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Your best meal of 2013?

For me I think it would be Trois Mec with close seconds coming to Night + Market and maybe Bestia.

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        1. re: sarahbeths

          Ah, without looking at notes, receipts I would guess maybe $120. I ate well in excess of 22 pieces.

      1. 1. (insert Shunj dinner here)
        2. Trois Mec
        3. Animal
        4. Mori Sushi
        5. Yamakase
        6. Red Medicine
        7. Son of a Gun
        8. Gorge
        9. Kang Hodong Baekjeong
        10. (insert Night+Market dinner here)

        1. 1. Chi SPACCA
          2. Hinoki & The Bird
          3. Providence
          4. Bulgarini
          5. Sea Harbour

          3 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit

            You made an entire meal out of Bulgarini gelato?

            Me too. Thrice.

              1. re: J.L.

                It costs more than most of my meals so I too go all out!

            1. Tie between n/naka and Wolvesmouth. An enormously, heartfelt honorable mention goes to Papilles for providing consistently delicious food at a price that I can afford during my almost monthly visits.

              Other notables listed below, due to my strong desire to return:

              • Angelini Osteria
              • Bestia
              • Chi Spacca
              • Din Tai Fung
              • Gjelina
              • Go’s Mart
              • Hatfield’s
              • Kang Hodong Baekjong
              • Providence
              • Republique

              8 Replies
                1. re: djquinnc

                  what is good at Kang Hodong Baekjong?

                    1. re: chrishei

                      got it
                      sounds good
                      never heard of it
                      better than parks or chosun?

                      1. re: jessejames

                        Cheaper than those 2 for sure. Park's (and maybe Chosun Galbee) has better quality meats, but you'll have the best overall experience and time at Kang Hodong Baekjeong IMO.

                        I like both the beef and the pork. Actually prefer the pork myself, particularly the pork neck. But agree w/ djquinnc, ribeye >>> short rib as the 3rd choice in beef combo.

                        Here's what I said earlier this year: http://oheithere.wordpress.com/2013/0...

                        1. re: jessejames

                          Yet, beware the wait! Can be long enough that we put our names in, grab a bite somewhere else, then are having a drink in a bar and hungry again but the time they call. Bring friends, get the combos.

                      2. re: jessejames

                        I've had the beef combo three times and the pork combo twice and the beef wins every time in my opinion, especially when we've chosen the rib eye option over the short rib. I also prefer the soybean paste soup over the kimchi stew that they offer with the combo, but that's just a matter of preference as the latter is delish as well. No joke - I am salivating right now as I type this out.

                        1. re: djquinnc

                          almost lunch time! or maybe as the hobbits say, first, late morningsies.

                    2. Mine was at home on our new screen porch. Good friends, lots of small plates, fun cocktails and great wine. It was a perfect evening.

                      12 Replies
                      1. re: foodieX2

                        Would have to agree with you in the concept of eating at home with quality company, quality food & wine, at a fraction of the price.
                        So many new, or newer places, are just in it for the hype, money, and 15 minutes of fame.
                        Places open for one year wanting to open units 2, 3, or 4 thereafter, when they really have not even perfected #1 - Huh?

                        1. re: carter

                          Which newer places are in for the "15 minutes of fame" ?

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              My best over all meal in 2013 was either Assunta Madre or Roscioli, both in Rome.
                              My Best American Meal was Paiche in NOLA
                              My best meals in LA were:

                              Chengdu Taste
                              Factory Kitchen
                              Alex's Lemonade Stand
                              Giorgio Baldi (Braised Rabbit, off menu)
                              Chi Spacca

                              1. re: Ciao Bob

                                Let's hope Factory Kitchen is the "other" 1 of the 2.

                                1. re: Ciao Bob

                                  Out of curiosity what did you get at Peche? I went as well and thought it fantastic (loved the space and location) but it definitely was not in contention for my meal of the year.

