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Tar and Roses

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We have been anxious to try Chef Andrew Kirschner’s new restaurant Tar and Roses since we enjoyed his food when he was executive chef at Wilshire. I think Chef Kirschner has matured incredibly as a chef – his flavors are powerful without being fussy food or the school of throw 15 ingredients on a plate and hope it works. What he serves is finely tuned and edited. This is gutsy cuisine executed with a competent sureness. Andrew utilizes quality ingredients and knowingly allows each ingredient to speak for itself.

Wood Roasted English Peas, mint, sea salt – this should come with the warning you can’t eat just one

Popped corn in bacon fat, crisp bacon, brown sugar, chili – absolutely addictive! My husband had thoughts of a new TV snack food for sport-watching.

Crispy pigs ears, saffron aioli, pickled vegetables – the vegetables were a terrific compliment to the pigs ears

Balsamic glazed ribs, chili, fried basil – boneless ribs cooked to perfection topped by the fried basil

Chicken oysters on a stick, tamarind – the star of this dish was the tamarind sauce with a hint of lemongrass and ginger – absolutely off the charts A+

Charred octopus, garbanzos, fennel, piquillos, blood orange – what I like so much about Andrew’s cuisine is that the supporting players to the main protein are equally important and essential to the over-all success of the dish.

“Vitello Tonnato” – seared ahi, crispy sweetbreads, pickled tomato, arugula, red wine sauce – again each element was crucial to the success of the dish with the tomato adding an important role relative to the sweetbreads and the tuna. The red wine sauce would have made any French chef proud.

Braised lamb tongue, creamy polenta, pickled peppadew peppers – again each component was essential and the polenta was to die for.

Braised lamb belly, minted apple chutney – another winner!

Wood roasted half chicken, heirloom tomato bread salad – my husband and our friend devoured the salad, particulary the bread cubes.

Baby carrots, currants, chermoula creme fraiche – to me these were more addictive than the popped corn.

Grilled asparagus, bresaola, coddled duck egg

Wood roasted whole branzino served with Meyer lemon risotto

Strawberry ricotta crostata, honeycomb ice cream

Chocolate hazelnut budino, whipped yogurt, candied wheatberry

Bottom line: this was a fantastic meal and I can’t wait to go back to Tar and Roses.

Pics here:
http://lizziee.wordpress.com/2012/04/...

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