Thursday, June 18, 2009

CUT: 100% Wagyu Beef and a $200 Meal

I was coaxed by the 100% Japanese wagyu beef! By a reservation that suddenly becomes available. At any rate I found myself at what is purported to be the best steakhouse in LA, Wolfgang Puck's CUT, with fellow bloggers Pepsi Monster, KevinEats, and tangbro1.


We started with a variety of bread including these Gougeres,
and a bottle of champagne: 2002 Jose Dhondt Champagne Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Mes Vieilles Vignes.

We pretty much dined family style, sharing everything from appetizers to steaks. We ordered a series of appetizers according to CUT veterans Kevineats and tangbro1.

Prime Sirloin "Steak Tartare", Herb Aioli, Mustard ($22)
A classic but well-done preparation of steak tartare, with high quality meat. This was delicious and rich with the addition of the quail egg.

#1 Grade Blue Fin "Toro" Tartare, Wasabi Aioli, Ginger, Togarashi Crisps, Tosa Soy ($32)
This was a good quality tuna and a well-done dish, but quite the "classic" preparation - in other words, rather boring.

Kobe Steak Sashimi, Spicy Radishes ($22)
I enjoyed this dish quite a bit and wished I could have more. The meat tasted fresh and had a nice flavor and texture.

Warm Veal Tongue, Marinated Artichokes, Cannellini Beans, "Salsa Verde" ($17)
Perhaps my favorite appetizer of the night, tender flavorful tongue and delicious tomatoes. This was the most interesting of the appetizers. The tongue was gamey which might put off others but I personally love.

Maple Glazed Pork Belly, Asian Spices, Watercress, Sesame-Orange Dressing, Rhubarb Compote ($16)

Since we couldn't decide on a red wine, I chose a 1997 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape, because I've never had a Châteauneuf-du-Pape. This one was not particularly smooth - I thought it was okay.

We also shared 2 non-steak entrees:

Kobe Beef Short Ribs "Indian Spiced", Curried Sweet Pea Purée, Garam Masala, Slowly Cooked For Eight Hours ($39)
Sashimi Quality Big Eye Tuna Steak ($42)
Surprisingly, the tuna takes the win in this competition. The short ribs were quite tender but a bit too sweet. The tuna was excellent - high quality fish and seared just right. The middle rare part was delicious.

As for the steak, we decided to get each one and divided it evenly among everyone (6 people total). These are the 4 steaks, in the order of least favorite:

4. U.S.D.A. Prime, Illinois Corn Fed, Aged 21 Days; Bone In New York Sirloin 20 Oz ($56)
The cheapest, and weakest, of all the steaks. It's probably good by itself, but after having the other three, I'd stick with one of the other three no doubt.

3. American Wagyu / Angus "Kobe Style" Beef From Snake River Farms, Idaho; New York Sirloin 8 Oz ($75)
Before trying the 100% wagyu, I quite liked this. After a while though, it isn't as meaty as the dry aged, but not as amazingly-fatty as the wagyu. Feels like it's just stuck in the middle for me.

2.U.S.D.A. Prime, Nebraska Corn Fed, Dry Aged 35 Days; New York Sirloin 14 Oz ($59)
Flavorful, juicy, and meaty. If I had to eat more than 2 oz, this would be my favorite any day as the 100% wagyu would just be too fatty. An excellent piece of steak.

1.True Japanese 100% Wagyu Beef From Saga Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan; New York Sirloin 6 Oz ($120)
What we came for. Let's take a look:
In the middle is the American Wagyu while to the right is the 100% Wagyu. The difference in marbling is strikingly noticeable (pardon the flash, but I had to capture it). And aye, it's that fatty. Yes, it is delicious. If you're eating 2 oz or less. Anything more and I would have a heart attack :P (Well, I may be able to handle 3 oz).

Indulgence does not end there. It's time for some dessert!

We started our dessert courses with a Brooke Cherry Toasted Almond Crumble, Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream ($14)
They scoop the crumble onto the bowl tableside. I'm very much partial to berry cobbler/crumble and thus really enjoyed this.

Dark Chocolate Soufflé, Whipped Crème Fraîche, Gianduja Ice Cream ($14)
I've heard about the Valrhona chocolate souffle at CUT and thus have been looking forward to this dessert. A well done souffle with a rich chocolate flavor.

Warm Brioche Doughnuts, Huckleberry Compote, Butter Pecan Ice Cream ($14)
The simplest turned out to be the table's favorite. The doughnuts were warm and fluffy, they were perfect with a bite of the nutty, creamy ice cream.

To finish the meal were three types of dessert bars: lemon, caramel, and chocolate.
I liked the lemon bar the best, though I've always been against caramel because it sticks to your teeth ...

Kevin says that this was the weakest of his CUT visits thus far, which was unfortunate since it was my first. I still had a good impression overall, though, and would probably come back another time. This meal cost $184 including tax and tips. At first I was proud for spending less than $200, but then I went to pay the valet .... which cost another $16 :P
So there you go, $200 even for a grand tasting at CUT.


CUT
9500 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
(310) 276-8500
Cut (Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons) on Urbanspoon

Cut in Los Angeles

3 comments:

Aaron

I came home and my mom told me she bought Kobe beef...from a Chinese supermarket. I was skeptical, and indeed, the beef looks suspicious. Plus she paid like $45/lb. Aiya. This is what being a food blogger is all about, keeping people from making bad food choices.

Did you get a picture of the stack of beef comparing each cut?

PK

I like all the raw meats in your post.. tartares... yum!!

Pepsi Monster

Damn, that was some delicious meat we had that night. Although I think I like tartare better at Totoraku than here at Cut. Good dinner on both nights!

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