                                  1. re: set0312

                                    If it was in NOLA, maybe CB meant Peche.

                                    1. re: set0312

                                      Sorry about the confusion.
                                      I did mean Peche in New Orleans

                                      I went to Paiche twice here and enjoyed it, but it was not a contender for my MOY, either.

                                      1. re: Ciao Bob

                                        Glad you enjoyed Roscioli. Assunta Madre is now on the stack for October.

                                        1. re: steve h.

                                          I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

                                          1. re: Ciao Bob

                                            Looking forward to it. It's in my neighborhood (Via Giulia) but I never pulled the trigger. I'll report back.

                              2. I am going to go with Yamakase

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Thor123

                                  what do u like best there? just great sushi?

                                  1. re: jessejames

                                    Sushi is fairly minimal at Yamakase actually. More of just small appetizers both raw and cooked, a la Shunji sans nigiri.

                                    1. re: chrishei

                                      never been -- have to add this to my list for 2014.
                                      Lots of great tips from the hounds in 2013: Shunjis for starters.

                                2. Many wonderful meals at Shunji and Bestia.

                                  Providence- best wine tasting ever.

                                  Best BBQ with a view: take out from Candi's BBQ in St. John USVI

                                  Best ceviche, arroz con mariscos, and chupe camarone and basically best Peruvian Food Experience: La Mar in Lima.

                                  Best suckling pig and baby goat: Panchita in Lima

                                  Best steak: La Chacra Del Puerto in Montevideo

                                  Best home cooked meal: roast guinea hen and truffle rice bicolore Christmas Eve with family

                                  12 Replies
                                  1. re: Porthos

                                    Was the wine tasting at Providence the standard or was it premium or was it something even more special?

                                    1. re: Porthos

                                      Love St. John's. Nice work. Great pix.

                                      1. re: Porthos

                                        And how were those whole roasted truffles

                                        1. re: jessejames

                                          Lost my nerve. Didn't roast them. Shaved them over pasta instead.

                                            1. re: jessejames

                                              those white truffles look beyond orgasmic.

                                        2. re: Porthos

                                          I really like this list (and photos). Didi you visit any Francis Mallmann restaurants while you were in Uruguay?

                                          1. re: Searching4Dunny

                                            We only did Montevideo and Buenos Aires that trip and didn't venture out to the country side.

                                            1. re: Porthos

                                              Still sounds like a great trip. I hope to do something similar next year.

                                              1. re: Searching4Dunny

                                                I had a wonderful meal at FM 1884 in Mendoza a couple of years back, the parilla and pastas were great, the wines great, and highly recommend going if you have the opportunity.

                                                1. re: TruJavaLvr

                                                  Very nice. Thanks for the feedback on that.

                                        3. shunji's.

                                          The Mart.

                                          Tacos punta cabras on the 3rd try.

                                          Chengdu Taste, the very first time. (I'm hugely OD'ed out on it now).

                                          Pina's Bistro.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: kevin

                                            Agree Kevin - one time and I had no need to return.
                                            Good, yes, but nothing worthy of on-going repeat visits, especially when not in the area.

                                          2. I'm surprised no one has mentioned Urasawa.

                                            Btw has anyone been to Jiro's pupil's sush bar called nakazawa (sp???) in NYC ?


                                            1 Reply
                                            1. La Petite Grocery in NOLA

                                              1. Since apparently there are no geographic limitations on this post, I'll put in my 2 farthings...

                                                1. Akelarre, San Sebastian
                                                2. Private host dinner, Juan-les-Pins
                                                3. Providence, Los Angeles
                                                4. Crab feast, Shunji, West L.A.
                                                5. Old Jesse, Shanghai
                                                6. Sergi Arola, Madrid
                                                7. Pintxos crawl, San Sebastian
                                                8. Yamakase, West L.A.

                                                And I just made dinner out of 9 scoops of gelato at Bulgarini earlier this evening (damn your power of suggestion, ipse!)

