Tag Archives: caviar

Le Bernardin

3 Jun

It’s been months since I last posted, but I did not have much to live for let alone write for.  Recently, Blister, the doctor, recommended that I eliminate all seafood, dairy, gluten, fruit, and nuts from my diet due to my severe allergies.  For weeks, I suffered.  After a recent visit to my allergist, she finally set me free and advised that elimination diets create super allergies.  Yes, Avengers allergies.  Blister the saboteur.  When I informed her of my allergist’s medical opinion, she just laughed and said, “I helped you lose five pounds, didn’t I?”  Blister, the cause of my demise and BDD.

Due to my unreasonable diet, the thought of writing about food killed me.  Now that I can eat again, let’s discuss New York.  Years ago during my freshman year in college, I went to New York to visit some friends.  It was my first trip to New York as an adult, and I was excited.  A bag, a bus ticket, a few girlfriends, and a lot of spontaneity led us to a weekend in New York.  As soon as we arrived, we realized spontaneity was slightly overrated.  There were three 18 year old girls without accommodations in a big, scary city.  In our minds, the nights would be full of so much partying that making reservations of any kind seemed futile.  But once the parties , after parties, and after after parties were over, we were homeless with no where to go.  Luckily, a friend who resided in the NYU dorms, snuck us in to the study rooms where we slept like squatters.  We slept under the desks and used the chairs as camouflage. We lacked blankets, showers, and pajamas, and used our one bag filled with hoochie mama disposable tops as a make-shift pillow.

Fast-forward 13 years.  Still filled with the same excitement and girlfriends in tote, we were on our way to New York City again.  This time, we had hotel reservations at … the Waldorf Astoria.  As we walked to our room, I noticed this.

Ooooooh sheeit.

The foyer.

The living room.

The view from the living room.

The formal dining room.

The kitchen.

The master bedroom.

The second bedroom.

The third bedroom.

As I walked around this palace fit for a Zamunda King, I imagined how many homeless 18 year old girls could sleep in this place.   Like Papi Chula said, “Sisters are doin’ it for themselves.”  And we were.  Not only did we have showers, but we had an unlimited supply of Ferragamo shampoo, conditioner, and soap.  As hard as it was to leave this mansion, we had to go to Le Bernardin for Blister’s birthday dinner especially since a significant deposit was required just to secure the reservation.

Amuse bouche

I’m not usually a fan of sea urchin, but as of late I have grown fond of it. I’m especially fond of it when it’s topped with salty caviar, a wonderful way to wake the taste buds.

Caviar-Wagyu

For my “Almost Raw” starter, the blend of Nebraska wagyu beef and langoustine topped with a generous layer of caviar was worth the $45 supplemental charge.  The pepper Vodka crème fraîche fills in the chewy bites of tartare for a creamy well-rounded bite.  Instead of layering the tartare on the provided “Ruffles” potato chips, I preferred smothering the delicious blend on the warm bread that regularly circulated throughout the night.

Because Blister and I are geniuses, we ordered different dishes and shared them to try more of the items offered by the silver fox Eric Ripert. She ordered the tuna– layers of thinly pounded yellowfin tuna, foie gras, toasted baguette, chives, and olive oil.

The tuna was a vibrant orange and beautiful to look at, but it was mediocre in taste.  It tasted like tuna and the foie gras had a pasty consistency that did not seduce me like foie gras usually does.  The wagyu kicked the tuna’s ass.

I ordered the langoustine for the “Barely Touched” second course.

The langoustine was perfectly seared and succulent.  I always face a dilemma when it comes to fleshy shellfish.  On one hand, I want to pop the entire morsel of succulent meat into my mouth.  On the other hand, it’s so delicious that it should be slowly savored.  Lucky for me, Mr. Ripert gave me two.  One to slowly savor with small bites and the other to completely devour with my eyes closed.

I also enjoyed Miggy’s Sea Medley.

A beautiful display of the ocean’s gifts in one small little package, but the best part of this national treasure is the smoked bonito broth.  It is the perfect warm temperature touched with a hint of uni and caviar.  When I die, I imagine God welcoming me into the gates of heaven with a cup of this smoked bonito broth.

For my third “Lightly Cooked” dish, I asked the waiter for the fish that the contestants on Top Chef had to replicate seasons ago.  The waiter had no idea what episode I was talking about and brought other waiters for further investigation.  They caucused and agreed it was Mr. Ripert’s striped bass.

The top layer of skin was not crispy enough.  After watching that Top Chef episode, I was expecting a  super crispy and flaky top layer.  The fish itself was perfectly cooked, but I did not like the black-garlic Persian lemon sauce.  It had a sharp bitter flavor that I could not identify but it tasted like star-anise’s cousin.  I would have enjoyed this dish more if the black-garlic sauce was substituted with the smoked bonito broth.  In fact, just pour that broth over everything.

