Posts Tagged ‘barbecue’

Not Your Mama’s BBQ: Roadhouse LA

Roadhouse Cornbread Pudding

#cornbreadpudding

Internationally inspired barbecue isn’t what one might expect to find attached to a comedy club, but that’s exactly what’s being served up at Roadhouse LA. Helmed by Chef Kyle Schutte, who has taken over for opening chef Robbie Richter, the Improv-adjacent restaurant offers grown-up cocktails from Dave Fernie (Harvard & Stone, Pour Vous) in addition to what’s being called “modernist global BBQ,” which means reinvented dishes such as root beer-cured bacon, Punjabi Poutine and Creme Brulee Mac and Cheese.

Schutte (Vu, The Corner Door) may be best known as the guy who tried out for The Taste with Chicken Fried Watermelon, intrigued judges Anthony Bourdain, Ludo Lefebvre, Nigella Lawson and Brian Malarkey, was not chosen to be on a team but was actually really good, and Lefebvre kicked himself for not picking him. And while he laments not being able to get away from the Chicken Fried Watermelon dish, I appreciated seeing it on Roadhouse’s menu. I had first tasted it when Schutte was at Vu, and it makes sense here.

The chef, on the other hand, is focused on the future, retooling the Roadhouse menu and adding his own dessert menu to debut later this month (look out for innovative dishes such as a brown sugar and thyme biscuit served with candied preserved orange, tallow ice cream (!) and verbena meringue).

One of my favorites from Schutte’s menu is the #cornbreadpudding (yes, that is its actual menu name) with roasted jalapeno butter, citrus charcoal, and tequila and cilantro jelly. It’s almost like a dessert, but it’s savory enough to be a great starter. The lamb, served with cucumber risotto croquettes (like arancini), ras el hanout spice and mango yogurt, is some of the best lamb I’ve ever tasted — and I’m not a big fan of lamb. Schutte said he uses Colorado lamb, which is less gamey than other varieties. The Wilted Beet Greens, made with ginger beer and served with dried blueberries, pickled beets and crystalized rose petals, was a good accompaniment. The smoked avocado with burrata, mache, pickled raspberries and sweet drop peppers is another interesting flavor combination of smokey and sweet.

Lamb with cucumber risotto croquettes

Lamb with cucumber risotto croquettes

Wilted beet greens

Wilted beet greens

Smoked avocado

Smoked avocado

Unfortunately, the brisket wasn’t available when I visited. Schutte said it takes days to prepare to get it just right. While I don’t doubt this, I would suggest making the brisket a weekly special instead of a regular menu item so people aren’t disappointed on off days. I will be happy to go back on a day the brisket is ready, even if it’s just to have it with Schutte’s squid ink and black garlic BBQ sauce!

As for the drinks, there’s a respectable list of beer and wine, as well as some house-made nonalcholic drinks, including root beer with vanilla, cinnamon, Chinese 5 spice, lime extract, sugar and Balinese long peppercorn. The cocktails are also nice, with the Jimmy Dalton (chrysanthemum bourbon, hickory applejack, sherry, bitters and citrus oils) and There Can Only Be One (Bank Note scotch, Smith & Cross rum, vermouth, maple syrup and smoked saline) as standouts. Mixologist Fernie is celebrating moonshine all this month, with $12 specialty drinks and $8 shots of Old Smokey available through June 5. The Apple Bottom James, with Ole Smokey Apple Pie, Jameson Irish whiskey, lime, honey and thyme, sounds pretty good!

Jimmy Dalton

Jimmy Dalton

There Can Only Be One

There Can Only Be One

Note: This meal was hosted.

08

05 2014

Travelogue: Memphis, Tennessee

Elvis

Elvis at Graceland

I recently visited Memphis — you know, that other music town in Tennessee. It’s a little funkier, a little dirtier. But that’s why I like it so much!

