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Nov 24, 2013 02:01 PM

White Truffle Tasting @ Saam

I went to their first truffle tasting dinner last year. I was impressed with the dinner served with the better wine pairing.
This year is their second and may be their last. I have heard that Saam may be re-modeling.
We have the multi-course white truffle tasting dinner last friday.
We were first served a truffle Mist drink. Wow, Wow Wow in presentation. Taste wise, I don't get it. My guest took a sip and left it alone.
The next 4 courses were prepared with "WOW". Or in my own opinion "Oh No".
The server proudly state that they were prepared with truffle oil !!!
Molecular chef be damned.
Jose Anders better tell me that it is not the store bought version and better come up with a better name. Truffle essence, truffle extract, truffle juice, truffle tea, truffle marinate, truffle infusion, or simple with truffle.
You turn me off mentioning truffle oil.
The chef really tried hard to come up with the next 4 dishes
Truffle doughnut, Chicken & truffle, Scallops Squash & Vanilla and Agnolotti.
In my opinion, they did not impress even with shaved white truffle on top on several presentations.
The remanding dishes were all served with shaved white truffle on top.
Next was Lobster and Dashi. The dish was served on a heated plate such that the lobster was perhaps semi-cooked when served on a heated plate. A creamy Dashi sauce was poured over the food and finished with shaved white truffle.
As a result, the lobster was served half cooked, thinly sliced and chopped into tiny pieces. It does not have the fresh texture of lobster sashimi nor the meatiness of cooked lobster. I can neither taste any lobster because of the way it was cooked nor the dashi because of the overwhelming cream.
The next course is "Fish" Papillote.. the "fish of the day" was halibut.
It was tasty but both mine and my guest's halibut were overcooked and a bit dry.
Next was a nicely done risotto.
Next was Cheek and Jamone. This was the highlight of the evening. Perfect in every which way. Must have. If they ever offer it again.

The rest of the menu are dessert items with shaved truffle on top.
All excellent.

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    1. How did you remember all that stuff you tasted - at one sitting?

      Everything you describe sounds delicious, but, I can't imagine eating all of it at the same time.

      I would just love to have a doggie bag to take home and work through the deliciousness after sleeping off the input from the original first courses.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Gypsy Jan

        I do not have super human memory nor super human appetite. Each of the courses is just a bite or two. At the end of the meal, Saam present each diner with a printed list of what was served to take home. If the meal were ordered with wine pairing, a list of which wine were served with which course was also included.

      2. Maybe it's a good thing they won't be doing it next year? Sounds like mostly misses.

        I'm with you. Truffle oil in a truffle tasting menu is a no no for me also. Just give me the version without the oil.

        Thanks for taking one for the team.

        25 Replies
        1. re: Porthos

          As I have indicated earlier, I am surprised with the proud statement of the use of truffle oil in several of the first few courses .
          But if they had prepared something else molecularly and call it truffle oil, they deserve my less than good comments.
          I have never tasted truffle oil nor dishes prepared with it before.

          1. re: Porthos

            I'm with you. I don't like the oil. Even seen it on sushi. Yikes. What's your favorite truffle dish in la? I like the simple truffles shaved on pasta and butter at giorgio

            1. re: jessejames

              I am not a seafood lover in any capacity. However, I was out with friends a few years ago, and decided to be adventurous with some sashimi. A slice of kiwi, halibut sashimi, truffle oil and rock salt…That might be the only seafood dish of any kind anywhere that I would order again. And actually eat every bite. It was incredible.

              1. re: jessejames

                There are some truffle oils in Italy that are what they ought to be, not artificial simple infusions of truffle. But you probably aren;t encountering that here.

                Valentino turns out some excellent truffle dishes at their truffle dinner. Though it isn't quite a "all-truffle" as it was in years past. They've done a porcini custard with fonduta and shaved truffles, and my favorite was a raviolo filled with a soft egg, topped with hazelnut butter, parm, and truffles.
                Truffles on risotto is pretty classic. We did a lobster risotto with white truffles a couple of weekends ago that turned out great. In actuality, with the simple preps being the best, one can easily get more bang for the buck by doing them at home.

                Drago Centro has been getting white truffles in this winter too.

                1. re: john gonzales

                  Valentino sounds like a very solid place for truffles thx

                    1. re: J.L.