For dessert, I ordered the apple-cinnamon which consisted of cinnamon caramel cream, green apple foam, candied walnut, and red wine caramel.

I took off its hat and found this:

It tasted like a modern apple pie.  The “hat” was crunchy and light, and the sauces swirled to make the most perfect bite of apple pie.  Even though I hate foam, it really worked in this sweet treat.  Ending this three-hour meal with apple pie and a hot cappuccino was the cherry on top.  Of course, I had to instruct the waiter to add the splenda before the cappuccino foam … a first for the barista according to the waiter.  I hate when the splenda gets caught in the foam and not in the cappuccino.

I was so full that I could not even touch the after dinner freebies.

I understand why Le Bernardin is ranked 19th best restaurant in the world.  It is definitely two whole Michelin stars greater and better than Providence and Melisse.  Although I no longer will rank restaurants on vacation due to my tendency to love everything because I’m on vacation, anyone who enjoys seafood should pay the proper deposit, make a reservation, and enjoy.

Blister loved her birthday dinner, company, and conversations of placenta, daddy dicks, and your usual girl talk.

Le Bernardin
The Equitable Building
155 W 51st St
New York, NY

 

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Providence

11 Mar

Last year for annual mistress day, Bubby took me to Melisse. And if you remember, Melisse did not deliver the 2 Michelin stars as advertised. This year, Bubby took me to Providence– the other LA restaurant with 2 Michelin stars. I’ve heard wonderful things about Providence, except that contrary cunt Nibs was the only person who didn’t rave about the food.

SPOTTED: Rich, older lonely boys and the young gold diggers who love them. (Can you tell I just watched a marathon of Gossip Girl recently?) I tried to look for wedding rings on the fingers of both parties and spotted none. Bubby and I tried to discretely turn our backs 180 degrees just to find our favorite couples. Note to self, twisting at that exaggerated angle is never discreet.

Bubby enjoyed a beer while I enjoyed a glass of a delicious medley of juices including lychee, guava, passion fruit, and other exotic treasures that the bartender could muster. It was as delicious as the welcome juice given to the guests at Phuket’s Dusit Laguna Hotel — the most delicious standard for all juices.

This juice was so refreshing but cost more than Bubby’s beer.  Seven dollars of juice.

The amuse bouche

The spoon on the left was a yellow egg-yolk-like version of a screwdriver.  Refreshing and a nice burst of cold alcohol in your mouth.  The square jello on the right was a mojito.  The screwdriver was definitely better than the mojito.

The second amuse bouche

This trio was not as good as the first amuse bouche.  Sipping a luke warm soup from a straw is not a great way of starting a marathon of courses.  I hoped this was not an accurate representation of what was to come.

The bacon brioche

Bubby ate like 8 of these. He described them as bite size wonders that tasted like Jack in the Box’s sourdough jack burgers. He doesn’t even love bacon as much as I do, and he couldn’t get enough of these. I even caught him checking out the size of my purse to see how many miniature wonders I could confiscate safely from the premises. Unfortunately, I carried my small clutch.

Tai snapper sashimi, sake, caviar, salted cherry blossom

The sashimi was fresh and tasted more like yellowtail than snapper. It lacked that chewy consistency that sometimes accompanies snapper sashimi. The snapper’s texture was soft and the caviar, salty. There was a gelatinous layer that I didn’t even mind. In fact, I liked it. But I really loved the yellow rice cracker balls that added the perfect crunch.

Santa Barbara spot prawns, nori bread crumbs, spring herbs

That prawn looks like it’s on roids. It was perfectly cooked and succulent. I did not care for the random herbs, the bread crumbs, or the cat spit foam. In fact, I hate cat spit.  Why do these upscale restaurants find the need to add cat spit? Stop with the cat spit!  It’s not creative, and it’s no longer cool. But most importantly, it looks like the bile that Miso vomits.

Main lobster, charcoal grilled, smoked black truffle butter

This dish looks like Valentine’s Day. The arrangement of the lobster, the colors of my wedding, is perfection. And it tasted the way it looked. Thick pieces of fresh lobster made me want to cry like Homer did when he ate Pinchy.

I, too, felt that I loved Pinchy the most and should respect him by eating him all by myself. Piiiiiiiinchy!!!!!!!

Foie gras ravioli – a la carte

We ordered this dish separately because of the amazing reviews. Also, I’m trying to eat as much foie gras possible before they ban it in California in July. The waiter even recommended making reservations for a foie gras exclusive menu. I’m seriously considering arranging a small dinner party called a Farewell to Foie Gras. These raviolis made me want to cry.  It was like looking at a boyfriend knowing that it won’t last.  It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday…. Boyz II Men.

The pasta was perfectly thin, the foie gras rich and decadent.  I will have to cross some state lines to get my foie gras kick.  Trust.

