Fourth Anniversary: Top 5 Meals of the Blog Year

11/28/13

Happy Thanksgiving! Coincidentally, today marks the fourth year anniversary of this blog. This past year was filled with far less travels but still lots of great eats. I’ve stayed within the U.S. this year and, as a result, this year’s list isn’t nearly as worldly as last year’s (in which each of the top 5 were outside of the country).

Thinking back on a year of meals that was very LA-centric, it seemed to be a year of many pop-ups and collaborative dinners. I appreciate the fact that there are so many opportunities to try food from up-and-coming chefs and well-known ones from outside the city. In fact, I was lucky enough to attend meals in LA from 4 of NorCal’s most notable chefs/restaurants this year (Chris Kostow/Meadowood, Douglas Keane/Cyrus, Tim Hollingsworth/The French Laundry, David Kinch/Manresa). I missed out on the ones with Daniel Boulud and David Chang (and others I’m sure), but it’s exciting to see so many coming to LA to eat, see and cook.

Here, now, my five most memorable meals of the past year:

5. George’s California Modern (La Jolla, CA) – 6/16/13

Campechana local fluke, razor clams, spot prawn, cucumber, avocado
Campechana of local fluke, razor clams, spot prawn, cucumber, avocado

An ideal spot to celebrate a graduation (or other special occasion), this meal was full of great dishes showing off the local seafood and produce. Beautiful food and beautiful views.

4. The Restaurant at Meadowood @ Animal (Los Angeles, CA) – 1/14/13

winter peas, bone marrow, green garlic broth, hedgehog mushroom, sour wheat crouton (animal)
winter peas, bone marrow, green garlic broth, hedgehog mushroom, sour wheat crouton

Some of the finest food I ate in LA this year, Christopher Kostow brought his 3-star food to Animal’s casual atmosphere. Animal chefs Shook & Dotolo elevated their cuisine and matched Kostow’s food perfectly.

3. Scarpetta (Beverly Hills, CA) – 10/19/13

CREAMY POLENTA fricassee of truffled mushrooms, truffles
creamy polenta, fricassee of truffled mushrooms, truffles

Dining in the expansive kitchen at the chef’s counter is a unique experience in itself, but the food at Scarpetta continues to be very strong. This meal had some old favorites (spaghetti, polenta) and some new ones (wagyu carpaccio with sea urchin and white truffle, honey glazed duck breast).

2. Truffle Dinner @ SAAM at The Bazaar (Los Angeles, CA) – 2/23/13

Eclair
black truffle meringue, chantilly cream, shaved black truffles

15 courses of black truffles. Need I say more?

1. Timothy Hollingsworth @ The Strand House (Manhattan Beach, CA) – 5/20/13

Peking Duck Belgium endive, pickled cherries, tobacco scented chocolate emulsion
peking duck, belgium endive, pickled cherries, tobacco scented chocolate emulsion

This wasn’t necessarily the most delicious meal (though not saying it wasn’t) but this was memorable given it was Hollingsworth’s first cooking appearance since leaving The French Laundry. Being a big fan of the restaurant, I was very excited for this dinner and it didn’t disappoint.

Thank you to everyone that’s stopped by in the past year! Here’s to an even better next year.

Honorable mention (in chronological order):
Alexander’s Steakhouse (San Francisco, CA) – 11/25/12
LudoBites 10 @ Gram & Papa’s (Los Angeles, CA) – 12/10/12
State Bird Provisions (San Francisco, CA) – 12/28/12
Bestia (Los Angeles, CA) – 3/28/13, 4/27/13, 6/7/13
Douglas Keane @ The Strand House (Manhattan Beach, CA) – 4/29/13
Wolvesmouth (Los Angeles, CA) [3] – 7/13/13

Previous Anniversary Posts:
First Anniversary | Second Anniversary | Third Anniversary


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