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: J.L.

                                                  I made dinner put of 12 scoops though they are tiny.

                                                2. Atelier Joel Robuchon in Paris.

                                                  14 Replies
                                                    1. re: jessejames

                                                      This is way late, but I came across our bill this morning, so I thought I'd share in case anyone was still interested:

                                                      La langoustine en ravioli truffe a chou
                                                      L'Os a Moelle releve d'une Pointe de Moutarde
                                                      L'Oeuf Cocotte a la Creme legere de Morilles
                                                      L'agneau de lait des pyrenees, en cotelettes
                                                      Le black angus, coeur onglet, aux echalottes
                                                      Les Spaghettis a la Truffe Noire
                                                      Les Asperges Vertes Mousseline ou Vinaigrette
                                                      Le Carpaccio de Dorade

                                                      Roughly translated:

                                                      Lobster and truffle ravioli
                                                      Bone Marrow was with a hint of mustard
                                                      Egg Creme with Morels
                                                      Lamb of the Pyrenees, in chops
                                                      Black angus with shallots
                                                      Spaghetti with Black Truffle
                                                      Green Asparagus with Vinaigrette Mousse
                                                      Carpaccio of sea bream

                                                      I know we had dessert too, which isn't listed on the bill for some reason. I would go back in a heartbeat.

                                                      1. re: aching

                                                        My goodness that looks incredible.

                                                    2. re: aching

                                                      I had the best meal of my life at Robuchon's restaurant in Las Vegas about 3 years ago.

                                                      1. re: brandygirl

                                                        For that price I would hope so!

                                                          1. re: jessejames

                                                            We ordered the four-course menu and added a cheese course. For my appetizer, I had the egg with smoked salmon and caviar--sublime. Next was a chestnut soup, which I loved--however, my sister's soup was even better, with the best broth I've ever tasted, although I don't remember exactly what she had ordered. My entree was sea bass, cooked to perfection. We had great cheeses, but other than Epoisses, I could not tell you which cheeses we ate. I wanted to have their Sphere for dessert, but it wasn't offered on the menu we chose, so I had an apple dish with cinnamon. Their bread cart was amazing, and I had an olive oil bread and a Gruyere cheese bread. They brought a candy cart with a huge assortment of truffles. Because we were celebrating my birthday, the wheeled out on a cart a small birthday cake--not a slice of cake, but a whole small cake! We each received a pistachio-raspberry pound cake as a parting gift to take home.

                                                            As ridiculously expensive as it was, I would go again in a heartbeat. Worth every penny for a once-in-a-great-while splurge.

                                                            1. re: brandygirl

                                                              Sure does not read as being overly adventurous, or for that matter, even interesting. But I realize it was expensive.

                                                              1. re: carter

                                                                It actually was much more interesting than I am communicating--I'm sorry I'm not the best writer! I left out all the juicy details.

                                                                So, to do justice to the meal, I just pulled from my files a copy of the menu that I saved.

                                                                The amuse was a lemon and basil gelee with anise fennel cream.

                                                                The appetizer I already described, and you are right, it's not overly adventurous, but it was incredibly tasty. I loved it.

                                                                The soup was a light chestnut cream with foie gras and smoked lardons foam.

                                                                My entrée was pan fried sea bass and octopus with lemongrass, baby leek, and artichoke.

                                                                And for dessert, Fuji apple confit, cinnamon sable, and Manzana milkshake.

                                                                And everything I ordered tasted far better than I could have imagined!

                                                              2. re: brandygirl

                                                                thanks for that description. sounds awesome. not as expensive as me playing craps I bet. for that reason i never have a problem spending bucks on food/wine in LV. was it a hard reservation to get, or did you just call way ahead?

                                                                1. re: jessejames

                                                                  I did call ahead--I think maybe 3 or 4 weeks before my trip. Told them what time we wanted--it was on the early side--and there was no problem.

