Where is Ken Frank
- Paul C.III
Remembering Ken Frank from the original LA TOQUE in L.A.,went to his new LA TOQUE while in Napa recently. We were a party of six so that I had an opportunity to taste a number of dishes. I and another Chowhound had the special Truffle Dinner while other four ordered off the regular menu. Resturant is lovely with a glassed walled KITCHEN so that food prep is in full view.Perhaps observing the lack of personal involvement of Ken Frank in dinner prep somewhat colored the end result. Dish prep (cooking) was done by his two young sous-chiefs with N.F. assuming the role of Executive Chief. This lack of personal involvement especially in that glassed wall
environment is very disappointing and a turn-off especially where the price of dinning is tres expensive.
On to the food, Overall just average. The truffles lacked any intensity either as to flavor or aroma so that they added nothing to any of the dishes including the truffled ice cream dessert. Best individual dish was the foie gras, then the soup.
Recommendation skip LA TOQUE for now and dine at BISTRO JEANTY in Yountville serving wonderful classic bistro dishes.
Ken Frank always did do wonderful things with foie gras. My favorite restaurant dish in Los Angeles when he was at Fenix was his soft polenta, with fresh corn kernels,topped with foie gras. Before that at La Toque we always ordered whatever foie gras offering was available. I haven't had a chance to visit his Northern California restaurant but was hoping to try it out on my next visit. My friend who lives in the SF area also raves about how good Jeanty is and we will definitely check that one out.