Thursday, January 25, 2018

GEORGIE (BEVERLY HILLS, CA)

Georgie
Montage Beverly Hills
225 N. Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
www.georgierestaurant.com
Tel: 310.860.7970
Cuisine: American
$$$$ ($50+)
Mon, 1/22/2018, 7:00pm reservation
    (3.5 Piglets)



I am an avid watcher of the Food Network and many of the celebrity chefs. Geoffrey Zakarian is one of those chefs who seems personable and makes the food look delicious. The chef recently opened up the restaurant Georgie in Beverly Hills, replacing his fellow colleague Scott Conant's Scarpetta (which I was a fan of). 

Located in the Montage Beverly Hills, the restaurant space is exquisite. It's classy and sophisticated. The chairs and benches are lush and candlelights with a white interior complete the décor. 

My friends and I were torn between the regular menu and the dineLA menu. We opted for the dineLA along with an order of their most delicious bread...

Interior
FENNEL AND ZA'ATAR PARKER HOUSE ROLLS ($3.00): Smoked Honey Butter. I loved these rolls. They were warm and delicious and just went so well with the honey butter. I didn't quite taste the smokiness, which was a disappointment. But seriously, this is a must order.



MY FAVORITE DISH. FIRST COURSE: KOBOCHA SQUASH SOUP: Roasted Chestnuts Emulsion and Pepitas (Vegetarian). I loved this dish. It was creamy and full of flavor. It coated the palate well and the emulsion added a creaminess to the soup. If I had this soup everyday, I wouldn't mind. The best part, it's vegetarian and I enjoyed it!


COURSE TWO: ROASTED MARY'S CHICKEN: Slowly Roasted Parsnips, Carrots, Rosemary Oil. From vegetarian, I had to pick my next dish that wasn't. I chose the chicken out of the options available. The chicken was moist and tender. I wish the skin was a little crispier, but other than that, the chicken was cooked perfectly. The vegetables were nicely roasted, but it was nothing special.
THIRD COURSE: CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT TORTE: Cookies and Cream Ice Cream and Cocoa Nib Tuile. I'm a big fan of chocolate and peppermint. The cake was a bit too dense for my liking, but still delicious. I liked the ice cream but unfortunately, I wish there was more. I didn't finish my dessert, so that says something in itself.
Overall, I thought the food was just ok. The dineLA menu was different than their regular menu, so it is possible that the food could be better. I thought the service was on point and they were very quick to time the dishes right. The restaurant is beautiful and I love the spacing between tables so you're not elbowing other diners. Would I come back? It's questionable, but the bread sorta sold me here.

Notable Dishes: House Rolls and Squash Soup

Thursday, January 18, 2018

CATCH LA (WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA)

Catch LA
8715 Melrose Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90069
www.catchrestaurants.com
Tel: 323.347.6060
Cuisine: Seafood
$$$$ ($50+)
Fri, 01/12/2018, 6:45pm reservation
   (3.5 Piglets)




Lights. Beautiful people. Trendy food. Celebrities. Fancy cars. This is the epitome of what Catch LA is all about. It's a scene at this restaurant and so many people want to be a part of it. It's usually a headache to get a res, and when you do, you don't want to let it go.

Upon arrival, you're greeted by a reservationist who checks you in and tells you to head up in the elevator to the top floor. Doors open and you're lead through this gorgeous hallway with lights that sets you in another dimension. The host leads you to a table either indoors or alfresco. My friend and I are seated alfresco surrounded by the beautiful views of LA. It's dim, lit by simple streams of lightbulbs. 

We order our food, which ends up being difficult from the darkness. We needed to turn on our flashlights from the phone in order to see and so did every other person sitting alfresco. We settled on our order after having a glass of wine. 
The interior
PARMESAN-TRUFFLE FRIES ($14.00): Vegan Truffle Aioli. These fries were delicious. They were the shoestring fries that I normally prefer. It was super crispy on the outside and the truffle oil wasn't too strong to overpower the potatoes. The aioli complemented the fries well. 

