Opus: New Chef, Tasting Menu, Review: Wow!
A girlfriend and I went to Opus Wednesday night for dinner. I had been in for a quick bite since the new chef took over and was impressed, so the tasting menu was next on the list.
They offer spontaneous tastings at three for $30, six for $60 and nine for $90.
We each ordered the three course and ended up with 5 courses plus and amuse; i got the impression that it was not atypical for the chef to send extra courses.
The amuse was a sweet corn popper: a crispy little one shot deal, bite size, served warm, fried and filled with sweet corn soup. the crispy outside with the soft silky inside was yummy!
Second was a surf and turf duo: presented on a rectangluar plate, on the left was a beef tartare spiked with juniper berries (which was a great accomaniment to the sapphire I was drinking) layered on a potato pancake and topped with a fried quail egg. On the right was a skewered piece of fish (a nice light white fish that I think they told me was a japanese sea bream), wrapped in prosciutto and shiso then tempura-ed; in the middle was a white soy and bonito dipping broth for the fish. The presentation was really great, very striking and the taste and texture of both were excellent; I love a good fried egg on top of almost anything.
next was hamachi sashimi garnished with shiso and bacon and some citrus juice. THis was very nice, cool and refreshing while also transitioning the taste buds into the next course.....
third course was a braised then chilled octopus with hot crispy pork belly and haricot vert in a smoked paprika oil. I loved the tempurature and texture contrasts in this dish.
then the fish course: japanese snapper in a shiitake mushroom broth: this was my favorite, the fish was a nice size for a tasting, a few healthy bites and the broth was so delicate and the mushroom were perfectly cooked.
last course was another duo: veal sweetbreads paired with what my friend calls cochinillo and I can best desribe as beautifully frenched baby pork chops. When this first arrived I thought it was lamb, but to my surprise it was pork and it was g-o-o-d. The sweeties were perfectly crispy and I devoured them quickly.
We asked to skip a dessert course since my friend is not into sweets, but they looked good on the menu.
On a previous visit I had a ricotta gnocchi and a salt cod brandade both of which were amazing, hence the return.
Overall, I was very impressed, I would defnitely go back and take friends, especially given the price point. With tasting menus all the rage right now, I feel Opus is giving an option to those who are perhaps not ready to invest $150 on themselves alone for a great and adventurous meal. I was especially grateful for the artful presentations and unusual ingredients/combinations given the both of us were only shelling out thirty bucks a head for food.
Total bill for three cocktails, two three course tastings and tip was $118.
3760 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Phone: (213) 738-1600