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AOC Saturday Night

a
allisonteal Jan 24, 2007 02:03 PM

I am going to AOC this Saturday - have never been before and I would like advice on what to order - what MUST I get??

Thanks!!

  1. s
    SebastianRedSox Jan 24, 2007 02:18 PM

    Went there for the first time last week. Everything was pretty good. They push the dates pamesan and bacon, but mostly because they're great. There's an excellent soft sheep's milk cheese and both the market fish and lamb dishes were also good. Enjoy!

    1. c
      chowmominLA Jan 24, 2007 02:27 PM

      Ahhh you're so lucky. You'll love it.

      I went there a month ago and these were my thoughts:

      Roasted dates, parmesan and bacon appetizer -- we decided was the best and most interesting dish -- whoever came up with this combination must have been a genius, stoned or both.

      Smoked trout, avocado and beet vinaigrette -- the beet vinaigrette was a pleasant surprise, sweet and flavorful.

      Grilled scallops, braised leeks and salbixada -- my friend thought this tied the dates as the best entree, I thought it had a nice sauce but the scallops seemed kinda ordinary.

      Beef cheeks with paprika and buttered noodles -- the beef was really tender, and the noodles were awesome.

      Clams and sherry with garlic toast -- the toast was surprisingly good, made with very, very fresh bread, but the clams, like the scallops, seemed somewhat generic to me.

      Steamed fingerlings with creme fraiche -- Being a carb lover I would have predicted this as my favorite dish but the potatoes were a bit too salty.

      A plate with three different kinds of french cheeses:
      Capriole old Kentucky tomme Indiana (a goat cheese),
      Tome safranee du querey france (a sheep's cheese with saffron), and
      Epoisses burgundy france (cow's cheese.)

      All three were delish but we liked the goat cheese the best, it was a buttery, double cream cheese like a Brie but tastier.

      So, I say, get the dates for sure and any of the others if the description sounds good. If you must order the fingerlings, tell them to go easy on the salt.

      Enjoy!

      6 Replies
      1. re: chowmominLA
        a
        allisonteal Jan 25, 2007 11:03 AM

        thanks for detailed report! would you be able to tell me how big the dishes are? we are going with another couple and not sure if we should order 2 of everything or if 1 plate will be enough to share of each item? thanks!!

        1. re: allisonteal
          sll Jan 25, 2007 03:24 PM

          Instead of getting 2 of everything, just get more to share, and maybe consider ordering a 2nd plate of something if everyone loves it and it disappears quickly. Plate sizes vary a bit, but if you do a cheese plate, charcuterie, the dates, and a 2 or 3 other things, you'll be super-duper happy.

          1. re: allisonteal
            c
            chowmominLA Jan 25, 2007 03:27 PM

            Well, my friend and I ordered three dishes each plus the cheese plate and it was the perfect amount of food (we're "average" eaters.) So maybe each person should pick two or three things and try to keep them kinda different so you can get a good sampling, and then if necessary order more of your favorites. The servings are small, only big enough for each of the four of you to get one or two good bites. There are soooo many dishes to choose from that even if you all picked three different items, that would only cover half the menu.

            Drooling....

            1. re: chowmominLA
              sll Jan 25, 2007 03:40 PM

              "So maybe each person should pick two or three things and try to keep them kinda different so you can get a good sampling, and then if necessary order more of your favorites."

              ... perfect plan, but now I'm really wanting to go!

              1. re: sll
                c
                chowmominLA Jan 25, 2007 03:47 PM

                yeah tell me about it...allison, do you mind if me and sll tag along? ;0)

            2. re: allisonteal
              d
              djdebs Jan 26, 2007 02:17 PM

              If you only have 4 people, you don't need to get two of everything. You can probably get 7-8 dishes and be really happy -- that's what I usually do with a group that size. For a bigger group (like my birthday, when we had 10 people), the waitress suggested that we get two of everything that we all were interested in, and that made a lot of sense. And just to add to the list of favorite dishes, I love the brussels sprouts. I'd have them for dessert, honestly. And the arroz negro is amazing. Enjoy!

          2. SauceSupreme Jan 24, 2007 08:32 PM

            Let me third the suggestion for the dates.

            Get a charcuterie plate, too, as that might be fun for you.

            1. Bon Vivant Jan 25, 2007 06:59 AM

              The chicken liver crostini is a must as well!

              http://myculinaryadventures.blogspot.com

              2 Replies
              1. re: Bon Vivant
                a
                allisonteal Jan 25, 2007 11:01 AM

                is the chicken liver crostini similar to the one they are serving at mozza right now?

