Posts Tagged ‘seafood’

Travelogue: Santorini, Greece

Oia, Santorini, Greece

Oia, Santorini, Greece

Our third major stop in Greece was the island of Santorini. Yes, it’s touristy, but for good reason. It is one of the most amazing places I’ve ever seen and experienced. Just thinking about it makes me want to go back immediately!

Also known as Thera or Thira (you will find that many places have multiple names in Greece due to its history of invasions from other cultures), this is the island that you often seen in photos showing blue and white domed buildings perched high up on a cliff. That cliff is the side of Santorini’s famous caldera, which was formed by ancient volcanic eruptions.

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09

02 2014

Red Medicine redefines dinner with new menu

Cream and rhubarb at Red Medicine

Cream and rhubarb at Red Medicine. Photo by Jordan Kahn.

Red Medicine, Chef Jordan Kahn’s ode to late-night, post-restaurant-shift eating, is undergoing a transformation. While the restaurant has focused on serving Vietnamese-inspired food, kind of like what Kahn and his work buddies would eat after service was over, Red Medicine is now phasing that menu out to make room for new, innovative creations inspired by what he finds foraging — on the beach, in his neighborhood, even in his backyard — in a “new naturalist” style dependent on local availability.

Kahn’s dishes have always looked like pieces of art, and his new ones are no exception. From the exotic-looking “cream and rhubarb” to the surprising “bread and cheese” (the simple names don’t do the dishes justice), the plating looks like it must be a painstaking task. Every cluster of food, be it vegetables, cheese or some kind of protein, looks like a beautiful little garden captured in a whimsical moment in time. I half expected to see elves peeking out from behind the cluster of veggies and flowers on my plates.

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08

09 2013

David LeFevre is Fishing With Dynamite in Manhattan Beach

Hamachi at Fishing With Dynamite

Hamachi at Fishing With Dynamite

When I heard that Chef David LeFevre opened a seafood-centric restaurant, I was excited. Not only is LeFevre’s MB Post a winner, but his stint at Water Grill proved his mastery with fish. And while Fishing With Dynamite is a welcome addition to Manhattan Beach, just up the street from MB Post, it didn’t wow me as much as I hoped it would. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy some of the dishes, though.

The chilled shellfish platter is a stunner. We made our own with Peruvian scallops, which were served raw with grapefruit, Prince Edward Island mussels, Atlantic lobster, an oyster sampler, and a special sea urchin plate that isn’t always available. While everything was tasty, the scallops were amazing, especially with the pop of citrus.

Chilled seafood platter

Chilled seafood platter

Sea urchin

Sea urchin

Oyster list

Oyster list

Peruvian scallop

Peruvian scallop

I also really liked the hamachi (pictured above) served with ponzu, avocado, red radish, serrano chili and shiso. Bright, bold flavors — just how I like my food.

What I really wanted to love was the New England clam “chowdah,” served here with Neuske’s bacon, Weiser Family Farms potatoes and house-made oyster crackers. The flavors were good, but I wanted the soup itself to be just a bit creamier and thicker; while the milk and cream were blended beautifully, the end result didn’t produce that thin coating on my spoon that, to me, means the perfect New England clam chowder texture. But I’m not telling Chef LeFevre how to make his chowdah!

New England clam chowdah

New England clam chowdah

Chef David’s Mom’s Cape Cod Squash Rolls with rosemary butter were addictive (LeFevre’s biscuits are always good: see the cheddar buttermilk biscuits at MB Post), the seared diver scallops were cooked beautifully, and the crab cake was made with a lot of sweet meat. But overall, I wasn’t blown away. LeFevre gives a solid performance at Fishing With Dynamite, but if I had to choose, I would pick his MB Post for my meal.

Note: This meal was hosted.

24

08 2013

Marina Del Rey’s taste of Peru: Paiche

Yuquitas at Paiche

Yuquitas at Paiche

Paiche, the newest in Chef Ricardo Zarate‘s mini Peruvian restaurant kingdom, is his most ambitious yet. Located in Marina Del Rey just steps from the Pacific Coast Highway, its focus is seafood — a paiche is a South American tropical freshwater fish, after all. But I’m weird, OK? My favorite dishes at Paiche had nothing to do with the myriad fish and shellfish items on the menu.

The Yuquitas, yuca beignets filled with manchego cheese and topped with grated parmesan, were light and airy yet delightfully chewy. The creaminess of the cheese went well with the salty fried goodness of the yuca. I could eat these all day long.

Out of all the dishes I tried — and I had the uni shrimp toast (didn’t like it texturally) and the blood clams and uni risotto (too fishy tasting) — the Ceviche de Pato, confit duck in a ceviche stew and lima bean rice, was my favorite. It was super savory and hearty.

Ceviche de Pato

Ceviche de Pato

As for the Deysi Alvarez-designed cocktails, two stood out to me. The Last Ice Age, with Porton pisco, Hakushu whiskey 12 year, Asian pear, shiso, organic egg white, lime, lemon, evaporated simple syrup and Fernet Branca drops, was just my kind of drink. I always go for the whiskey-based drink, and this one didn’t disappoint. The Last Ice Age was a nice combination of sweetness, tartness, bitterness and frothiness.

Last Ice Age

The Last Ice Age

The Bernard Devoto AKA The Master of Intoxication, with Sino reposado tequila, Christian Drouin calvados brandy, yellow chartreuse, Benedictine and Angostura bitters, was also a highly drinkable — and potent — choice.

Bernard Devoto

Bernard Devoto

Note: This meal was hosted.

25

05 2013

Travelogue: California’s Central Coast, Part 2

The Lone Cypress in Carmel

The second part of our drive up the California coast started with a stop in Cambria. After a beautiful drive on Highway 46 from Paso Robles, we came upon the cutest little town and gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean in Cambria. We found a kind-of-crappy-but-good-enough-for-one-night motel called Mariners Inn for about $80 — a price that couldn’t be beat considering the place practically sat right on the water. Listening to the waves crash at night was delightful.

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13

06 2011

Water Grill Sunday clam bake

watergrillraw2

Oh, Water Grill. I’ve only been there twice, but what two awesomely lovely meals they were. Every restaurant should strive to be described as “awesomely lovely,” and Water Grill lives up to this term that I just coined.

This downtown mainstay is classic, elegant dining at its best, but without the pretentiousness that can easily accompany such a description. So what you get is a consistently great meal with an inviting, friendly atmosphere that’s hard to beat.

My first meal at Water Grill took place a couple of years ago in the form of a business lunch (‘cuz that’s how I roll). I remember having a vegetarian dish with eggplant, and while it probably wasn’t what I was “supposed” to order at a place that specializes in seafood, it was delicious. I cleaned my plate!

This second trip to Water Grill came at the invitation of the restaurant to try out its Sunday clam bake dinner. Based on my first experience, I expected great things, and I wasn’t disappointed.

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23

11 2009