                      Btw, BYOT at Valentino might be an interesting concept. I think they're charging $30 to shave. For 4-6 people it would be better to buy a 1-1.5 oz. truffle, bring it, and have it shaved over some of their truffle-friendly preps.

                      Urbani and Sabatino have good discounts on truffles this week.

                      1. re: john gonzales

                        Just ordered my 1oz white truffle from Urbani. Sabatino is 50% off vs Urbani's 40% off but the shipping is $50 more!

                        Planning on roasting them whole with echire butter and sea salt.

                        1. re: Porthos

                          and then doing what with them? shaving them on stuff? do you shave truffles on in the raw state too right? ive never cooked with them and only tasted them a few times...

                          1. re: jessejames

                            Nope. Eating as is roasted whole. Shared with family of course.

                            I remember hearing this done someplace but can't remember where.

                              1. re: jessejames

                                They sell by the oz. I'm guessing I'll get 2 maybe 3 small ones totaling 1 oz.

                                1. re: Porthos

                                  enjoy that! i'd love to hear how it comes out.

                              2. re: Porthos

                                I think Gerard Besson in Paris would often serve whole roasted truffles when it was still in business. Not sure if that is the place you were thinking of.

                                1. re: Searching4Dunny

                                  They must have been Black Perigord or Burgundy truffles, no? Roasting a white truffle just sounds wrong, or at least wasteful. They have much more volatile aromatics which is why they are typically just warmed to release same and not cooked. Black truffles benefit and can stand up to cooking through.

                              3. re: Porthos

                                Porthos, does the discount require a coupon code? I couldn't find it on their site, but that sounds fantastic...

                                1. re: Bert

                                  Urbani's discount code is "thanksgiving".

                                  Got mine yesterday. 1 entire 1oz tuffle (as opposed to 2 little ones). Amazingly fragrant. Got talked into getting one at Surfa's also when I went to get a glass jar for storage, a truffle shaver, and egg pasta (no fresh pasta so got frozen egg lasagne sheets that I'll hand cut). The Urbani one is twice as fragrant.

                                  1. re: Porthos

                                    sounds great porthos please let us know how it turns out...then do u just put butter or olive oil on the pasta first? even bother with parmasan?

                                    1. re: jessejames

                                      Just butter and adding an egg yolk as binder. No cheese. Will toss the cooked pasta with the two (off the heat) until they form a sauce. Then shave. I'll post to the home cooking boards tomorrow :-)

                                      1. re: Porthos

                                        that sounds terrific! bon appetite!

                                    2. re: Porthos

                                      Attaching photo:

                                      Urbani left, Surfas right

                                      1. re: Porthos

                                        How much were they from Urbani?

                                        I tried ordering with the discount code but looks like it's no longer valid.

                                        1. re: Sgee

                                          It was $199/oz before discount. With 40% off it was 119.99. Next day shipping cost $30

                                          Surfas was selling theirs at $250/oz.

                                          Sabatino also had it for $195/oz and a 50% off deal, but shipping to LA was $80 overnight.

                                          1. re: Porthos

                                            Darn missed it at Urbani!!! That's a great price.

                    2. For those interested, I just got an email that said Francos on Melrose just got a shipment of white truffles- they will have dishes featuring them all through December.

                      1. hello :)

                        I'm the chef to saam . First I want to thank you for your post , I see very well explained and very constructive your comments, thanks for coming to our restaurant and enjoy our experience.

                        I would like to explain that our white truffle oil is made ​​entirely alba white truffle oil do especially with pieces of white truffle that breaks when grate the truffle dishes or preparations .

                        here I leave the recipe so you can make it at home :

                        For the white truffle oil

                        Sunflower oil 500g
                        25g truffle

                        Brush the truffle with the help of a little water until the whole earth.
                        Peel the truffles with the help of a nail .
                         truffle cut in the cutting machine
                         obtaining sheets of 0.5 mm thick.
                        Add to vacuum bag truffle and bake in roner at 65 degrees for 2 hours.
                        Remove from roner and store in the refrigerator, let stand 24 hours and freeze.

                        and I totally agree with you about the black truffle oil industry
                        hope to have your check as soon as possible, thank you very much
                        P.d sorry for my english ..... i try make better job :)