August 8, 2010
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m always behind on my fine dining reviews. ALWAYS. My stomach is more ambitious than my mind – More often than not, I end up ordering the most extravagant tasting menu at a restaurant, go home, look at my pictures, realize I have to write a review individually addressing 10+ dishes, and then get completely overwhelmed. I tell myself I’ll do it tomorrow…Or the day after…Or the day after…
…2+ months later, I finally get to writing it. I mean, I always get to it sooner or later. Most of the time, it’s just later. Much later.
This meal, however, I can’t even PRETEND I’m going to write a review.
I just can’t.
I think it’s physically impossible.
(Well, impossible for me. Not impossible for kevinEats, but that’s another story.)
There’s just too much to squeeze into one post. If I tried, I would consider the resulting review to be an insult to the food and the experience, both of which were incomparable. So I’m just going to write a quick intro and let the pictures speak for themselves.
(Picture taken by Kevin of kevinEats.)
When Kevin of kevinEats invited me to join him, Ryan of Epicuryan and some of their friends to dine at at The Dining Room at the Langham in Pasadena on Michael Voltaggio’s last night, I didn’t have to think twice – I immediately said yes. I had tasted Voltaggio’s food before – his sampling at Breadbar’s Hatchi was one of my top 3 meals in 2009 – and I was not going to miss this opportunity.
With the night of the dinner being Voltaggio’s last night there and with The Dining Room itself under renovation until October 2010, my first meal at The Dining Room was to be my last there. Thus, it only made sense to go big: In honor of Voltaggio’s last night, we ate the entire menu.
All 22 courses of it.
Amuse Bouche: Gougère with Caviar Cream, Tomato Pâte De Fruit With Basil and Sea Salt
Course 1: Octopus, Buttered Popcorn, Piquillo Confetti, Cilantro
Course 2: Soft Shell Crab, Scrambled Corn, Old Bay, Vanilla-Crab Jus
Course 3: Japanese Kampachi, Jamon Iberico, Sea Sponge, Grapefruit, Crispy Rice
Course 4: Vegetables of the Season, Burrata, Nori Butter, Coffee-Cardamom “Soil”
Course 5: Foie Gras Frito, Black Sesame, Pickled Blueberries, Basil
Course 6: Foie Gras Terrine, Strawberry-Yuzu, Arugula Cake, Minus 8 Vinegar
Course 7: Halibut Cheeks, Red Curry, Coconut Rice, Baby Leeks
Course 8: Pacific Cod, Asparagus, Bonito, Marcona Almond Milk
Course 9: Arctic Char, Green Pea Tapioca, Black Olive, Porcini Chicharrón
Course 10: Salt Baked Turbot, a Jus of Itself, Summer Vegetables Roasted in Hay
Course 11: Veal Sweetbreads Tempura, Kale, Buttermilk, Mustard, Potato Puree
Course 12: Pastrami Pigeon, Swiss Cheese, Sauerkraut, Rye
Course 13: Kurobuta Pork Belly, Bok Choy “Kim Chi”, Sweet Potato Preserves, Peanut Butter Powder
Course 14: Jameson Farm Lamb, Fresh Chickpeas, Flavors of Hummus, Yogurt
Course 15: Four Story Hills Farm Suckling Pig, Banana Polenta, Chanterelles, Cipollini, Red Onion
Course 16: Beef Cheeks, Porcini Mushroom, Cannelé, Garlic Froth
Course 17: Wagyu Short Rib, Potato Confit, Nantes Carrot, Bone Marrow, Coconut Soubise
Course 18: Japanese Kuroge Rib Cap, Fried Béarnaise, Young Turnips, Bordelaise
Pre-Dessert: Peach and Yogurt “Dippin’ Dots”
Course 19: Baba Au Rhum, Textures of Coconut and Pineapple, Compressed Mango
Course 20: Chocolate Caramel Ganache, Chocolate Sorbet, Salty Hazelnut Praline, Cocoa Tuile
Course 21: Lavender Flower Macaroon, Crème Fraiche Panna Cotta, Vanilla-Passion Sorbet, Floral Cotton Candy
Course 22: Carrot Cake, Carrot Sorbet, Yuzu Curd, Cream Cheese Snow