Memphis is home to Elvis Presley’s Graceland, Stax Records Museum and Sun Studio, some of the most-storied spots in all American music history. Graceland is…well, Graceland. Stax, considered the Southern equivalent to Motown, produced some of the best in soul music, including Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, and Booker T. and the MG’s. And Sun Studio was where Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison recorded. I’d say Memphis has more than enough of its share of street cred.

I visited all three, and all the tours are fun and totally worth the price of admission.

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05

11 2012

Travelogue: Louisville, Kentucky

I’ve been to Louisville before and have even been to the Kentucky Derby. But on this last trip, I tried a bunch of new food, some at old-but-new-to-me places and some at places that have opened since my last trip nearly eight years ago.

First off, I was told that I needed to go to Graeter’s, which specializes in French pot ice cream (dense, custard style). I had both the Bourbon Ball and Black Raspberry Chip flavors, and surprisingly, I liked the Black Raspberry Chip better. Perhaps the best part of this ice cream is the chocolate chips, which are created by pouring melted chocolate into the pot and letting the paddle break up the then-hardened candy into various sizes. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a big piece of chocolate in one of your bites. Since visiting this store, I’ve found Graeter’s ice cream at my local Ralphs, though not all flavors are carried there. They do carry Chocolate Coconut Almond Chip, my new favorite flavor. How can you go wrong with chocolate ice cream dotted with coconut and almond pieces surrounded by those special chocolate chips?

Graeter's Black Raspberry Chip ice cream

Graeter’s Black Raspberry Chip ice cream

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08

08 2012

Summer treat: The Peninsula Beverly Hills’ rooftop barbecue

Side dishes at Peninsula BBQ

Clockwise from bottom left: Brandon’s Barbecue Pickled Salad, Minted Macadamia Nut Cole Slaw and Red Pepper Orzo at The Peninsula Beverly Hills’ Roof Garden

What’s better than lounging around outside on a warm summer’s evening? Lounging around on The Peninsula Beverly Hills‘ hotel rooftop while enjoying fancy barbecue and cocktails, obviously. And with the hotel’s Weekend Barbecue at the Roof Garden, you can do just that.

Grab a Speckled Jalapeño Margarita — it has just the right amount of kick — and nosh on some addictive roasted red pepper hummus and pita chips while you take in the view. Then move on to the mains: I liked the Giant Tiger Shrimp served “char siu,” or Chinese barbecue, style and the ribs best. And don’t forget the side dishes — purple Okinawa sweet potatoes; Red Pepper Orzo with roasted corn, cilantro and blue cheese; and Brandon’s Barbecue Pickled Salad are all standouts.

Speckled Jalapeno Margarita

Speckled Jalapeno Margarita

Giant Tiger Shrimp

Giant Tiger Shrimp

If you’re still hungry, order the Ahi Tuna Chop-Chop from the rooftop’s regular menu. Accompanied by avocado, crisp pineapple, baby coconut and roof garden-picked herbs, The Peninsula’s take on the ubiquitous ahi tuna-and-avocado starter is a revelation and by far one of my favorites.

Ahi Tuna Chop-Chop

Ahi Tuna Chop-Chop

You have until September 2 to enjoy the weekend barbecue, which happens Saturdays and Sundays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Note: This meal was hosted.

Further reading:

BBQ at the Roof Garden, Peninsula Hotel (Beverly Hills) by Gourmet Pigs

Peninsula Beverly Hills’ BBQ and Cocktails on the Roof Rock by Deathbed Food

23

07 2012

Who has the better ‘cue?: Mr. Cecil’s v. Zeke’s

Texas beef brisket at Zeke's Smokehouse

Texas beef brisket at Zeke's Smokehouse

Let me just begin by saying that this isn’t a completely fair comparison. (How’s that for a lede?) Mr. Cecil’s California Ribs and Zeke’s Smokehouse offer totally different styles of barbecue. But I liked different menu items from each of these places, so I thought I would pit the two against each other — in a friendly BBQ cookoff in my mind, of course.

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04

11 2009