Restaurant L (Boston) – Surprisingly Different

Restaurant L has made some noise about being on the cutting edge ala Moto and Alinea. My lunch last year was more akin Slanted Door (some might say that’s a compliment, I wouldn’t) than anything cutting edge. Well, I am not one to give up – and sometimes it pays off. I was visiting friends in Boston and decided they could entertain me even if the restaurant could not. This time, I got a meal that more resembles the articles about Pino Maffeo.

What I find interesting is that the cuisine is not WD-50, Moto, or Alinea; instead, as you’ll see below, the dishes are far more organic in nature with just a few experimental tweaks. The dishes looked largely Asian-influenced (particularly SE Asia) but everything contained some hints of gas-mol. Oddly, I read in an article that he considers his food a refinement of Italian flavors w/ Japanese flavors. Maybe, if you’re strictly talking flavors, but I don’t quite get that one.

1. The Fancy Bread Structure
This was served w/ some very delicious miso cream cheese.
Restaurant L (Boston) - The Fancy Bread Structure

2. Cracked Pepper / Corn / Crab Soup w/ Popcorn Milk Froth
A very comforting soup. An intense pepper taste followed the sweetness of the corn. The Popcorn froth presumably gave it a very buttery finish. Very Good.
Restaurant L (Boston) - Cracked Pepper / Corn / Crab Soup w/ Popcorn Milk Froth

3. Alaskan King Crab w/ Caramelized Avocado, Fish Roe, & Chili
It looks pedestrian but the roe gave it salty bursts in every bite while the chile gave it a perfect heat (re: nearly too much to be too much but just slightly restrained.) There was a fair amount of mayo which slightly detracted but that’s splitting hairs. The caramelized avocado was a special treat. Very Good.
Restaurant L (Boston) - Alaskan King Crab w/ Caramelized Avocado, Fish Roe, & Chili

4. Maine Lobster w/ Bok Choy & Gnocci
The main dish, the most expensive, and by far the worst. Nothing going on here but slightly overcooked lobster sitting on a bed of bok choy. Pretty bland dish when you consider the intense spices of the former two. Not Good.
IPB Image

5. Boston Goat Cheese Cake w/ Pear Syrup
Very light, yet creamy, it could give Lady M a run for her money. Very Good.
IPB Image

Overall, a very unexpected surprise. Louis the clothing store is not what it once was but this restaurant is something to be excited about (at night.) They don’t serve a tasting menu but I’m sure they would if you made arragements ahead of time. The cuisine is definitely different – quality asian w/ molgas techniques (rather than molgas w/ some asian ingredients ala WD-50.)

If you have one dinner in Boston, Uni is probably the better bet but this place has some serious potential. We’ll probably need a few more points of reference to legitimately put this place on the map but I’ll allot some time for it on future Boston trips.

You can read the menu at their site: