a.k.a. "I wish I could quit you."
Having to pick up my mom and do some horrendous holiday shopping at The Grove, we decided to ease into the experience by starting out with a dinner at Opus (at my insistence, since I was driving and I recall my absolutely wonderful experience there.)
Wanting to try out a few more different things, instead of each of us doing a three-course spontaneous tasting menu we opted to split a six-course one for the same price ($60), which the exec. chef Josef Centeno agreed to. Oh yea, and the $2 smoked tomatillo-coriander dip for the breads. The dip was very intriguing, somewhere between salsa and a green thai curry ~ not sure if I exactly like it, but it definitely kept my palate occupied.
And what we wound up getting was about 11 plates of pure food goodness. I was anticipating 2 or, if we were lucky, 3 extra gift amuses, but that turned out to be 5-6 ~ and many times we both got an individual serving! Some of the memorable dishes in our "six" course menu included the:
- "Breakfast in a shell" ~ a hollowed out egg shell with its top removed, and filled with poached egg, bacon bits & cream of wheat, absolutely cute to look at & fun to eat - it's been ages since I had a poached egg, let alone this elegant but cozy combo.
- Foie gras custard brulee ~ anything foie gras get my salivatory glands going like a dam overflow - and while this dish didn't have as much fatty liver taste as I expected, it was still an unbelievably velvety savory custard, perfectly set against a thin, crispy layer of burnt sugar.
- Sliced steak & sweetbreads with parsnips and ravioli ~ I *almost* did not miss the foie gras after tasting the delicate sweetbread, which practically fell apart in my mouth into fluffy, buttery yumminess. The steak and the parsnips (in what I presume to be pan gravy) were excellente, and the course was well rounded out with the sweet cheese & slightly "green" tasting ravioli.
- a shotglass of chestnut panna cotta with chives ~ again, not a flavor of panna cotta I would attempt at home, but as usual - a disarmingly delightful treat. You should've seen us jam the too big of a spoon down the shotglass in our vain attempts to scoop out the very last of it (before we figured out we can use the spoon's handle to scrape).
- not 1, not 2, but 3 courses of desserts! The first was a melon granita with ice cream & salted melon, very refreshing after our savory & generally heavy courses of food. That was followed by root beer ice cream in gingersnaps with cranberry sauce & white chocolate glaze, a wonderfully holiday-appropriate delight (but mom thought the flavors were getting a bit crazy.) Thinking we were done, we summoned for the bill, only to have that served up with a mini huckleberry pie with black cherry sauce & whipped cream, a tart and slightly sweet treat that made for a perfect ending - especially since it went so well with the coffee.
And the most amazing part of all this, despite all the different silverware changes and extra china that they had bring out and bus away (not to mention the extra portions we got of the smaller courses), there was no split plate charge! Gracious for all our good and unexpected eats and feeling extraordinarily bad for the dishwasher, we tipped generously and gave our compliments to the chef.
I have a feeling that a 9-course tasting there is in order in the not-too-distant future. Perhaps I should start an Opus mug alongside my Providence one.
Again, for those who are
utterly insane missing out:
3760 Wilshire Blvd.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
a.k.a. "I wish I could quit you."