MY FAVORITE DISH. SALMON BELLY CARPACCIO ($24.00): Watercress, Sweet and Sour Onion, Yuzu. I loved this dish. It was light and fresh. The watercress gave it a crispiness to balance out the smoothness of the salmon. It was a great combination of acidity on the palate. 

CRUNCHY RICE CAKES ($21.00): Tuna Tartare, Wasabi. This was my second favorite dish. It was basically the spicy tuna on crispy rice that I normally get at Katsuya, but elevated. The rice was warm and crispy with a great chewy interior. The spicy tuna had just the right amount of flavor. It's a must get. 

LOBSTER MAC AND CHEESE ($24.00): Maine Lobster, Mascarpone, Breadcrumbs, Grated Parmesan Cheese. This was good, but not amazing. There were bits and pieces of lobster throughout. The dish was creamy and the noodles actually reminded me of a fancy kraft mac and cheese. Nonetheless, it was a tasty. 

WAGYU SHORT RIB TACOS ($19.00): Grilled Pineapple, Pickled Vegetable, Ginger Aioli. I disliked this dish a lot. I thought the short ribs were super dry. The tacos were crispy though. I just think the whole dish was a mess. I wouldn't order it again. 

HIT ME CHOCOLATE CAKE ($19.00): Liquid "Klondike" Roasted White Chocolate Ice Cream, Brownie, and Devil's Food. Our waitress kept telling us that this was the dessert to order. So naturally, we expected a lot and wanted it to live up to its hype. Unfortunately, it failed. I thought it was good, but it just wasn't what I was hoping it to be. The Klondike was cool and broke when it was "hit" but that was the only cool thing about it. I would've rather tried the pecan pie. 

Overall, Catch LA is a place if you want a cool, trendy, and "douchy" vibe. The food is ok, but I wouldn't venture all the way out here to get the pricey dishes. The atmosphere is what makes this place special. There is a video booth near the bathroom, which I thought was cool, but awkward to have people behind you coming from the bathroom passing by in your video. I would only come here for snacks and drinks and maybe to party. Don't expect much if you want amazing food at a good price. I ran into Randy Jackson in the elevator, so you definitely can spot celebs if that is your thing. PS. There are paparazzi waiting to take pics outside of the restaurant. 

Notable Dishes: Salmon Belly Carpaccio and Crunchy Rice Cakes




Sunday, December 31, 2017

ZUBEROA (OIARTZUN, GIPUZKOA, SPAIN)

Zuberoa
Araneder Bidea, Barrio Iturriotz
20180 Oiartzun, Gipuzkoa
www.zuberoa.com
Tel: +34 943 491 228
Cuisine: Spanish
$$$$ ($50+)
Sat, 12/09/2017, 8:30pm reservation
    (4 Piglets)


Zuberoa is set in the beautiful countryside in an ancient village of Oiartzun. The restaurant is housed in a space dating back to 600 years ago. It is a gorgeous spot and you tend to forget you're in a restaurant, but rather you feel as though you stepped foot into an old European cottage.

The food itself is traditional and modern with influences from the Basque region. The ingredients are fresh and the menu is seasonal. You can choose both a la carte or the tasting menu, which I picked to enjoy. The tasting menu will run you about 130 euros for a nine course meal. 

Interior
Amuse Bouche

COURSE ONE: WARM ARTICHOKE SALAD, SMOKED MACKEREL AND FINE HERBS FLAVORED CHEESE CUBES
COURSE TWO: ROASTED SCALLOPS, SHELLFISH ESSENCE AND SALSIFY CREAM

COURSE THREE: LOBSTER, CAULIFLOWER AND FENNEL
COURSE FOUR: MUSHROOM VEIL, STEWED CALF TONGUECUBE AND THYME OIL
MY FAVORITE DISH. COURSE FIVE: POACHED EGG YOLK, FLAN OF FOIE-GRAS AND CHESTNUT CREAM
COURSE SIX; ROASTED SOLE, ITS OWN JUICE, MOLLUSKS AND TOMATO

COURSE SEVEN: ROASTED VENISON, GINGER FLAVORED SEASON FRUITS

COURSE EIGHT: PEARS PRESERVED IN HONEY AND LIME, TEA AND CARAMEL ICE CREAM

COURSE NINE: CHEESECAKE
PETIT FOURS

Overall, Zuberoa is a great place to have an intimate dinner. The restaurant is beautiful and the service was on point. The menu was well balanced, from the appetizers, to the fish courses to the meat course. Everything was well seasoned and flavorful. I loved the foie gras dish as it was creamy and luscious without being overly heavy from the foie gras. I substituted one of the desserts for the cheesecake, since basically that dessert was the theme of my trip. Would I come back? Most definitely. 


