Son of a Gun
8370 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Dining date: 4/9/13
Graham Elliot might be best-known for being a judge on MasterChef (alongside Gordon Ramsay and Joseph Bastianich), but he first made a name for himself in the kitchens of Chicago. He’s opened three restaurants in the city with his flagship being the eponymous Graham Elliot, which was awarded two Michelin stars in the latest guide. Elliot was in town to do some MasterChef tapings and decided to cook a two-night pop-up dinner, 5 courses for $100. Much cheaper than a flight to Chi-town. A wine pairing was available for $40 but we decided to go with the $30 cocktail pairing instead.
green strawberry, red strawberry, aerated ricotta, balsamic bubbles
Sweet strawberry and tart balsamic were the main flavor profiles here, with a little bit of texture from dehydrated strawberries.
vice presidente cana brava rum, dolin blanc de fraise, maraschino, boston bittahs
king crab, pea variations, wild fennel, chili threads
Sweet jumbo lumps of crab meat were paired with a pea puree as well as freshly shucked peas. I liked the subtle earthy flavor in tandem with the crab, as well as the dehydrated fennel providing a nice crunch.
carrot essence, ginger gel, soy flakes, oxalis leaves
I found this to be a warm and comforting soup with an underlying ginger flavor and natural sweetness. Slivers of raw carrot added a delicate crunchy texture.
buggy whip punch aviation gin, lemon, mint, cucumber, angostura bitters, soda
salmon confit, everything bagel, onion marmalade, caper powder
Served cool, the salmon was tasty on its own, but the real highlight was the topping of fried salmon skin with its roe. Crunchy and salty and delicious, it was a very appropriate pairing to the salmon. A sweet onion marmalde and flavors of an ‘everything’ bagel completed the bites.
spring lamb, fava beans, pencil asparagus, laurel jus
This lamb actually looked and tasted like beef, cooked a nice medium rare. I enjoyed it, especially with rich mashed potatoes and the crunchy blanched asparagus.
nagami caipiroska akvinta vodka, lime, sugar, kumquat
yuzu tartlet, oro blanco, candied kumquat, whipped orange
The first dessert course was this tart, filled with a tasty yuzy curd. The tart, however, seemed a bit stale, being very hard to actually break apart and not having quite the textural crumbliness I was expecting.
dark chocolate, eucalyptus infusion, creme anglaise, sea salt
The last bite was this chocolate truffle, filled with a liquid with eucalyptus essence. I actually really like eucalyptus with chocolate, so this was a very welcome end to the meal.
I found this dinner to be good but not great. Nothing really stood out as being excellent or bad, treading a sort of conservative middle ground. I will say that the 5 courses and 2 ‘snacks’ were on the light side, necessitating a visit to Pizzeria Mozza afterwards for pizza and dessert (I was aware of other tables that felt the same way so it wasn’t just my gluttonous self). Still, I’m glad to have tried some of Elliot’s food here in LA; it saves me a visit next time I’m in Chicago.