                                                                  If you go and are not staying at the MGM hotel, make sure to request their limo service when you make your reservation. There is no charge for it.

                                                          2. re: aching

                                                            Are we not talking about Los Angeles?? Shit, we could all go on & on about memorable meals in other places....but then this should be moved to another board, no?

                                                            1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                              I don't know - there were a bunch of other non-LA meals mentioned, so I thought we were going global on this one.

                                                          3. Urasawa - two nights ago. Hokkaido hairy crab in season, plenty of white truffles from Alba, beef from Miyagi and Hyogo Prefectures, foie gras shabu shabu, shirako shabu shabu, and many other delicious bites of sushi, seafood and cooked items washed down with Eikun Junmai Daiginjo Ichigin sake, as well as other champagnes and wines. A very special meal!

                                                            11 Replies
                                                              1. re: jessejames

                                                                Yes. I believe there is also a ban on importing the Miyagi beef to the US. This may have accounted for his no-photo policy on the food. The photo policy did not appear to apply to the regulars seated next to us who also were served some different dishes from us that included horse meat, sea cucumber and even more white truffles.

                                                                1. re: Searching4Dunny

                                                                  Was the basashi served cooked or nigiri / sashimi?

                                                                  1. re: J.L.

                                                                    We were not served any but it looked as if it were lightly seared over charcoals.

                                                                    1. re: Searching4Dunny

                                                                      Please describe the white truffles further.

                                                                      How many desserts did you have ??????

                                                                      Thanks a bunch.

                                                                      1. re: kevin

                                                                        The white truffles were large white truffles from Alba (so I was told). Shaved over various dishes but most notably a dish with a slow cooked wagyu that was cooked for two days and served with a generous dollop of Oscietra caviar. Very aromatic. Probably the strongest truffles I have had outside the Piedmont/Langhe region. That is as best as I can describe them.

                                                                        Desserts consisted of a persimmon, a black sesame ice cream dish and a cup of green tea matcha. Overall, the desserts were not the highlight of the meal.

                                                                2. re: jessejames

                                                                  Foie course was obviously comped therefor not sold and thus perfectly legal.

                                                                3. re: Searching4Dunny

                                                                  Was there an additional charge for the copious amounts of white truffle ????

                                                                  How much was the tab ? And the sake price ?????


                                                                  1. re: kevin

                                                                    No extra charge for the truffles but I think offering Hiro-San some sake and a glass of whatever we were drinking helped in that department. Sake was $350. Price for food only was $375 per head pre-tip/tax. Total tab for 3 pre-tip was $2400. Not a common tab for us by any means but a once a year splurge that we enjoyed.

                                                                  1. High End : n/naka

                                                                    Low Brow : tie between Freddy Smalls & Connie & Ted's

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                      wow. our bill at connie & ted's makes your definition of "low brow" kinda...broad.

                                                                      1. re: linus

                                                                        Hahaha, well, when comparing it to places like n/naka.....

                                                                        Sure it's pricey, it's fresh seafood flown across the country.... But it's casual atmosphere and homey food (for me, since I grew up on New England seafood shack type food)......

                                                                    2. Probably Vientiane or Zam Zam market. I'm a cheap date.

                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Eater15

                                                                        Vientiane that good? I've been meaning to try it.

                                                                        1. re: set0312

                                                                          Yes it is. They have the best nam khao todd and the best raw shrimp IMO. I also like the fried fish with mango, the wild pork stir fry, and too many other things on that menu to name off the top of my head.

                                                                        2. re: Eater15

                                                                          I've never heard of Vientiane.

                                                                          And what do you get at Zam Zam ??????????????


                                                                          1. re: kevin

                                                                            lamb biryani or pulao and chicken tikka.

                                                                            1. re: kevin

                                                                              Or just get a mix plate - one of everything + naan.

                                                                          2. Bestia. Was with a group of people and among us we shared a variety of different pastas and every dessert on the menu, and nothing was less than excellent.

