Deliciously rare, grilled loin lamb chops with fava beans and arugula flowers and a chocolate strawberry tart finished off the feast. One final shot of Grappa and it was time to drift off for a nap while reflecting on such a pleasant afternoon.
From the bunrab email bag, Chilebrown writes about meat:
I just thought I would drop you a line and suggest Hubert Keller's Burger Bar in Las Vegas for your search of the Holy Grail of Burgers. Ms. Goofy and I thought it was superb. I had a Black Angus, Swiss, jalapeno bacon burger on an onion roll. The only fault, I would think you would catch, was the meat to bun ratio.
We’ll have to check out this burger action next time we’re in L.V.
Thanks for the try-tip,
We also got eggbeaten by our pal Shuna:
So, nu? You went to a restaurant opened by a pastry chef and not only didn't you mention her name, you didn't eat & review dessert? Shame on you bunnies! That Nancy Silverton is a powerhouse! Mario doesn't live in LA, she does!
You are so right, we should have had dessert BUT shame on you for not reading the whole entry ‘cause we did mention Nancy S. by name. The popularizer of panna cotta and the queen of grilled cheese sandwich is okay by us, but our pie holes were too full due to their big ‘zas.
Next time for sure,
April 12, 2007
How could we resist dining at an establishment called The Oinkster?
When we learned that they cure their own pastrami and make their own ketchup we thought it was worth flying out to Eagle Rock (which is a stone’s throw away from our temporary Hollywood digs.)
The portion sizes are certainly oink-worthy at this counter service, cheap and cheerful eatery.
We split a BBQ pulled pork sandwich ($6.50 plus $3.00 to add on fries and a drink):
My first reaction to this meat-intensive torpedo was that it was slightly dry and a little too sweet. Chubby grabbed the vinegar pepper sauce and I followed suit. A good slosh of this added a tangy counterpoint and moistening solution that made for a more balanced and satisfying sandwich. The Kennebec fries were crisp and starchy in the correct places.
The Oinkster pastrami sandwich ($8.50):
... was stuffed with peppery, house cured smoky ‘rami. Sure, this ain’t Katz’s, but this non-purist version with gruyere, onions and red cabbage slaw was a tasty meatwich for under a tenner.
They also rotisserize chickens for those who like rotating (rather than pulled) food.
Although they have a chainy feel, they have not yet multipled (but they have plans to.)
April 11, 2007
Due to Mario Batali’s fame, Pizzeria Mozza is always bustling. We arrived at 8:30 and our quote of a 45 minute wait turned out to be only 20 minutes when a couple of stools at the bar:
...became vacant. We sipped our wine while laying down an alcohol barrier of eggplant caponata with pine nuts and onions.
Squash blossoms ($8.00):
...were filled with ricotta, then tempura battered and fried to crispen the petals and moltenize the ‘cotta. These buds appealed to ours. I wish they were a little less greasy, but sometimes it’s good to get to bud oily.
The asparagus pizza ($14.00):
...was capped by a fresh egg with a runny yolk. We were advised to spread the yellow liquid around before the residual heat from the ‘za cooked the egg beyond oozability. To complete the egg and bread trinity, there were strips of guanciale (cheeky bacon) melded together by parmigiano. I favored this pizza while Chubby preferred the shellfish number.
The littleneck clam pizza ($17.00):
...had a serious, prescription strength dose of garlic. Now, I like garlic a lot, but this was an extreme abundance of vampire repellant.
If you look at the pizzas from both this and our previous visit, you will notice a uniformly wider bread band than we prefer. Don’t get me wrong, we think that their dough is delish (co-owner, Nancy Silverton is a staff of life expert) but it’s even better with a narrower bread-only periphery. I think that’s probably why we saw so many crust arches left on neighboring plates.
If you call for a reservation, you may find their month-plus wait discouraging. For this reason, I think it’s best to go during less traditional dining hours (they stay open from noon 'til midnight) or go when you have some time to yourself because there always seems to be a single seat at one of the counters. I asked the hostess if that was an accurate observation and she said that she would never guarantee it, but there usually is no wait for a single at the bar (even during peak times.)
I anxiously anticipate the opening of Osteria Mozza on Melrose Ave. which will have a mozzarella bar. Fans of burrata, bocconcini and strachiatella will belly up to this non-Clockwork Orange milk based bar that will also serve salumi in addition to Batali-style pasta, seafood and meat entrees. Sounds good to me.
April 10, 2007
There is a chain vibe to Buddha’s Belly:
..so I was surprised to find that this was the sole organ-deity named restaurant. Maybe this impression was due to its uber-Feng Shui’ed interior design and uniform, well organized appearance.
Vietnamese rolls ($6.50):
...contained chicken that was dried out. The shrimp, mint and dipping sauces didn’t provide enough electricity to defribulate this starter.
We also shared some chicken lettuce cups ($8.50):
...Chinese broccoli ($5.50):
...and Alaskan black cod ($16.50):
We may have caught them on an off night, but none of these dishes were enticing enough to lure us back.
Entire contents copyright © 2007 by BunRabCo. All rights reserved.