Tickets start at $55 plus tax for tastes of all vendors, pre-event cocktails, Veev event cocktails, Zhena’s Gypsy Tea and Duvel beer. VIP will run you $85 and will get you a VIP gift bag, open bar and a special entrance. Fancy.
Proceeds from Savor Los Angeles will benefit CoachArt, which teaches art and athletic classes to children and adolescents with chronic illness. All paper- and plasticware at this event will be reusable or rapid biodegradable.
So there you have it: A tasting event in a posh, intimate Hollywood studio setting. I’ll see you there!
Since Bistro LQ had closed, I had been eagerly awaiting the next opportunity to experience Chef Laurent Quenioux’s food. Apparently, Nguyen and Thi of Starry Kitchen, Chef Quenioux and staff have been working a long time to make this guest appearance happen at their home digs.
In a couple weeks on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights and for most of the summer, you can experience 5 courses of LQ @ SK for $45. There will be a list of recommended wines that you can get from Domaine LA and enjoy them at your accord with zero corkage. If Laurent wasn’t reason enough to entice you downtown on an early-in-the-week night, the added reasonable price point and BYOB option should.
What I appreciated about all 5 courses was that though I knew Chef Quenioux to take chances, they reinforced that he is creative but not outlandish. No magic foams. Just well-integrated dishes that each express a simple statement.
To start things off, you’ll be treated to a surprise amuse. On the opening preview night, we were treated with Escamoles (ant eggs) smuggled straight from TJ that ran out during our run – complete with Sapporo chaser. Talk about taking “seasonal” to a whole new level – that is, to change by the day. It’s good indication you’re at an exciting place to eat.
I loved the Oxtail compote, which was accompanied by a pickled cucumber slice and carrot stick, topped off with a dallop of mustard tapioca. It’s no LQ uni tapioca, which is a dish all on its own, but I really liked this sweet and sour flourish to the oxtail. While I tend to think “sated” whenever I think of oxtail, all the stringy, crunchy and ballsy (couldn’t help it) textures were the interpretive bells and whistles on the down-to-earth flavors of this first course. Wonderful!
The Tai snapper was perfectly cooked – its juiciness, tenderness yet mildnessÂ further highlighted by the citrus fruits and vegetables. A really simple dishÂ yet pleasant andÂ even refreshing, which served as a good reprieve for the rabbit, foie gras and sweetbread richnessÂ to follow.
If Panda Express gave me ill associations with teriyaki sauce or even flavorings, Chef Quenioux may have just reversed those very misgivings. So subtle – and not so sweet – was the “teriyaki” savoryÂ albondigas (rabbit meatball), I could enjoy the miso that was poured into the dish at service. The green garlic tempura was delightfully fluffy and crunchy, which was a great contrast to the seared foie gras in taste and texture. The foie gras itself? I don’t really need to talk about it. It wasÂ heavenly.
But those gloriously breaded andÂ fried Veal sweetbreads.Â Morels andÂ chanterelles really brought forth an earthy tone to the dish whileÂ theÂ shishito peppers added aÂ subtle spice while the pastiness of the yuzu kosho were a great way to add a kick while keeping up with the breaded texture of the sweetbreads. Were the sweetbreads really sweet, you ask? Almost. But it doesn’t matter – sinceÂ the dish itself was fantastic.
And what topped the entire night off was no less than the most artful dish, doubling as a splendid dessert. Chocolate chipotle mousse and a churro sat withÂ lime serrano gel (with basil seeds)Â and cinnamon soil, orÂ crumbs from the churro. This was also the best wineÂ pairing of the night (disclosure: no wines included during the pop-up) with the subtle sweetness of theÂ NV Terres Dorees FRV100 cutting the spice in theÂ mousse yet rounding out the cinnamon quite well.
Anyway. LQ @ SK. You should “pop-in.” This is Chef Quenioux at his most accessible, an opportunity not to be wasted. His dishes are playful, but they also have vision and thanks to the efficient staff, underwent a successful execution even on the very first preview night. Not bad for aÂ test run. All I’m saying is, all systems go on this exciting and sure to be short-lived LQ run. Stay tuned for the official start date, which expects to be June 5th.
Now how about bringing back that cheese selection?
Update: Â So it’s been announced that start date IS Sunday, June 5th and there will be two seatings at 6:30 PM and 8:30 PM. Prix fixe stands at $45 per person. Menu is subject to change whenever Chef Quenioux feels like it. Sorry, no substitutions.Â Parking is validated. Also, reservations are available online only, here, for dates: June 5-7,13-14, 19, 20.Â More dates will be added later. You are confirmed only when you receive an email stating so.Â Go, go, go!!
Today marks another Dine LA Quickfire Challenge – this time, featuring cold noodles. Starry Kitchen, one of the hot spots to hit for Pan-Asian dishes will be hosting, and it’ll be Chef Octavio Beccera from Palate Food & Wine and Chef Brendan Collins from Waterloo & City going head-to-head.
Of course, there will be a surprise ingredient the chefs will have to incorporate in their dish. It’s Starry Kitchen so it’s only fitting that that ingredient will be either Oyster Sauce, Hoisin Sauce or Coconut Milk. Judging this Quickfire will be Thi Tran, Starry Kitchen Executive Chef, Jeff Miller of Thrillst and Krista Simmons from L.A. Times’ Brand X. And, as a prize, the winning dish will be featured on Starry Kitchen’s regular menu throughout Fall 2010 dineLA Restaurant Week.
