LQ@SK REVIEW....THE FINAL DAYS!
After much anticipation, the day finally came! I couldn't wait to try Chef's Laurent Quenioux's whimsical dishes. With 2 other in our party, our trio arrived with time to spare, and waited a few minutes until the first sitting was through.
I'm not embarrassed to admit that I am a sort of late bloomer in the foodie world, and only a few months ago learned about Chef LQ, so imagine my surprised when I learned that I had landed reservations to one of the last events of LQ@SK (Before he moves locations, or decides what his next endeavor will be).
Also very very excited the male in our trio brought one of my favorite wine's from the Mendoza region, which by the way, its been a bit difficult for me to find it so points to Gus for that.
Achaval Ferrer Quimera 2005! Oh, how I love the... Let me count the ways!
Ok, too poetic for a wine, but I was super excited!
I brought another red from the other side of the pond that I bought in Paris a few years back. Lighter bodied than the Achaval Ferrer, but still very good.
You see our pattern here right? We are not big on White Wines... What can I say!
We started out with our AF Wine as they brought out some delicious bread with a very aromatic Olive Oil. I'll tell you, the wine was flowing as the was the bread & Olive Oil...
A few minutes later, our playful, yummy & whimsical Amuse Bouche arrived.
I thought it was tasty and well combined with the little shot of Mustard Greens Artridge, a cute little bite that sort of took you back to your child days. I didn't mind that it was after all Vienna Sausage, Points for Chef LQ for introducing some playfulness and fun onto a menu, it doesn't always have to be over the top and so avant garde. Life's too short... enjoy!
Some more bread, some more wine... nice laid-back ambiance, great company and conversation...more Achaval Ferrer... the arrival of each course was spaced out a bit longer than I'm accustomed to, but we really didn't mind, as the mood lend itself for such a laid-back evening.
Finally, our next course arrives and it's beyond spectacular.
An explosion of flavors from the soft mild buttery, perfectly presented Hamachi, nicely complimented with the acidity burst from the Lemon Curd, the luscious creamy Avocado and that intense sweet smoky flavor from the Soy Gel all together in 1 amazingly intense bite.
The Sesame Cremeux was airy and creamy with obvious but subtle sesame flavors as not to overpower the soft fish. We also really enjoyed the tiny Tobico Caviar pearls which burst and pop! as you bite into them..Pretty fun!
Next was one of the favorites of the night... and although a safe choice for Mr. LQ, Its not easy to pull off something as simple as "Fish & Chips" and make it memorable... but he did!
The fish was just beyond amazing and cooked perfectly, Soft, mild but flavorful and flaky with a nice light & crispy tempura coating, cute little baby chips infused with Sour Cream Flavor!, Chorizo and Lime for some added intensity to this amazing dish.
Next was the tender soft Rabbit Albondigas, well flavored and paired nicely with a bright Miso Dashi Broth... a nice kick of spiciness there, crunch from the Ramps Tempura and the creamy,buttery and fatty deliciousness that was the Foie Gras with the Teriyaki Glaze.
At this point you should notice a trend here, these are all "Comfort Foods" re-invented or re-done in in a more "Adult" & "Upscale" manner, but comfort food nonetheless...and our trio couldn't have been happier!
At this point the skinny gentleman in our group who usually could eat up a storm, couldn't believe he was getting quite satisfied with such "small" portions... LOL it was funny!
Next came the best grilled cheese dish I think I've ever had! It was so good and gooey, , I'd probably rate it "R" just so the kids couldn't eat it! ... This is definitely an Adult Grilled Cheese with Comte as a very nice replacement for your typical and ordinary cheddar!
Combined with a very tender and flavorful Oxtail, its little bit of broth would get all soaked up by the grilled cheese and add to that the House-Made veggie pickles for some brightness and crunch! Oh Man! This was The Grilled Cheese you wished your mom would have done for dinner, you know what I mean?
Next up was the much anticipated Cheese Cart!
We only chose to try 5 among the 3 of us because we were more than satisfied at this point and we still have dessert.
Although I don't have pictures of all of them, and my memory for French words could improve, here are some that I do remember and or have pictures!
Blue D'Tuvergne, Comte, Cavet and 2 others that although pungent and delicious, no power on earth will make me remember those names :(
Saving the best for last and this is not just a pretty face! (Or dish), the Tonka bean infused Tres Leches Cake with a Cajeta mousse, rich creamy Guava Gel and a refreshing Blood Orange Sorbet this was a hit all around!
I'm not usually a ice cream (or sorbet for that matter) person, but this was incredibly flavorful, and the slight acidity did an excelent job at cutting through the rich sweet cake.
It was an event! more than just a nice dinner... Hopefully Mr. Chef LQ will stick around L.A. for a long, long time!
I loved Bistro LQ but never made it to any of the LQ@SK dinners. Hope he doesn't take too long to get whatever's next going.
BTW, K&L Wines in Hollywood carries Achaval Ferrer. Doubt that they have any 2005 Quimera in stock but they usually have the entry level Malbec, Quimera and a couple of the single vineyard Malbecs of the current release year.
Like you, I loved our dishes; my favourite was the hamachi while Mr OCAnn preferred the albondigas & foie. Reading your post, I got to relive that night (thanks!). =)
And yes, jot, Highland Park sounds right. I had too much to drink to remember. =p
kevin, if you haven't already, you might sign up for Chef Laurent's "Insiders List":