Monday, January 4, 2016


So I've eaten at many spots, reviewed many places, and it was quite a difficult task to narrow down 15 of the best bites/dishes I've had in 2015. Somehow, I've managed to do so and now it's time to recollect some of my favorite dishes. Below are my top 15 dishes I've had in 2015 (in no particular order). 


1. BONE IN RIB OF HEREFORD PRIME FOR 2 c. 1830 (£78.00):Mushroom ketchup and triple cooked chips. This was the best prime rib I've ever had in my life: perfectly marbled fat and perfectly cooked. The beef is cooked over wood and charcoal embers to give the prime rib a smokey flavor. The prime rib melted in my mouth with every bite. Triple cooked chips accompanied the dish. The chips were perfectly crispy on the outside and delicate on the inside. This is the only way chips should be cooked from now on! Dip the chips in the mushroom ketchup and/or the beef sauce rendered from the fat to get the perfect pairing. I ordered a side of carrots and caraway for an extra £4.75 to make this meal complete. The carrots were good but unnecessary. The beef and chips were fine just on their own.  

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA
www.dinnerbyheston.comTel: +44 020 7201 3833

2. SHIIZAKANA(NOT BOUND BY TRADITION, THE CHEF'S CHOICE DISH): Spaghettini with abalone, pickled cod, roe, Burgundy truffles. This dish was absolutely amazing. I's just spaghetti right? But it's some revamped spaghetti with some bold flavors. The truffles added a bit of earthiness to the dish. The roe gave a bit of the saltiness and the abalone a bit of texture. Comprehensively, it was heaven in your mouth and I was left wanting a big bowl of it. That's when you know you had something good. 

n/naka, 3455 S. Overland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034, www.n-naka.comTel: 310.836.6252

3. CARAMEL COPPETTA ($10.00): With marshmallow sauce and salted spanish peanuts. Everything that you would want in a dessert is sitting right here in this caramel coppetta. It's creamy, rich, crispy, crunchy, sweet and salty. The marshmallow sauce gives it that ooey, gooey texture that you could have ever dreamed about. One bite of this dessert, and you'll be hooked! 

Pizzeria Mozza, 641 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036, www.pizzeriamozza.comTel: 323.297.0101

4. BLACK TRUFFLEExplosion, romaine, parmesan. This dish was so good. Imagine that soup dumpling you get at Din Tai Fung  and multiply that taste by 100x and this is what you get. Unfortunately, it literally is only one bite that is served to you. I wish I could get more than one piece of this masterpiece. So divine. 

Alinea, 1723 North Halsted, Chicago, IL 60614
www.alinearestaurant.comTel: 312.867.0110

5. BACON CHEDDAR BUTTERMILK BISCUITS ($6.00): Maple Butter. This is by far one of the best biscuits I've ever had. The crisp exterior was perfect to the moist, crumbly soft interior. It was savory in all aspects provided by the bacon and the maple butter was the ideal complement. I think I could eat a dozen by myself, but unfortunately, an order comes with only two. 

Manhattan Beach Post, 1142 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
www.eatmbpost.comTel: 310.545.5405

6. EN TUAN (HOT POT: $13.95): Spicy and sour soup with beef tendon, bean sprouts and beef slices. I seriously dream about this soup day in and day out after I had my first taste. The broth was full of flavor....bold, luxurious with a lot of depth. Hints of garlic can be tasted in the soup that was seasoned well. The tendon was perfectly cooked with the best texture that ever was put forth in soup. I could slurp this forever and never get sick of it! Thank goodness we got a bowl. It was more than enough for a group of four and the fire in the middle definitely kept the soup hot. We asked for a spice level of 5 and could not taste any spiciness unfortunately (maybe we just have a high tolerance). 

Lotus of Siam, 953 E. Sahara Ave, Ste A5, Las Vegas, NV 89104
www.saipinchutima.comTel: 702.735.3033

7. CAVATELLI ALLA NORCINA ($29.00): Ricotta dumplings, housemade pork sausage, black truffles, grana padano. Salty and savory sausage mixed with the earthiness of black truffles in a voluptuous sauce. The truffles added a nice touch and the cavatelli was perfectly al dente. I think I'm in heaven. 

Bestia, 2121 7th Place, Los Angeles, CA 90021
www.bestiala.comTel: 213.514.5724

8. FOIE GRAS: Pear, endive brioche. You know somewhere on my list, there had to be a foie gras dish. The one at Maude was definitely one of my favorites of the year. As soon as the foie gras hit the grill, the aroma of the liver permeates throughout the restaurant. It is a smell so appealing that your mouth begins to salivate. The foie gras is nicely seared on the outside, seasoned well, and melts in your mouth. The texture was perfect. The burnt brioche complemented the foie gras well and did not relinquish a bitter charcoal taste. This was an extraordinary dish and the intricate detail was outstanding. 