During the challenge, $5 bites will allow attendees to preview Starry Kitchen’s Dine LA menu:
Crispy Tofu Balls
Young Banana and Tapioca in Caramel Coconut Milk
And if you’re still up for more, the official after-party is just across the plaza at CASA Cocina y Cantina with complimentary passed appetizers to preview their own Dine LA menu, including Turduckenizo Albondigas, Tamale de Elote, and Mini Tacos de Camarones Fritos. Drink specials will also be offered.
Ohhh, I love pickles. I may even love certain vegetables more after being pickled, depending on my cheek puckering mood. Kraut, beets, peppers, onions, radishes – give ’em all to me. It’s one of the preparations that so many ethnicities share while differing in the processes themselves.
Fortunately, it all doesn’t have to be completely lost on us. Chicks with Knives will be hosting a “Pop-Up Pickle Shop” at the one and only Starry Kitchen in Downtown LA this upcoming Sunday, September 12th in the late morning.
It’ll cost you just $5 for entry, which includes a cooking demo at 11 AM by the gals themselves, and you’ll get the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned. Pickling mix ($2) and pickling kits ($20) will be available for purchase. And if learning to better consume pickles is what it’s about (I’m raising my hand here), there are also a variety of pickles for sale ($6-8).
The complimentary apps and drinks that will be available during the Pop-Up Pickle Shop are reason enough:
Golden Beet & Goat Cheese Bites
Curried Asian Pear & Grilled Chicken Skewers
Mini Mac n’ Cheese with Fennel/Flower Pickles
Since there are limited quantities, I recommend getting there early. Just remember: These pickles are indeed “perishable” because these veggies aren’t hot-processed nor canned and should be consumed within 2 weeks. Guess the canning workshop will have to wait.
In the case of the downtown hot spot (and once-underground) Starry Kitchen, it would be useless to do a dish-by-dish, plate-by-plate review as is protocol for food blogging, these days. Thank God. Because I would pick a constantly-changing (evolving, if you will) menu that focuses on a few dishes at a time over a huge menu just to leave me indecisively frustrated at all the options, any day. I am a simple girl, after all, having grown up on over-rice dishes interspersed with the occasional Midwest casserole and bratwurst-in-a-bun. Starry Kitchen gives me homespun, Pan-Asian flavors – and done well. It’s what my mother’s cooking would taste like if she were … Pan-Asian, and not just Taiwanese.
If only I worked downtown, I could have more of these flavors to look forward to on a weekly basis.
But no – instead I sit envious in my cubicle as I read tweets from fellow tweeting counterparts about how they’re having Braised Coconut Jackfruit, Crispy Tofu Balls, Lime Vinaigrette- and Ginger Peanut-dressed chopped salad, or Japchae. Oh nice. I’ve actually had that last one.
The hugely ironic thing about it all is that Starry Kitchen is one of the best lunch deals in all of town – while being located downtown. Everything costs less than $10 – and what’s more, try parking for $2 anywhere in Los Angeles, much less right in the heart of the business district. And now – the best news: Starry Kitchen will be open for dinner on Thursdays and Fridays starting this week. No one has to hear me whine about lunch, anymore. And I won’t risk getting in trouble with the boss for taking extended lunches because I drove downtown to eat.
The bloggers of the now-semi-annual Eat My Blog bake sale are coming together for the second time on Saturday, June 19, 2010. In one of the most impressive baking efforts in the city, 100% of the proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. This time, Eat My Blog will be held at Tender Greens West Hollywood where over 2,000 goods from over 70 bakers will be on display – all items costing a simple $1 – $4 each. Bring cash!
Not enticed, yet? Get there early before everything is gone – including bacon brownies, chocolate whoopie pies andÂ “intriguing debuts [like] Momofuku’s Crack Pie from the Los Angeles Times’ Daily Dish and Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with Bacon Cream Cheese Frosting from Pat Saperstein of Eating LA,” says Diana Takes a Bite, one of the members on the Eat My Blog committee. What’s more, benefiting the LA Food Bank and fighting hunger should be reason enough to satisfy your sweet tooth; at the last Eat My Blog, over $3,000 was raised! â€œWe are excited to partner with the Foodbank again, especially after visiting the facility this winter to see how the money we raised would be used,â€ said Cathy Danh, author of Gastronomy and founder of Eat My Blog.
I’ll see you bright and early that Saturday in June. After all -Â if you wait, all the good things will be gone!
At Redcat in downtown on June 8, 2010, there will be a discussion on the Los Angeles food scene by none other than chefs most responsible for shaping the city that we all know and love to eat in, today. Observe the heavyweights wax poetic about their start in the industry, their proteges, and where exactly they think LA’s culinary landscapeÂ is headed, next. The panel will take place from 7 – 8 PM with a Q&A by the audience to follow.
What’s more, Starry Kitchen will cater the event afterwards with their delicious home-cooked Thai/Vietnamese-influenced food as chefs and guests mingle. This event is free but space is limited.