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What was your favorite meal this year?

p
Patty Dec 19, 2001 05:08 PM

In an effort to stimulate discussion, I'm proposing a year-end topic, what was your favorite restaurant dish or meal this year, preferably in L.A., but anywhere for that matter.
I'm thinking giant scallops from Maine at the Water Grill, various Thai dishes at Ruen Pair, sushi at Sushi Gen...
What about you guys?

  1. s
    SKU Dec 22, 2001 05:54 PM

    One faboulous Saturday in October: 10:30 a.m.: Was downtown, stopped by Central Market, grabbed three of those humoungous tacos from the stand on the south side (cabeza, carnitas and birria). One plate, three giant tacos, plenty of lime and salsa and a strawberry liquado, eaten on the bench outside. Thought to myself, hey, I've never been to Olvera street. In a vain effort to work off some of the three pounds of meat I'd ingested, walked up to Olvera (of course, got all the strange looks from motorists passing by whenever you walk anywhere in LA, especially downtown). Hit Olvera-cheese city. Four churro stands, had one of each...verdict: the churros made inside the small sweet shop are the best. Had a decent Mexican hot chocolate and some cajeta candy. Glad I went to Olvera once, will never go back. Went home, got on the Tread mill to pay penance to the gods of taco meat. Had Humboldt Fog with seasame crackers as an afternoon snack. 7:00 p.m.: significant other calls, is coming home from work (in Inglewood), do I want her to stop by Phillips? The question answers itself: half a pork slab, half a beef slab, slaw and beans. Meat cooked just so, spicy and smokey, sauce dripping off the bones...beautiful. The best day of food you could have without eating any vegetables.

    1. l
      Leslie Brenner Dec 20, 2001 11:56 PM

      Great question, Patty! I'm going to answer with my best meal in L.A. this year: hands-down, it was omakase at Mori Sushi. (I just unearthed my notes in the unlikeliest of places: the appropriate file folder!)

      --tender, perfect ankimo with seaweed
      --a tiny slice of herring roe, a zippy sardine garnished with a stringbean, a chestnut done almost like marron glacé, and a small piece of unforgettable wild abalone
      --seared skipjack tuna from Japan with shaved mioga
      --a large, grilled Santa Barbara spotted prawn, served with its generous roe and arugala salad
      --something illegible that looks like "sawanoi" (I was hiding my notes)
      --a teapot full of mushroom broth with ginkos and shrimp, garnished with lime to be added halfway through. Self-poured into a small tea cup.
      Then sushi: whitefish, toro, shad? from Japan, Spanish mackerel, lightly seared scallop, sea eel, abalone, and the freshest, most amazing octopus I've ever tasted. Accompanied by two different wonderful sakes (whose names I didn't note), and a taste of the special fifty-year old sake that Mori keeps under the counter.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Leslie Brenner
        k
        kevin Dec 21, 2001 07:00 PM

        actually tried the omakase before at Mori. but for me it just wasn't that great. if i can remember correctly, there was a toro tartare (though sadly no caviar on top of it), skipjack sashimi, one of those huge prawns with the roe and all, a layered tofu, and a few pieces of sushi. it was all right, but nothing special. and the worst part was for $70, it was a huge ripoff considering that i didn't get even near half full. i had to order a few more dishes such as some albacore sushi, toro sushi, a crab salad, maybe a couple other dishes. finally stopped because it was already prohibitively expensive. I much prefer Katsu's omakase which is actually more than worth the price and is a experience short of mindblowing (many, many times better than Mori) and Shibucho is very good too (although like I've mentioned on this board many times before the sushi chef at shibucho is not the nicest of persons).

        anybody who knows of any places that serve very good maybe even creative sushi please post. As for now, I'll probably give Nishimura a try.

        1. re: kevin
          l
          Leslie Brenner Dec 21, 2001 10:10 PM

          Kevin, has Katsu improved in the past couple of years? The last time I ate there, it didn't even begin to approach the level of Mori Sushi, though, as I say, that was some two or three years ago. I'm dating myself, but in the old days--the mid-eighties--Katsu was my favorite.

          1. re: Leslie Brenner
            m
            michael (mea culpa) Dec 22, 2001 12:20 PM

            What has happened with Katsu? The one on Hillhurst sold. What about Katsu on 3rd? There's one in the valley? Same or different? Recommendations?

