Browsing Category

Fine Dining – Dinner

Red O

November 11, 2013

Red O
8155 Melrose Ave,
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 655-5009

http://www.redorestaurant.com

The moment we walked into this nicely decorated Mexican restaurant, I thought I was up for a good experience. However, almost everything went downhill from then on. We were greeted with bad service and mediocre dishes that were not worth the price we paid for. This might be from my lack of familiarity with the Mexican food culture but I really do think I’ve had better tacos from food trucks that costed much less than what we paid for at Red O.

It all started nicely when our waiter came to take our order, gave us some suggestions, brought us our wine. After that, he was never to be seen throughout the rest of our dinner until we constantly asked other waiters to help us find ours. Yes, it was very frustrating. There’s nothing I find more frustrating than having inattentive waiters where you waste time trying to find him.

Happy Eating List

Guac & Chips: But then again, you can't go wring with Guac & Chips.

Guac & Chips:
But then again, you can’t go wring with Guac & Chips.

Pork Belly Sope: This was an appetizer that I found more enjoyable than the other dishes. After all, it's pork belly! I was pretty disappointed because the waiter did tell me their Pork Belly Sopes were amazing and it's an absolute must-try dish at Red O. If this is the ultimate must-try dish, I have to say that sets a pretty low standard for the rest of the dishes on their menu.

Pork Belly Sope:
This was an appetizer that I found more enjoyable than the other dishes. After all, it’s pork belly on a pastry crust! I was pretty disappointed because the waiter did tell me their Pork Belly Sopes were amazing and it’s an absolute must-try dish at Red O. If this is the ultimate must-try dish, I have to say that sets a pretty low standard for the rest of the dishes on their menu.

Not So Happy List

Tuna Ceviche: Very disappointed. I don't recommend for anyone to order this dish.

Tuna Ceviche:
Very disappointed. I don’t recommend for anyone to order this dish.

Lamb in Mole Negro: This was supposed to be Rick Bayless's winning dish on the Top Chef. Perhaps he did not convey his secret to the chef at Red O cooking our dish the night we dined there because I have definitely had better lamb dishes at other restaurants. This was a dish that was not appealing at all in terms of sight and taste. Again, very, very disappointed.

Lamb in Mole Negro:
This was supposed to be Rick Bayless’s winning dish on the Top Chef. Perhaps he did not convey his secret to the chef at Red O cooking our dish the night we dined there because I have definitely had better lamb dishes at other restaurants. This was a dish that was not appealing at all in terms of sight and taste. Again, very, very disappointed.

I am generally not that harsh on restaurants but this was truly one of the worst dining experiences I have had in Los Angeles. The meal ended costing around $500 including wine and I have to say, I did not think it was worth the price at all. Not so surprisingly, my friend visited Red O this past weekend and had a bad dining experience as well.

I’m still on the hunt for good Mexican food in Los Angeles before I finish off with the school year and head back to Hong Kong for good. Please let me know if you have any suggestions!

Happy eating,
Joey Wong ♥

Trois Mec

October 16, 2013

Trois Mec
716 N. Highland Ave,
Hollywood, CA 90038
No phone

www.troismec.com 

Hidden inside of a building that still hangs the pizza sign from the previous owner is Trois Mec. It took me a while to find it, not knowing that there wasn’t big Trois Mec sign on the door but this made the experience the more interesting. It felt like you had to be a real foodie to find the restaurant. Here’s another tip. If your reservation is for 8 pm, you won’t be seated until 8 pm. They time their meals so the people who made their reservations for 6 pm don’t finish until right before 8.

The entire dining experience was phenomenal so I’m just going to jump right into the highlights.

Happy Eating List:

Avocado on sushi rice with salt cod cream, lime and cilantro: This was the first course that started the meal and it was a mix of heaven and bliss all in the same bite. It was my first time tasting rice mixed with cod cream. Along with the soft texture of the avocado, it was a bite of all things smooth. The slight hint of lime juice gave it a subtle refreshing aftertaste.

Avocado on sushi rice with salt cod cream, lime and cilantro:
This was the first course that started the meal and it was a mix of heaven and bliss all in the same bite. It was my first time tasting rice mixed with cod cream. Along with the soft texture of the avocado, it was a bite of all things smooth. The slight hint of lime juice gave it a subtle refreshing aftertaste.

Beef Carpaccio with grilled yogurt, fermented black walnut and caramelized eggplant:  First off, what is grilled yogurt? I can tell you now that it did not have the burnt, charcoal taste that I expected. Instead, I thought it was a great addition to the dish. I'm always most impressed with chefs who create dishes using ingredients that I normally dislike to eat. The Beef Carpaccio dish is an example of that. I tend to avoid all things eggplants when I eat but this was a pleasant surprise. I actually enjoyed the eggplants in this dish. So there, enough said. I loved it.

Beef Carpaccio with grilled yogurt, fermented black walnut and caramelized eggplant:
First off, what is grilled yogurt? I can tell you now that it did not have the burnt, charcoal taste that I expected. Instead, I thought it was a great addition to the dish. I’m always most impressed with chefs who create dishes using ingredients that I normally dislike to eat. The Beef Carpaccio dish is an example of that. I tend to avoid all things eggplants when I eat but this was a pleasant surprise. I actually enjoyed the eggplants in this dish. So there, enough said. I loved it.

