Showing posts with label marina del rey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label marina del rey. Show all posts

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Paiche (Marina del Rey)

After Picca and Mo Chica, Ricardo Zarate is moving further south with Paiche in Marina del Rey.
The name Paiche comes from a type of fish from the Amazon, but you can't just use the name without serving it, so Paiche does indeed serve paiche. Of course, I had to try some and went for the Paiche tiradito (Amazonian fish, aji amarillo lemon vinaigrette, tamari, sweet potato mousse - $10)
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In keeping with their other restaurants, the cocktails here are worth trying. The cocktail program is helmed Deysi Alvarez who has been working with Zarate and Stephane Bombet at the previous restaurants. One of my favorites is The Last Ice Age (Pisco Porton, Hakushu whiskey 12yr, egg white, lime, lemon, evaporated simple syrup, Fernet Branca drops - $13)
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It's frothy without being too sweet or rich, this will be nice for the summer nights ahead.

For appetizers, I suggest the Yuquitas (stuffed yucca beignets, Manchego cheese, grated parmesan - $8)
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These beignets are quite unique. They're pretty light, chewy, and the combination of fried yucca and creamy cheese is delicious.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Stones Restaurant at Marriott Marina del Rey

I have been finding myself in Marina del Rey more and more these days. My last visit was to Stones Restaurant at the Marriott Marina del Rey hotel, which recently obtained a new chef and revamped their menu. Instead of ordering a la carte, they sent out a tasting of the dishes they wanted to showcase.

We started with a sampling of two appetizers:
Arugula, grilled peach, pickled red onion, burrata, balsamic glaze

Burrata and Grilled Peach
The burrata was creamy but the flavor was fairly mild and the dish benefits from the crunchy grilled peaches and the sweet and tart pickled onions.

Grilled shrimp, orange marmalade
Grilled Shrimp
This is the chef's riff on shrimp cocktails, where he grills then chills the shrimp. The sweet marmalade is a nice complement, though I'm not sure if I could eat more than two or three pieces of sweet shrimp.

Bread
Warm bread

Since all the entrees are accompanied by something creamy and starchy, we got full pretty fast, but we plowed through! This shouldn't be a problem for a regular diner not eating three entrees in a row :)

John Dory, popcorn crust, sweet corn ravioli, vegetable slaw
Popcorn Crusted Chicken
The popcorn crust was rather interesting (and according to the chef, pretty simple to replicate). The flesh of the john dory remains moist and flaky. I thought the sweet corn ravioli filling could be smoother and creamier, though.

Filet Mignon, yukon mash, cauliflower, demi
Steak
Stones cooks their proteins well, as exemplified by this tender, juicy steak. The mashed potatoes had the potato skins left in, giving it more body and flavor. The cauliflowers were not only colorful and fresh and crisp. This was a solid steak dish, you can't go wrong in ordering this.

The next dish doesn't lose out: New Zealand lamb, bacon, brussel sprouts, green apple risotto
Lamb
Even with my full stomach, I thoroughly enjoyed this lamb, cooked a nice medium rare with that trickle of blood in the middle and nicely charred edges.The tart, crisp green apple slices in the risotto helped digest the other rich and heavy items.

We finished with a dessert sampler: Apple cobbler, Key lime tart, Chocolate ganache, Pineapple Upside Down cake.
Dessert Sampler

My favorite was the dark, spongy chocolate ganache, followed by the apple cobbler.

The libations menu need some work for my personal taste as the cocktails were mostly fruity martinis and the wine by the glass selection is limited. The chef seems to have a liking for rich and creamy sides, but if you're staying nearby, you'd be satisfied with having a nice piece of filet mignon or lamb, or perhaps a moist John Dory here.

Stones Restaurant
Marriott Hotel Marina del Rey
4100 Admiralty Way
Marina del Rey, California 90292
(310) 301-3000
http://www.marriott.com/hotels/hotel-information/restaurant/laxmb-marina-del-rey-marriott/
Stones on Urbanspoon

Disclosure: this meal was hosted.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Cafe Del Rey (Marina del Rey, CA)

Seems like I've been making my way to Marina del Rey more and more now. Cafe del Rey is a favorite of MDR locals and I have recently heard great things about it from friends, so I welcomed the invitation to a blogger tasting there.

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Ahi tuna crudo
From the dining room you get a view of the boats in the marina.
Cafe del Rey
Their cocktail list is fairly small but interesting enough. One of them features "hum botanical" which is rum infused with hibiscus, ginger, green cardamom and kaffir lime. This was the first time I've seen it in a cocktail menu and the herbal taste was quite strong (may not be for everyone).
IMG_6397I started the night with a spiced apple bourbon (woodford reserve, spiced apple cider, simple syrup, ginger ale) -$12

Executive Chef Daniel Roberts grew up in New York City and started his career in Queens. Upon moving to California he worked as executive sous chef at Mondrian Hotel and Asia de Cuba, where he was promoted to executive chef after one year. He then moved on to work at Portofino Hotel and Yacht Club before finally landing at Cafe del Rey.