Notable Dishes: Foie Gras and Cheese Cake


Friday, December 22, 2017

MARTIN BERASATEGUI (LASARTE-ORIA, GIPUZKOA, SPAIN)

Martin Berasategui
Loidi Kalea 4
20160 Lasarte-Oria
www.martinberasategui.com
Tel: +34 943 366 471
Cuisine: Spanish
$$$$ ($50+)
Fri, 12/08/2017, 2:00pm reservation
     (4.5 Piglets)


 


Martin Berasategui is a three Michelin star restaurant named after the Spanish chef/owner of the restaurant. He currently has the most Michelin stars out of any other Spanish chef around. His restaurant is located in the outskirts of San Sebastian, a 20-30 minute drive from the beautiful city. It is set in a picturesque backdrop of lush greenery and quiet, a change from the hustle and bustle of Barcelona or Los Angeles.

The restaurant is beautiful. Upon entering, there are a row of receptionists, almost resembling a hotel. You're greeted by the maître D, they take your coat, and lead you to a beautiful open dining area with a fireplace, making you feel like you're dining in a fancy living room. The service is on point and they offer both a tasting menu and a menu a la carte. Of course, I got the tasting menu...(I substituted one of the desserts for a chocolate one)
The fireplace


Delicious wine (Lalama 2013)
AMUSE BOUCHE

2017 RHUBARB CRUNCH WITH "BALFEGO" TUNA TARTARE AND YUZU GEL
SELECTION OF BUTTERS: BOLETUS, SPINACH, BEETROOT, AND SALTED.

1995 MILLE-FEUILLE OF SMOKED EEL, FOIE GRAS, SPRING ONIONS AND GREEN APPLE
2017 TORTILLA "GALO CELTA" OF HAM AND TRUFFLE

2014 RED SHRIMP ROYALE AND DILL WITH "VENTA DEL BARON" OIL


MY FAVORITE. 2017 CAVIAR GEL WITH PICKLES OF ASPARAGUS AND ITS CREAM, SALTED WITH ANANA'S SALT
2015 LIGHTLY MARINATED OYSTER WITH ICED CUCUMBER SLUSH AND K5, AND SPICY APPLE

2017 TARAMA WITH BEETROOT AND SOUR RADISH
2001 VEGETABLE HEARTS SALAD WITH SEAFOOD, CREAM OF LETTUCE AND IONIZED JUICE

2017 CRAYFISH OVER AN ANISEED SEA BED AND CORAL MAYONNAISE
2015 "THE TRUFFLE" WITH FERMENTED WILD MUSHROOMS AND COLLARD GREENS WITH "ALMA DE JEREZ" OIL

2017 GRILLED HAKE LOIN, COCONUT, RED CURRY, AND LIQUID AND CRUNCHY RAZOR SHELLS
2017 CHARCOAL ROASTED YOUNG PIGEON WITH RED ENDIVE AND OLIVE BITES

2017 ALMOND HONEYCOMB WITH BRITTLE BITS AND ICED CINAMMON


2015 BAKED CHOCOLATE WITH CRYSTALLISED PEAR, CINAMMON STICK AND CARAMEL ICE CREAM AND MINT MIST

PETIT FOURS

Overall,  I thought Martin Berasategui was great! The service was on point and the food was delicious. I didn't have one bad dish. The whole meal lasted me about 3 hours from start to finish. By the end of it, I was so full I could barely walk. If you're ever in the San Sebastian area, this is a great restaurant to check out if you want a 3 Michelin star experience.



With Martin himself




Notable Dishes: Caviar Gel, Vegetable Hearts Salad and the Baked Chocolate