First Anniversary: Top 5 Meals of the Blog Year – 11/28/10

Today marks the one year anniversary of this blog (I can’t believe it went by so fast). For the longest time, my friends had been telling me I should start a blog, and I’m glad I finally gave in. I’ve met a lot of people and have had a lot of great experiences (dining and other). One year and 103 posts later, I wanted to recap with some of my best meals of the past year. This list is not necessarily the most delicious…nor necessarily the most memorable…but a mix of those that I haven’t really defined.

So here goes my top 5 meals of the last year:

5. Sushi Zo, 9/10/10

This was kind of a distant fifth, as I felt pretty strongly with my top 4 – but my fifth place took some thinking. My Sushi Zo meal was very good, but its memory is somewhat overshadowed by my Urasawa meal the next day. This meal was better than my last time at the ‘Zo, so much that I remembered thinking to myself “whoa, this was really good…was Urasawa this good?” That thought lasted for all of approx. 20 hours, but the fact that it challenged my memory of my previous of Urasawa dinners spoke volumes.

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4. Scarpetta, 10/25/10

This probably isn’t in my top four delicious meals of the year, but it was up there. This dinner was memorable for being on opening night and having Chef Scott Conant personally serving up each dish while we were seated on the kitchen counter. That, plus the sheer decadence of having a bunch of courses with shaved black & white truffles. I still vividly remember that spaghetti.

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3. LudoBites 5.0, 9/2/10

I don’t know how I was lucky enough to manage 7 trips to LudoBites in the past year, but this was my favorite. Ludo’s menu changes so often and is so eclectic in its variety, sometimes the dishes align with your personal tastebuds and sometimes not so much. Everyone has a different reaction to each meal. For me, this is the one that had the most highlights. Some of the more memorable dishes were the raw wagyu over somen noodles, poached egg and potato mousseline, john dory and the caramel souffle with fleur de sel ice cream. Sigh.

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2. The French Laundry, 12/23/09

This was one of the main meals that inspired this blog. Given the difficulty of a reservation and the countless praise heaped on the restaurant, there may not be another restaurant in America where a diner’s expectations are higher. Although I had been here before, it was everything I had hoped for and more. Most memorable, however, for the white truffle risotto.

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1. Urasawa, 9/11/10

Lastly, number one. I remember walking out of Urasawa happy and immediately wondering when I would be back. Of all the restaurants I’ve been to, Urasawa most clearly displays an utmost commitment to quality. The restaurant does not open unless Hiro Urasawa is present, and it’s evident that Hiro-san painstakingly scrutinizes every step of the process from when he gets the ingredients to when it enters a diner’s mouth. The results are worth it. Hands down my favorite restaurant in LA, and one of the best meals I’ve had.

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Honorable mention, in chronological order:
The Restaurant at Meadowood, 12/26/09
Providence 5/14/09
Totoraku, 8/7/10
Test Kitchen with Walter Manzke, 8/25/10
WP24, 9/1/10


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