Wild New Zealand john dory, foie gras, white port, spring vegetables

By the time we reached this course, I was busting out of my skirt.  The courses were separated by 15 minutes, and it only takes 7 minutes for my stomach to tell my brain, “Bitch, you full.”  I was fighting the good fight, and I had to have a bite of each dish.  The john dory was tender and flavorful, and I really enjoyed the crispy and crunchy skin.  I really regretted wasting stomach space on the amuse bouche trio.  Rookie mistake.

Duck breast, petit pois, pea greens

I love duck.  One of the perks of marrying a Chinese man is having Peking duck on the regular.  I literally sing my song of joy when the Chinese waiter brings that huge plate of crispy duck and its soft pillow friends.  It is on point just like the duck at Providence.  The duck at Providence melts in your mouth.  It felt like buttered bread that melts on your tongue.  I had to chew like three times before it was ready to be swallowed.  And to seal the deal, the fried ball of foie gras.

I love fried balls of anything, but fried balls of foie gras takes the cake.

Fennel, yellow chartreuse, Angelica root, yogurt

The yogurt was enjoyable and provided a great palate cleanser.  The plate in its entirety was just okay.

Chocolate surprise

The Valentine’s day menu included a dessert that was basically chocolate served with chocolate.  Earlier in the meal, I told our waiter that I wasn’t a fan of chocolate, so he brought me a special dessert that was completely chocolate free.

My surprise dessert

This plate of heaven was more than I could ask for with ice cream, meringue, and hints of lemon.  The fact that they substituted the chocolate madness with the perfect treat for me, I couldn’t be happier.  Well played, Providence.  Well played.

Our farewell treat

I left this box as is.  I could not eat another bite.  Bubby had to roll my fat ass out of that restaurant at 11:30 p.m.  Yes, the entire dinner took longer than 3 hours.  I was feeling a mix of emotions … full, sleepy, tired, happy, drunk with food.

Providence is exponentially better than Melisse.  I could also tell the difference of an All Star Chef and Top Chef based on my experience at Ink recently (review soon to come). If it wasn’t for the liberal use of cat spit, I would have given Providence a perfect rating.

Providence
5955 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA

Craft

27 May

I have been MIA. I know. My life has been crazy with work, my bachelorette party in Miami, wedding planning, allergy attacks which made my face look like Will Smith’s in the movie “Hitch”, and a recent family loss. For any ordinary girl, these events would be stressful. For a girl with severe anxiety and paranoia, I almost lost my shit. To cope with these difficulties, I have been feeding my feelings. Just haven’t written about my feedings or feelings. But Blister said that my three readers are losing interest so after a month hiatus, it’s Britney, bitch, I’m back.

I’ve been to Craft in Century City many times. It’s a block away from my firm and the only restaurant option not located in the mall. I went to Craft recently with Jerr Bear and Cellmate for Jerr Bear’s going away lunch. He’s one of my favorite coworkers because he’s the only person who will bust out dancing the butterfly with me in the kitchen at work.

Craft at lunch is always full of white old men who are either lawyers or agents who work at CAA.  Basically, a room of douchebaggos.  The host sat the people of color (minus Cellmate) at the bar area –some Rosa Parks shit.  I’m going to have to write Tom Colicchio an email about that.

Once we were seated, the bread arrived. Jerr Bear called it the Obama-McCain bread.

Once again, Obama wins.

 vs. 

Remember how Elya called Tom out for not using meat from local farms at the Top Chef reunion? Well, she must have hit a nerve in him because he listed all of the local farms he purchases goods from right on his menu.  Tom, haters gonna hate.  You don’t have to revamp your menu for the “chef” who was voted off first.

For our appetizer, we ordered the hamachi with lime caviar. This appetizer was refreshing, light, perfectly acidic.  The hamachi was fresh and sliced with the perfect thickness. Good job, Tom.

The cream served with the hamachi looked like a 13 year old boy’s memento but tasted great.

I ordered the rabbit, Cellmate ordered the braised beef ravioli, and Jerr Bear ordered the steak.  We shared a side of cauliflower.

The rabbit was dry and disappointing. Jerr Bear tried to make me feel bad for eating Bugs Bunny. I had no feelings of guilt about Bugs but just feelings of regret for having to eat dry rabbit.

I asked Cellmate and Jerr Bear to describe their dishes with one word and Cellmate said “okay” while Jerr Bear said “good.”  Feel free to interpret what they mean however you like.

The side of cauliflower was lightly fried and crunchy.  The purple color was unique, and it was perfectly seasoned.  A really great side dish to not so delightful main courses.

The dinner menu is definitely better than the lunch menu at Craft.  For the hamachi and cauliflower, I give Craft 2 slow claps.  Tom, I hope this doesn’t prevent my chances as a guest judge on Top Chef.  It’s business and your rabbit blows.  Tom, please pack your knives and go.

Craft
10100 Constellation Blvd
Los Angeles, CA