Thursday, August 5, 2010

Bistro LQ - Tasting Menu

"I know where I want to take you for your birthday", read the IM from my friend Kris. I thought to myself "Ok, but it's still two months away why are we even thinking about that". I tend to not think that far in advance, but as the week's passed by, I started thinking more about this dinner. I browsed the menu, and wasn't terrible excited about my options. I'm not one of those people who will eat anything and a lot of the menu didn't sound very appealing to me. I told Kris, "If you're going to make me eat brains, there better be wine".  After a pep talk from my mom, and the aforementioned wine, I was ready to start eating.

First was the sea snail amuse bouche. A little parsley butter flavored the snail nicely. It was fine, but nothing amazing.

Sea snail amuse bouche

Uni with yuzu tapicoca, lobster gelee and an oyster. The creamy uni went well with the citrus flavor of the tapicoa. The lobster gelee was a little strange, but actually did a good job of flavoring the oyster at the bottom of the mini beaker.

Uni with yuzu tapioca

Lobster gelee with oyster

One of our favorites was the smoked haddock wrapped around cream cheese, placed on a pancake and topped with arugula caviar. I loved smoked, cheese, etc so this was definitely pleasing to my palate. The fish of course is a natural pairing with the cream cheese and the arugula caviar added a welcome freshness to the dish.

Smoked haddock pancake with arugula caviar

Scallops with oatmeal, parsley grits, and cinnamon. This was one of the best scallops I've ever had. It didn't have a very strong sear, but the scallop was meaty and tasted of the sea without being too fishy. This was my first time trying savory oatmeal. The slight citrus flavor went really well with the scallops and swiping a forkful of cinnamon really enhanced the flavors.

Scallops with oatmeal, parsley grits, and cinnamon

My most favorite dish of the evening was the cod with lentils and blood sausage with pimenton wrapped octopus. Before this dinner, I probably would have said I would never try blood sausage in a million years, but a week later, I can't stop thinking about how good it was. The taste was very reminiscent of Mexican chorizo and even had a similar crumbly texture. It added great flavor to the lentils and cod.

Cod with lentils, blood sausage, and octopus wrapped in pimenton

To round out the seafood dishes, was a nice small plate. Tempura of zucchini on top of salted cod puree. Neither was especially amazing on their own, but they went nicely together,

Tempura of zucchini on salted cod puree
Our meat course was hangar steak with sesame glaze and topped with bonito flakes. The steak was cooked a little more rare than I prefer and overall the dish was slightly disappointing. I suppose I was looking for a bigger punch of flavor from the glaze and bonito flakes. The vegetables on the side were cooked perfectly and there was a nice surprise of a sweet, roasted garlic clove.

Hangar steak with sesame glaze and bonito flakes

By this point, it was hard to fathom eating any more food, but then the restaurant's famous cheese cart was rolled in our direction. We told our server we weren't picky when it came to cheese and he served us a delightful combination of cow's milk, goat's milk, and sheep's milk cheese with an array of dipping sauces and breads. My favorite "sauce" was the truffle honey which I gladly scarfed after Kris shocked me by saying he doesn't really like the taste of truffles. After that confession, I started to seriously reconsider our friendship, but lucky for Kris, we're compatible in other dining aspects.

Cheese cart
Cheese course
Cheese course condiments

At long last there was dessert. Gianduja with hazelnut ice cream and an assortment of petit four. The gianduja was a bit rich after all the food we had just consumed, but the hazelnut ice cream was a nice accompaniment. The petit four were also good with our favorite bite being the little fruit jelly that we couldn't place, but was a welcome bite on our tongues.

Gianduja with Hazelnut Ice Cream

Petit Four

After two and a half hours and countless calories, I felt like I needed to be wheeled home, but it was so worth it. The dinner was a great treat and made me realize, that I am willing to eat more adventurously than I previously imagined.

Bistro LQ
8009 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 951-1008

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Becca said...

Oh my gosh that looks positively divine! I hope it was a birthday to remember!


Erica said...

oh lord you are adventurous! I would've just done cheese and dessert <3 Glad you enjoyed it all though

Memória said...

Oh, I'm not a fan of fine foods, and I'm not nearly as adventurous as you, but I would have gobbled up the dessert in a second! I'm so glad you had such a great time. What a great birthday and an amazing friend you have!

Joanne said...

This sounds like one amazing meal! I don't think my stomach could have fit all of that! Or been as adventurous. I'm impressed.

vanillasugarblog said...

wow! i would have loved that uni dish as i am a HUGE uni lover.
what a nice friend to do that for you. yeah, a lot of food.
so the lobster ghee was just plain ghee flavored with lobster or was there lobster meat in there?

Diana said...

I should not have read that post before lunch. I'm now starving and craving a plate of fatty cheese with truffle honey!

I can't believe you ate blood sausage! Bravo! I think I'm still a little intimidated by it!

M. said...

oh, my what a great tasting menu, so many beautiful courses :)

Banana Wonder said...

I think I'd go just for the cheese plate alone :)

shaz said...

Oh wow! What a fantastic feast. It all looks so exciting, although I may have hesitated at blood sausage but it sounds fabulous.

Apples and Butter said...

This looks like it was a delicious dinner! I have been craving uni for the past week and this post isn't helping!