            1. re: michael (mea culpa)
              k
              kevin Dec 22, 2001 12:55 PM

              Studio City is the only one left.

              1. re: kevin
                m
                michael (mea culpa) Dec 22, 2001 04:21 PM

                So, it's reopened after the fire?

            2. re: Leslie Brenner
              k
              kevin Dec 22, 2001 12:54 PM

              I went about a year ago at the newly opened one in Studio City, but when making a reservation make sure to say you want the omakase served by Katsu at the smaller sushi bar in the restaurant. Nothing has approached it in excellence in my experiences (although probably Ginza might but that's another matter altogether). the omakase at Katsu (the Studio City is the only location right now) is almost a bargain for the price in my opinion. and much better, more creative, and has better quality sushi than Mori.

        2. m
          michael (mea culpa) Dec 20, 2001 09:46 AM

          La Toque, Napa Valley.
          97 Soulez Savenniers, Clos du Papillon with foie
          2000 Selene Sauvignon Blanc with scallop
          99 Arlaud Chambolle-Musigny with quail
          97 White Cottage Cabernet with rib eye
          99 Chateau St. Roch with Reblochon, P'tit Basque, Tete de Moine & L'Edel de Cleron
          The phrase, "It's all good," comes to mind.
          But I also had some really satisfying low end meals as well.

          1. g
            Grog Dec 20, 2001 08:46 AM

            Hands down Patina for my anniversary:
            1st: 4 seperate seafood preparations. 94' Beringer Resv Chardonnay.
            2nd: Lamb loin seared, and I beleive the leg and thigh were confit in pan jus, cannot remember the sides. 91' Caymus-Napa.
            3rd: Cheese cart, about 6 types--just the description from the cheese guy on the 30 or so types was impresive. Taylor 20 yr Tawney.
            4th: Homemade cookies with expresso.

            We had had our wedding at Pinot in Pasadena before it closed and were invited to Patina by the Pinot rep. She had 2 glasses of champaign waiting on our arrival. I brought my own wines and she had corkage waived for us. The only sour note is, "Beware the water guy". We ordered 1 bottle of H2O and when the bill came we discovered we had drank 3 bottles at something like $10 or $12 a pop. Still one of my most memorable meals.

            1. j
              JerryH Dec 19, 2001 06:45 PM

              I can't remember my favorite, but this particular LA Times food critic outlines his favorite new restaurant in this article (at least in OC):

              http://www.calendarlive.com/top/1,141...

              1. f
                FED Dec 19, 2001 06:02 PM

                favorite meal? probably a picnic on the bluffs of the mendocino headlands with a bunch of california cheeses, a couple of bottles of beaujolais, some great fruit and a really spectacular panforte from san francisco (rulli). oh, and good friends.
                best restaurant meal? probably french laundry two nights before that.

                1. r
                  Rafi Dec 19, 2001 05:45 PM

                  bouillabaisse at Water Grill

                  oysters in broth at Shibucho

                  suckling pig at Lucques

                  and, under the "anywhere for that matter" category, a searingly hot quesadilla with squash blossoms and epizote at an indian market outside of Oaxaca

                  1. v
                    Vanessa On The Town Dec 19, 2001 05:34 PM

                    5 Dudley in Venice/Summer 2001

                    First course: Consommé soup with a robustly flavorful cold clear broth and fresh cherry and little pear tomatoes.

                    Second course: Their amazing Caesar Salad eaten with the fingers. Whole leaves of Romaine, gingery Caesar dressing with a bite and a crust of parmesean on top. Yum!

                    Third course: Seafood pasta. Homemade Tagliatelle pasta, shrimp, calamari in a light white wine and I think shallot sauce. Topped with a huge lump of fresh crab meat and some sort of unusual soft white cheese. Fantastic!

                    Dessert: Can't remember details completely, but it was orgasmic. Rich chocolate cake (maybe flourless) with some sort of berries or fruit.

                    1. j
                      Jim inWine Dec 19, 2001 05:28 PM

                      At Il Boccacio in Redondo Beach; Lamb Stew with a 3 litre of '97 Dante Rivetti Bricco de Neueis Barberesco!
                      Just spectacular!

                      Cheers,
                      Jim

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