Showing posts with label wp24. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wp24. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A WP24 Lunch with Iron Chef Morimoto, LA Food and Wine Festival

The first LA Food and Wine Festival kind of snuck up on me. Suddenly there are a slew of celebrity chefs in town doing special lunches and dinners, and grand tastings, totaling to about 70 events!

Thanks to Lexus, I was lucky enough to attend a lunch at Wolfgang Puck's WP24 (normally not open for lunch) prepared by WP24's chef Sara Johannes and Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto.

Iron Chef Morimoto
Chef Morimoto
I've always admired the view from WP24, but this was the first time I've seen it during the day. Lucky for us, it was a beautiful day!
The party started in the front bar area with some Scharffenberger Cellars "Brut Excellence", Mendocino (Anderson Valley). This sparkling wine was made with a base from 2007, using 2/3 Chardonnay and 1/3 Pinot Noir. I missed out on most of the passed hors d'oeuvres - they went fast. If I had known the bao was filled with foie gras instead of pork belly, I would've tried harder to procure some.

Oh well, I had a great meal ahead of me anyway.

We alternated courses made by the Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto and WP24's chef Sara Johannes.
The first course was by Morimoto: Kin Medai Snapper with geoduck, papaya, peanuts and coconut foam.
This was paired with a glass of Grieve Sauvignon Blanc, Napa 2009
Kin Medai
I loved the Southeast Asian flavors that come out in this dish, especially from the peanuts and chili. I don't think I've had sashimi with southeast asian flavors before, but it certainly worked wonderfully.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Summary: LA's "Haute" Asian Cuisine? Lukshon vs WP24 vs Red Medicine

In my last three posts I talked about the three new high end asian restaurants Lukshon, WP24, and Red Medicine. To those of you who have been to these restaurants, what are your thoughts?

For me, I've found good dishes at each, but to the ultimate question "was anything compelling enough to get me back again and again and again?" the answer is not yet...

Here is a summary of what I think, let me know what you think about them too.

Appetizers: $11-$19. Entrees: $19-32. Noodles: $12-14.

Lukshon probably has the best and most interesting food (although I heard the experience in the main dining room of WP24 is great as well). Sang Yoon's kitchen team has the spices and flavors down for the most part (the rendang sauce still did not taste like rendang to me). Do try the sausage-stuffed squid. Mattatouille demands you go now for their dan dan noodles. They also have good cocktails, which is always a plus. Appetizers were fairly priced but the entrees were as expensive as Spago.

Sausage-Stuffed Squid

Appetizers: $12-18. $80 for 3 courses, $110 for 4 courses.

Wolfgang Puck is no newcomer in this area. His Chinois on Main has been a Venice institution over many years. WP24 has a gorgeous lounge with a view, and good dumplings. I heard the WP24's dining room experience is worth a try, and I will eventually do so. The price? Think Wolfgang Puck multiplied by Ritz Carlton. It's a place to impress your date, where ambiance matters. KevinEats admits that it's "unabashedly expensive" but "pretty damn tasty."
WP24's Crystal Dumplings

Red Medicine
Appetizers: $8-16, "protein": $9-21.

It's hard for me to say much more about Red Medicine just based on my Test Kitchen experience, but I'm not sure I want to support the owner of the restaurant. Is it a fair review, comparing it just based on Test Kitchen? True, probably not - but on the other hand we were technically still their first paying customers (and honestly, I thought my review wasn't particularly negative).

Chef Jordan Kahn is talented and some of his interpretation of Vietnamese dishes is quite inspired, though not everything worked. The portions at Test Kitchen was small and I've heard similar reports about the actual Red Medicine. JGold tried most of the dishes and found enough to come back for. The Minty spent $90 per person and liked the cocktails and desserts the best. At least at the restaurant I can just throw more money to get full while I left TK hungry? I am extremely tempted to go for their dessert, though, as the one at Test Kitchen was amazing.

In the end, though, it's hard to imagine myself frequenting these establishments, due to their prices. I certainly want to return to Lukshon and try their dan dan noodles. I will eventually try WP24's dining room, and I may even visit Red Medicine. But the money spent per person at these places can get me a 4-lb lobster at Newport Tan Cang! In the end, you'd have to pay the price for the chefs' unique interpretations (which worked for the majority of the dishes), the undoubtedly better ambiance, and (hopefully) better service.

For thoughs, disagreements, etc, the comments are open for all.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

LA's "Haute" Asian Cuisine? Lukshon vs WP24 vs Red Medicine, Part 2: WP24

High end Chinese food is not a new venture for the Wolfgang Puck empire, and I still love the Shanghai lobster curry at Chinois on Main (the one in Vegas is not as good), but Puck wanted to go higher. To the 24th floor of the new Ritz Carlton in downtown LA, to be exact.

While I haven't tried the dining room menu at WP24, I did get a tasting of their bar menu with small plates ranging $12-14 and sushi rolls ranging $14-18. No, not cheap, but were you expecting it to be?

While I didn't love everything, I was actually pretty impressed at the quality of the dumplings here. The one thing I fear most about bad dumplings is a thick, tough skin, but I encountered no such thing here.

Chinese Crystal Dumplings (King Crab,  Shrimp, Kurobuta Pork) $12

WP24's Crystal Dumplings
The skin here was actually tender, and the dumpling was filled with quality ingredients. The sauce wasn't shy of spice.

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