Maude, 212 S. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90212
www.mauderestaurant.comTel: 310.859.3418

9. #19. PASTRAMI, SWISS CHEESE AND COLE SLAW WITH RUSSIAN STYLE DRESSING ($16.95): O.M.G. Did I just die and die again? The rye bread was nice and moist. The hot pastrami with the cold cole slaw was a subtle yet soothing temperature change to the palate. The pastrami itself is juicy, rich, tender and with a good amount of fat. And the dressing? Well, its their concoction of thousand island. The pickle that accompanies the sandwich had a mild taste and wasn't overpowering. This is probably one of the best 
sandwiches in Los Angeles, if not, in Southern California. 

Langer's Deli, 704 S. Alvarado St., Los Angeles, CA 90057
www.langersdeli.comTel: 213.483.8050

10. IKE'S VIETNAMESE FISH SAUCE WINGS ($15.50-available in spicy): Half dozen fresh whole natural chicken wings marinated in fish sauce and sugar, deep fried, tossed in caramelized Phu Quoc fish sauce and garlic and served with Vietnamese salad. These wings are absolutely amazing. Who would've thought a cook of the restaurant would be the man behind creating one of Pok Pok's signature dishes. So much flavor packed into these little wings. It was a little on the "fishier" end than how I remembered them to be in Portland, but good nonetheless. The garlic and caramelized fish sauce gave the dish depth and richness. I just wish there was more! 

Pok Pok LA, 978 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012
www.pokpokla.comTel: 213.613.1831

11. EGG CAVIAR: Soft poached egg, lemon creme fraiche, American caviar. This luscious creation was simply, well, orgasmic. The construction of this dish is a masterpiece served in its egg shell (be careful, it can break on you and cause an accident on the tablecloth...).  The egg was nicely poached, the creme fraiche had a light citrus flavor and the caviar was delicious. Served with a crispy biscuit, this salty and creamy dish was full of flavor and perfectly balanced.  It's a signature dish on the menu. 

Melisse, 1104 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401
www.melisse.comTel: 310.395.0881

12. CRAB SCRAMBLE ($18.00): Pickled shallot, creme fraiche, espelette, dill and toast. At first glance, you think nothing of this dish. But then your world changes when you take that first bite. The crab was fresh and the scramble was buttery with a creamy and rich texture.  I'm pretty sure they used a crap load of butter, but who the freak cares? The toast was good and complemented the crab scramble well but seriously, the main star was that scramble. I could eat this every morning! One of the best brunch dishes I've had by far. 

The Publican, 837 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607
www.thepublicanrestaurant.comTel: 312.733.9555

13. Char Siu Tsukemen ($13.95): Tsukemen topped with Char Siu (slices of barbecued pork). Directions: Squeeze the lime over the noodles, take a small amount of noodles and place into the dipping sauce/broth, and enjoy! Deliciously perfect noodles cooked al-dente accompanied by luscious, melt in your mouth pork. The egg is cooked to a skillful texture. The dipping sauce is savory and thick, coating the noodles with a flawless consistency. The lime adds an acidity that complements and enhances the flavor. 

Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle, 2057 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025
www.tsujita-la.comTel: 310.231.7373

14. DOUBLE DOUBLE COMBO ($6.80): Double meat and double cheese with onion, fries and a drink. This is one of the best burgers around. How could I not include this staple for SoCal eaters in my list? It's cheap, simple and simply delicious. The iceberg lettuce offers a crisp crunch to the already perfect bun: patty ratio. The sauce, oh man, I can't get enough of it to the point where I ask for the spread packets so I can dip my fries in them. Downright good. Plain and simple. 

In-N-Out, Various Locations throughout Southern California 800-786-1000

15. PUBLICAN BACON ($7.00): How could I not end off with bacon; afterall, I am Piglet Nancy. Burton's maple syrup braised bacon. Look at this. Have you seen anything more beautiful? I seriously love this bacon. Forget that thin piece of flimsy bacon that's served in most diners. This is how bacon should be served. It's thick, it's porky, its fatty, it's sweet and it's salty. Everything a bacon should be. 

The Publican, 837 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607
www.thepublicanrestaurant.comTel: 312.733.9555

So there you have it! These are my top 15 dishes of 2015. Some are new bites I've never had and some are classic bites that never get old. Nevertheless, all are good, tasty and oink-a-licious! 

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