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Archive for May, 2008

Urasawa (LA) – Spring is in the Air

Urasawa is a celebration of the season, sometimes down to the week or day. This Spring meal was possibly my best Urasawa meal yet – everything had a lightness, and brightness, to it; perfectly complementing the beautiful Los Angeles weather.

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Analyzing the food is nearly impossible. The meal, and its component dishes, are a system that can not be reduced to single elements – circular and inter-locking. The flavors are balanced, subtle, and fresh – despite some dishes approaching what could be a dangerous number of ingredients. Ingredients pop up in one dish as a primary flavor, recede to the background, and re-surface seven to ten dishes later as supporting cast. The meal is a journey with complex patterns.

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Meals of Others VI

Some more tales from other high-end meals. (Food reviews will begin again next week, starting with another excellent Urasawa meal.)

Coi (SF) by A Life Worth Eating – Aaron and I shared a meal at Coi. We didn’t agree on all of the dishes, but we did agree on the best. Coi is better than many, if not most, San Francisco restaurants but it still falls short of what it should be. Aaron sums it up best by “impressed by its potential.”

Sukiyabashi Jiro (Tokyo) by Andi Hermawan – Andi has been to a number of impressive restaurants around the world; this report is from his one of his latest adventure in the very difficult to get into Ginza branch. Sukiyabashi Jiro is one of two sushi restaurants to garner three Michelin stars 1 and Jiro trained the other, Sushi Mizutani. Lunch is supposedly a torrid affair clocking in at 45 minutes and up to $500+.

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World’s 50 Best Restaurants

The annual Restaurant magazine’s 50 World’s Best Restaurants list was released last week. I’m certain the list is littered with a few controversial picks to generate buzz for the magazine. It’s not a horrible list but it’s not great either; nonetheless, lists of all sorts are a guilty pleasure of mine and it’s always fun to critique any sort of Best Of list.

I’ve been to approximately 20% of the restaurants in their Top 100 list. I’ll post some comments for each restaurant with links to my reviews for anyone that is interested. Some of the reviews, from the old days, are quite embarrassing for their petulance and/or brevity.

#1 – El Bulli (Roses, Spain) – The Mad Scientist – The safe pick for such a list, it’s hard to argue there is a more influential chef in our times.

#2 – Fat Duck (Maidenhead, UK) – Master of Production – Another safe pick that is certainly deserving.

#3 – Pierre Gagnaire (Paris) – Best Meal of My Life and
Pierre Gagnaire (Paris) – Truffles and Value – I have eaten the best meal of my life at this restaurant.

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