                                                                            1. all California this year

                                                                              1. Saison (by far...)
                                                                              2. Manresa
                                                                              3. Shunji's
                                                                              4. Aubergine
                                                                              5. Q
                                                                              6. Zo Downtown (37 pieces of nigiri)
                                                                              7. Providence
                                                                              8. Yamakase
                                                                              9. Nozawa Bar
                                                                              10. Kiriko

                                                                              i'm in SF but LA has some amazing food, especially (but not limited to) its incredible sushi. in terms of Japanese food and especially sushi, nothing from SF comes remotely close to what's available in LA...envious of you all!

                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                              1. re: kyee87


                                                                                How much did those 37 pieces run you ??????????????

                                                                                1. re: kyee87

                                                                                  So, Saison was really worth it? I'm very interested, but it is a signficant investment of time and money which leaves me a bit conflicted.

                                                                                  1. re: kyee87

                                                                                    sorry for the late response!

                                                                                    kevin - if i remember correctly, the meal was about $250p/p.

                                                                                    djquincc - yes, in my opinion, Saison is absolutely worth it for me personally. i will definitely be putting my money towards Saison again, even if that means I go out less and on fewer occasions. the food there is really incredible - i had several dishes which each could have been the best thing i ate all year. i think you'll have a great time if you go!

                                                                                    1. re: kyee87

                                                                                      Shit. I better head down there on the double.

                                                                                  2. My best meal last year was tuna prepared sushi style, freshly caught off our boat in Guanacaste, Costa Rica by the ship's captain. It went from sea to belly in about 10 minutes

                                                                                    Locally, the best meal last year was at Mélisse. Excellent French cuisine with highly refined service

                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Ernie

                                                                                      im curious: ive heard the texture of fish right after theyre caught can be a little...mushy.
                                                                                      did you find this to be true?

                                                                                      1. re: linus

                                                                                        I'd be concerned about worms etc...

                                                                                        1. re: JAB

                                                                                          No worms and texture was velvety, not mushy and of course very fresh

                                                                                          1. re: Ernie

                                                                                            Microscopic but, you're still here to tell the story...

                                                                                      2. re: Ernie

                                                                                        Flash freezing the tuna kills the parasites & eggs. I don't mind waiting to eat the fresh-caught tuna until after this process is done.

                                                                                        1. re: J.L.

                                                                                          Yes, this is what I had heard and was referring to.

                                                                                          1. re: J.L.

                                                                                            Tuna has such low incidence of parasites, it is one of the few fish that the FDA does not require to be flash frozen

                                                                                        2. Chai cake w/ orange mascarpone at Sycamore Kitchen.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: katydid13

                                                                                            Currently serving the chai cake w orange mascarpone or is it a seasonal thing that has already passed ?


                                                                                            1. re: kevin

                                                                                              I stumbled upon it about a month ago on a Sunday. They seem to do a different layer cake each weekend, so it's not on the regular menu. I wish I could count on seeing it again!

                                                                                          2. A home meal. December.

                                                                                            Two, two and a half pound dungeness crabs, live then boiled for my hubby, my cousin and me, and a choice rib eye to split as well. Sourdough rolls, surprisingly good fresh tomatoes, sliced, and nice wine.

                                                                                            What made it even tastier was that my cousin had never even had dungeness, let alone fresh, so he was a VERY happy boy.

                                                                                            And we were not suffering either : )

                                                                                            1. I just want to write a thank you note from up north here in San Francisco.

                                                                                              I was in Los Angeles this weekend (James Turrell! The Wooster Group!) and referred to your wisdom on these pages to make plans for our Friday night meal.

                                                                                              Japanese is my favorite, and thanks to you all I chose Shunji, and I could not be happier. It was absolutely stellar.

                                                                                              Oh, and sorry but I kidnapped Shunji and Miki and brought them to SF. They are tied up in the basement as we speak...