DineLA–Sunday, January 22nd
We began DineLA at Ray’s and Stark Bar at LACMA. We already sampled the bar awhile back when we attended a KCRW/Evan Klienman event. So we were excited to sample the pre fixe menu at Ray’s. In our effort to taste as much of the menu as possible we ordered different selections and swapped halfway through each course…or at least allowed the other a taste.
We were led by a very attentive maitre’d to what he called the best table in the house. We agreed since it was situated beneath an array of tea and coffee cups.
The room itself is retro updated–red chairs, white lacquered tables…
…where they hide the silverware and napkin in a secret drawer.
Nahid opted to start with the Rice Agnolotti: Delicately tender pasta puffs stuffed with sottocenere truffle cheese, beech mushrooms with a porcini sauce. Toasted hazelnuts and the peppery arugula added to the very rich and filling dish.
I went for the Smoked Beef carpaccio, with a squid salad tossed with mint and an aji amarillo viaigrette. Not usually a fan of mixing land and sea, but this was incredibly light and packed a zingy punch.
A few sips of wine later the entrees arrived. Nahid’s seared to perfection rockfish filet sat in a pool of coconut curry broth which it shared with clams and squash. The broth alone could be a meal in itself.
My grilled pork belly served atop golden beets surrounded by a white bean puree. Perched on top was shaved fennel and skin crackling.
After two major courses we still had to find room for dessert, luckily that happened as the dishes were placed before us. Nahid’s Citrus platter contained a meyer lemon budino with a bergamot infused frozen yogurt (not a fan of anything with bergamont in it) but the standout feature of this dish was the mandarinquat chips on top of the budino–crisp and tart. Will be stealing this soon.
My apple streusel was enough for two or three people. The vanilla bourbon ice cream melted into the apples and created a warm rich taste that put a smile on my face.
Hat’s off to chef Kris Morningstar and his staff. This meal placed the bar mighty high. Next stop on DineLA Picca. I’ll let you know how that goes.
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