We started with a trio of raw appetizers, including the ahi tuna crudo pictured above, beef carpaccio, and scottish salmon.
Beef carpaccio, unexpectedly complemented with golden beets, arugula salad, lemon caper vinaigrette.
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Housecured Scottish salmon with crisp artichoke, crème fraiche, tiny greens. This dish comes with a shot of basil vodka limoncello, which I thought paired quite well with it.
Salmon
Chef Roberts also exhibited some Mediterranean slant in his menu, like his fun Kafta cigar (lamb kafta wrapped in dough and deep fried, sitting on an "ashtray" of tzatziki sauce) and falafel.
Kafta Cigar

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Molecular Gastronomy Meets Southern Cooking at Vu Restaurant (Marina del Rey)

Pork Belly, Root Beer Jello
Pork Belly, crispy grits, root beer jello -$9

Vu Restaurant, Chef
Executive Chef Kyle Schutte
Executive Chef Kyle Schutte calls it "progressive comfort food." His background of training in the South is apparent in his cuisine, but Schutte was also the first chef in North Carolina to incorporate molecular gastronomy techniques into his cooking before moving to California to head the kitchen at Vu Restaurant.

His pork belly dish is a good example. The pork belly is sandwiched by both sides: crispy grits on one and root beer jello on the other.

Marina del Rey seems an unlikely place for this type of restaurant and I probably wouldn't have paid much attention to it if it wasn't for a recent media dinner held there.

Our night started at the bar, where Luke the bartender made us some cocktails.
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I started with the Mojo ($12) made with Death’s Door whisky, Dimmi, peppermint, honey, fresh lemon. Now, a bit on Death's Door whisky: it's a white whisky. A what now?
Mojo cocktail at Vu
Death's Door Whisky comes from a Wisconsin-based spirit startup. It is double-distilled so it's clear and is 160-proof (that's 80% ABV btw). The Mojo had an herbal aftertaste - not sure if it was the white whisky or the Dimmi as I've never had either before.

The first "molecular" dish we had was probably my favorite: the“Reconstructed” Caprese Salad
balsamic-injected cherry tomatoes, basil-infused fresh mozzarella, red hawaiian sea salt, micro basil
Caprese
The cherry tomato is encased in the basil-infused mozzarella. Pop everything in for a nice little bite as the juicy tomato bursts inside your mouth.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sneak Preview: Mendocino Farms (Marina del Rey)!

With their DTLA locations getting rave reviews, I've been curious about the Mendocino Farms sandwiches. Their newest location in Marina del Rey is slated to open on Thursday. Luckily, I was invited to their pre-opening tasting preview last night.

When you enter Mendocino Farms, you'll be given a paper menu on which you'll place your order, line up to pay, get your food and find a seat. Casual is the name of the game.
A bonus for the MDR locals over the DTLA locations: beer/wine license is coming in a few months!

The future keg spot:

The future Enomatic wine system spot:
With beer/wine and these great sandwiches, this may soon be the MDR hangout! Plus, the braised lamb sandwich and the pork belly banh mi would go quite well with a glass of red.

Cos, like, we would know ...
I have to thank Sue, one of the winners of the Tasting Event giveaway, for bringing this bottle of Petite Syrah! Made my braised lamb sandwich even better! (And hey it was a private event so we can bring wine ... )

I highly recommend the Pork Belly Banh Mi! We didn't get a whole sandwich during the event, but they did pass out the little pork belly crostinis for us to taste.
The sweet and rich caramelized kurobuta belly is offset by the jalapeno and the julienned vegetables. Unlike your normal banh mi, here they will serve it on top of a panini grilled ciabatta.

The Braised Lamb sandwich ($9.75) was also very good. This was on their seasonal menu and they said it'll go off menu (to make room for perhaps a Lobster Club 'wich and other sandwiches featuring heirloom tomato) in a month, so hurry and get it now.
This sandwich is for the game meat lovers only, because they're probably the same group of people who would equally enjoy the Cypress Grove goat cheese that's spread inside this sandwich. I didn't think the lamb was particularly gamey but the combination of lamb and goat cheese - which I thought gave a deliciously strong flavor - might not be for everyone.

The Fort "We Should" Bragg Melt ($8.25) w/ tuna and smoked gouda had good flavors and a nicely grilled bread, though I thought the tuna smelled a bit too fishy.


I tried the vegan sandwich "My Vegan Trip Through India" ($9.25) with chickpea and spinach patty. It was alright and well ... vegan. I'll have more lamb and pork belly, s'il vous plait.

Right before you reach the cashier, you'll be tempted with a case of the side deli items.

I'd recommend the curried orzo as it was the most flavorful.

You will also place your drink orders here at the cashier. Before the liquor license goes in full effect, specialty drinks like blood orange lemonade and lemongrass green tea are worth getting.
The blood orange lemonade is sweet while the lemongrass green tea is unsweetened but accented by a lovely lemongrass aroma.

Mendocino Farms caters, and when you order catering you can get a slew of desserts from Dolce Forno. If you eat in, you can grab one of MF's special recipe cookies!

I tried the hazelnut tart (available for catering orders), a decadent mini tart that's almost like chocolate-topped pecan tart, i.e. that's chocolate+caramel+nuts.
I tried their chocolate chip cookie also, and its bulging shape easily made it a combination of the crunchy and chewy cookie, depending where you're biting. Get one and indulge, it's definitely worth trying.

Marina del Rey workers rejoice, here's your new lunch spot.


Mendocino Farms
4724 Admiralty Way
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
(310) 822-2300
http://mendocinofarms.com/
Mendocino Farms on Urbanspoon
Mendocino Farms in Los Angeles on Fooddigger

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