Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New York Giveaway! A Pair of Tickets to A Taste of Home

Hey New York readers! Here's a chance for you to win a pair of tickets to A Taste of Home: A Chef Tasting and Benefit Party hosted by Alex Guarnaschelli.

A Taste of Home is a benefit put on by Housing Works Bookstore CafĂ© and hosted by Alex Guarnaschelli, Executive Chef of Butter Restaurant and The Darby, and host of Food Network’s Alex’s Day Off.
All proceeds from the event goes to the Housing Works Mission of fighting AIDS and homelessness.

The event will also feature food by:
* Brad Farmerie, Executive Chef of PUBLIC, The Monday Room, Double Crown and Madam Geneva
* Colleen Grapes, Pastry Chef, The Red Cat and The Harrison
* Luis Nieto, Executive Chef, The Palm Tribeca
* And our own Tessa Liebman, Executive Chef of The Works Catering.

To ensure good times, there will also be Hendrick’s Gin cocktails, wine by Broadbent Selections, beer by Whole Foods, and Intelligentsia Coffee.

The deets: 
Tuesday, March 29, 2011 at 7:00 PM
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, 126 Crosby Street, New York, NY 10012

Tickets are usually $65 or $100 VIP ticket which includes a private hour (6–7pm) to mingle with the chefs over wine and cheese. But all you have to do is leave a comment below with your email to win a pair of tickets! Tweet about the giveaway (and let me know via a comment) for an extra entry.

The giveaway closes 11:59 PM next Tuesday, March 22nd.

If you don't win but want to attend, you can always buy tickets here.

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.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

LA's "Haute" Asian Cuisine? Lukshon vs WP24 vs Red Medicine, Part 3: Red Medicine

When I started doing this series of posts, i debated a while whether or not I will go to Red Medicine. I had gone to their stint at Test Kitchen, but ideally I should try the "final product". However, I just couldn't bring myself to go after their whole drama with the LA Times' reviewer SIV, where they not only kicked her out of the restaurant but also posted her photo online, threatening her position as an anonymous critic. I haven't agreed with many of her reviews lately but that is really beside the point. I found their "revenge" unprofessional and juvenile.

Finally, I decided not to go. I had very little desire to.

The tasting menu at Test Kitchen and their current menu both seemed reasonable at first glance, $40 for the Test Kitchen menu and $21 or less for the protein entrees. It turned out, however, that the portions were quite small.

Many of the dishes we tried were excellent. We all loved the cured amberjack served on french melons, and the pork belly "banh mi".

Pork Belly Banh Mi
Fatty and crunchy texture and lovely pickled carrot. I definitely could've used more than one piece of this.

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