Showing posts with label asian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label asian. Show all posts

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Red Medicine Revamps Formosa Cafe's Food Menu (Hollywood)

Formosa Cafe in Hollywood stores a long history of old Hollywood glamour. It was opened in 1925 and now preserved as a historical landmark. To keep Angelenos interested, though, they decided it was time to spice up the food menu and got the Red Medicine team to move in and take over the menu, resulting in Red Med at Formosa Cafe.

While Jordan Kahn is revamping Red Medicine itself to move away from Vietnamese dishes, the rest of the team brings old favorites and more of the Asian flavors to Formosa. Find dishes like Oyster mushrooms, oyster sauce, haricot vert (green beans), espelette ($12)

You can't see the oyster mushrooms buried underneath, but trust when I say that the mushrooms with the crunchy bits are one of our favorite dishes here.

Shanghai rice cakes, bacon x.o., shishito, Thai basil ($15)
While $15 seems a little expensive, it was so good we couldn't stop eating it! That bacon x.o. sauce was pretty amazing with the chewy rice cakes. Formosa Cafe's kitchen is also open until 2 am so I think when I am tipsy I would happily pay $15 for this ...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

LA's "Haute" Asian Cuisine? Lukshon vs WP24 vs Red Medicine, Part 1: Lukshon

While high-end Asian restaurants are nothing new, they seem to be popping up even more than usual in Los Angeles lately. Some of them are branching out towards the Southeast Asian cuisine, as well. The openings of WP24, Red Medicine, and Lukshon in the past year were some of the most highly anticipated restaurant openings in town. LAist's samkimsamkim suggested I do a post about all of them. Well, I guess I should, so here's a look at these three restaurants.

First, Lukshon. Sang Yoon gained his fame after opening Father's Office, and there was much excitement surrounding Lukshon, which recently opened two doors down from the 2nd FO in Culver City. Reservations fill up quickly, and don't bother walking in when it rains as they lose 1/3 of their seating area.

My meal started out strong with the Baby Monterey squid, chiang mai pork sausage, candlenut, mint, rau ram ($15)

Sausage-Stuffed Squid
Tender yet chewy squid, stuffed to the gills with spicy and juicy sausage, and topped with small pieces of fried calamari. This one's a must-try.

Foie Gras ganache, carob, ceylon cinnamon, tamarind gastrique, almond, puffed rice ($16)
I liked the tamarind here, but it's pretty hard to enjoy once the gastrique is gone - granted my companion would only eat half of a cube. I felt like I needed some toast.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Laksa, Santa Monica Night Breeze (Chef Amy's Underground Dinner)

As we walked to the home in Santa Monica Hills on that breezy evening, I fell in love with the modern house. One of the coolest things about some underground dinners is the locations that they are held (of course, some are smaller in scale and are held at the chef's house). The sleek and spacious house that night's dinner was held at belongs to the brother in law of Chef Amy Jurist of Amy's Culinary Adventures.

Al fresco dining in their large backyard.

The decoration was provided courtesy of Jonathan Fong from Clever Floral Decor.
I like the colorful fortune cookies, and the embroidered chinese take-out floral arrangement!
Yes, I took one home. What?

Chef Amy Jurist and her team were furiously preparing the food. Thankfully, the house had a pretty big kitchen.
When we walked in, I noticed Joshua Klapper of La Fenêtre wines, whom I had just met for the first time at his fifth anniversary tasting. Coincidentally, he had met Chef Amy and he was doing the wine pairing for this dinner.

The night started with a sweet, fruity blended cocktail made with Filipino calamansi juice, mango, vodka.
This went down very easily, I had to be careful not to gulp it down as it was a smoothie.

Salmon and asparagus yakitori, Ahi tuna tartar with wasabi tobiko, Chicken and shrimp lumpia, Grilled beef satay with thai peanut sauce

Laksa (curry coconut) with rice noodles and shrimp
Wine: 2008 La Fenêtre A Cote Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County
I haven't had laksa since my last visit to Singapore. I've been looking for a good version of this dish in Los Angeles but hasn't succeeded. Chef Amy's version was surprisingly good. The flavors are not as rich and bold, but the essence was there. There's no squid or cockles but the shrimp was nicely cooked.

What it looks like to prepare food for 80 people at once:
Pupu Platter: Coconut shrimp, Thai cucumber salad, crab & shiitake dumpling, Peking duck in green tea sesame crepe. For this dish they also served a glass of Thai iced tea.
Wine: 2008 La Fenêtre A Cote Pinot Noir, Central Coast
I enjoyed everything on this plate except for the Thai cucumber salad which I found to be too vinegary for my taste. The green tea sesame crepe was a great unique touch to Peking duck.

The main entree: Miso glazed black cod with green tea soba and Asian vegetable melange
Wine: 2008 La Fenêtre Sierra Madre Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley
Miso black cod is a pretty common dish and probably for pretty good reason: It's a good combination. Cook your cod propery and everyone will enjoy it. That was the case here. The texture of the cod was spot on. There was too much sauce on the soba though, making it too sweet and a little soggy.

Dessert: Turon Saba (Banana and jackfruit springroll with macapuno banana ice cream) - Philippines
I had to google it but apparently macapuno is what kopyor in Indonesia is: a mutant coconut with more tender and crumbly meat. The macapuno banana ice cream was definitely the highlight of the dessert - now I have to wonder where I can possibly get more.

The other aspect of this dinner that we enjoyed very much was meeting interesting people from all walks of life both during the cocktail hour and sitting next to them at the big communal tables.

These underground dinners aren't exactly cheap at around $100 (depending on the dinners and when you purchase the tickets) though it does include all the pre-dinner drinks and wine pairing, but I like how her dinners are held at cool locations like this house, or art galleries. You won't know where it will be until a few days before though, and you won't know the full menu either. Since the themes of dinner change every time, from Asian to Cheese to Bacon, choose the one that's enticing if you're planning on trying Chef Amy's underground dinner for the first time.

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