                1. re: allisonteal
                  Bon Vivant Jan 25, 2007 11:15 AM

                  I don't really know as I haven't been to Mozza yet (next month) but the recipe was in the Nov 1 2006 edition of the LA Times Food Section so you might be able to do a search and see if the recipe is to your liking.

                  Also, no one has mentioned the roasted cauliflower with the curry seasoning. It's great! Much better than it sounds.

                  http://myculinaryadventures.blogspot.com

              2. kellydeez Jan 25, 2007 12:00 PM

                Grilled skirt steak, sauteed mushrooms, fried tetilla, yes to the roasted dates!, and i personally love the cauliflour. There's not much I have tried that wasn't really good. I would also suggest you ask your waiter to make up a cheese plate for you. They always do it up right if you tell them your tastes. Have fun!!

                1. b
                  Blakekitty Jan 26, 2007 01:07 PM

                  I love the skirt steak and you must try the brioche..which is their fancy schmancy version of an egg mcmuffin...I've always been let down by their desserts..but everything is is so good, who cares.

                  1. a
                    allisonteal Jan 28, 2007 07:52 AM

                    THANK YOU EVERYONE!!

                    Had a fabulous meal last night at AOC thanks to all the wonderful suggestions - could not believe that everything was just so good!

                    Here is a breakdown of what we had -

                    chicken liver crostini - OH MY GOD!! This was the best chicken liver I have ever had. My husband and I eat a lot of this stuff (aka: chopped liver) being that we are Jewish, but nothing I have ever had before compared to the depth of flavor and texture we had last night....and the crispy pancetta that graced the top of crostini took it to another level. One of the best things all night.

                    Roasted dates, parmesan and bacon (2 orders) - of course everyone knows these are awesome. My husband thought they should actually be on the dessert menu since they were so sweet! But we loved them...would be interesting if they mixed it up a bit and tried it with different cheeses??

                    coppa, sopressata and cacciatorini - absolutely buttery and delicious. the coppa was my favorite.

                    Grilled scallops, braised leeks and salbixada - the scallops were cooked perfectly, however I thought something was missing? They were still good, just not amazing.

                    Beef cheeks with paprika and buttered noodles - This was awesome. I actually utterered "Holy Shit" after taking a bite because I thought it was so good. I have never had beef cheeks before, so I don't know what to compare them too, but the beef was tender, meaty and so flavorful, and the noodles went great with it...would have liked even more noodles!

                    cauliflower, curry and red vinegar - if i could make this at home I would be eating cauliflower every night!! This was a great dish and the curry flavor was perfect - I thought it was a little overwhelming at first bite, but totally mellowed out and couldn't stop eating it!

                    arroz negro with squid and saffron aïoli - I have never had squid so tender and perfectly cooked. This was a fabulous dish, albiet a little overpowering with lemon on a few bites, but overall very good.

                    A plate with three different kinds of cheeses - i didn't order this, so I am not sure which ones we got, but had an excellent sheep and goat cheese. There was a blue cheese as well, but didn't care for it since it was a hard blue...perfer the softer blue cheeses.

                    And finally for dessert....

                    gâteau breton with calvados, smokehouse apples and crème legère- this was delicious. the cake was flakey and buttery and went so well with the apples and caramel drizzled on the plate - was perfect because it was rich and light at the same time, and not too sweet.

                    pumpkin parfait with sassafras mousse and gingersnaps - this was probably my least favorite dish all night, although two other people at the table liked it. I thought the sassafras mousse was too overpowering and could barely taste the pumpkin. although the gingersnaps were fabulous!

                    Also shared a bottle of great cab franc that went so well with everything!!!
                    And we thought it was very reasonable for all the food we had! It was $202, not including tip..and that was with 3 more wines by the glass...there was 4 of us, so out the door about $120 per couple, which for this quality of food is outstanding. And we weren't rolling out the door stuffed, but plenty full and satisfied!

                    Thanks again chowhounders!!!

                    1. c
                      chowmominLA Jan 28, 2007 06:30 PM

                      Sounds like dinner was a success, thanks for sharing! Glad you enjoyed it! (I had the same thought about the scallops. btw)

                      1. sll Jan 28, 2007 07:09 PM

                        Thanks for reporting back! Glad your dinner was so fantastic. I was already really wanting to go back - your dinner makes me think I better head over this week!

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