Potato pulp with brown butter, bonito, onion soubise and salers:  At first glance, you'd think it was macaroni. After the first bite, you'll realize it's actually potato. Very rich, creamy. The bonito added some really nice flavors to the potato. This is also one of Trois Mec's signature dishes. Only thing that I didn't like about this dish is that all the potato will fill you up fast. Remember that you have more courses coming up!

Potato pulp with brown butter, bonito, onion soubise and salers:
At first glance, you’d think it was macaroni. After the first bite, you’ll realize it’s actually potato. Very rich, creamy. The bonito added some really nice flavors to the potato. This is also one of Trois Mec’s signature dishes. Only thing that I didn’t like about this dish is that all the potato will fill you up fast. Remember that you have more courses coming up!

Barbecued Carrots with Orange Curry and Sour Cream: I had this option instead of the lamb that was originally on the menu since I'm not a big fan of lamb. After this dish, I will never look at carrots the same way again. Chef Ludo is really skilled at turning such simple ingredients into a fine, elegant dish that is rich in flavors and very, very visually pleasing.

Barbecued Carrots with Orange Curry and Sour Cream:
I had this option instead of the lamb that was originally on the menu since I’m not a big fan of lamb. After this dish, I will never look at carrots the same way again. Chef Ludo is really skilled at turning such simple ingredients into a fine, elegant dish that is rich in flavors and very, very visually pleasing.

Truffle grilled cheese sandwich with buttermilk sauce and campfire ice cream: Wow. This $9 supplement is worth your money. Again, Chef Ludo turned the ordinary grilled cheese sandwich into something unique. My ice cream actually melted a little by the time I took the picture, which explains why the dish looks the way it does in my picture.

Truffle grilled cheese sandwich with buttermilk sauce and campfire ice cream:
Wow. This $9 supplement is worth your money. Again, Chef Ludo turned the ordinary grilled cheese sandwich into something unique. My ice cream actually melted a little by the time I took the picture, which explains why the dish looks the way it does in my picture.

Well, that’s it from me. Unlike other fine dining experiences, I thought that a meal at Trois Mec was decently priced, especially for the quality of the food and service you receive as well as the truly unique tasting experience.

I do look forward to getting my golden ticket to Trois Mec again early Friday mornings and trying some of the dishes offered since the menu changes every day. Stay tuned for my post on chi SPACCA!

Happy eating,
Joey Wong ♥

Chef Ludo Lefebvre–Stay Tuned!

September 23, 2013

Hi all!

I had the honor to meet Chef Ludo Lefebvre when I dined at Trois Mec on Thursday. Stay tuned for the food post!

Chef Ludo

Chef Ludo

Happy eating,
Joey Wong ♥

Lung King Heen

July 12, 2013

Lung King Heen
4/F, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong,
8 Finance St, Central
3196-8880

http://www.fourseasons.com/hongkong/dining/restaurants/lung_king_heen/

So I decided that it would take me a while to catch up on the Paris posts before I can get to Hong Kong. This one deserved cutting the line in the list of updates I still need to get to. It was to celebrate a special event so we decided to splurge on tasting menus at the famed three-Michelin-star Chinese restaurant, Lung King Heen.

After trying different French and fusion tasting menus, it was nice to finally try a Chinese tasting menu. It was also during this meal that I realized how hard it is for a Chinese restaurant to earn three Michelin stars, which is why I have the utmost respect for Chef Chan and his team for putting this dinner together.

Even though we couldn’t get a table right next to the window, the harbor view from our table was already breathtaking. I’m (very) proud to say Hong Kong is a beautiful city.

We started with the appetizer combo, which consisted of a piece of crispy suckling pig, barbecued pork with honey and roast goose with plum sauce. We were quickly served our hot and sour tofu soup with shrimp wontons, simmered lobster in supreme broth, braised whole South African abalone in supreme oyster sauce, superior Australian wagyu beef cubes with sarcodon aspratus and capsicum, braised five grain rice with diced chicken in superior pottage, Chinese desserts and petit fours.

Highlights:

  • Service: The moment I sat down, they brought a small stool over for my bag. It’s been a long time since I was last brought a stool at a Western restaurant, let alone a Chinese restaurant. This definitely added bonus first impression points.
BBQ Pork The BBQ pork is worth a mention. As a BBQ pork lover who tried the pork at many, many places in both hemispheres, I’d have to say that piece was probably the best I’ve ever had. You know how people describe good steak as ones that “melt in your mouth?” This was like that. The meat was so tender and the meat just fell apart and melted away.

BBQ Pork
The BBQ pork is worth a mention. As a BBQ pork lover who tried the pork at many, many places in both hemispheres, I’d have to say that piece was probably the best I’ve ever had. You know how people describe good steak as ones that “melt in your mouth?” This was like that. The meat was so tender and the meat just fell apart and melted away. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Braised five grain rice It looks like a regular bowl of fried rice but once you dig into it, you’ll realize that there’s some sauce at the bottom of the bowl. This is no regular bowl of “fried rice,” it’s a truly amazing blend of colors and great taste.

Braised five grain rice
It looks like a regular bowl of fried rice but once you dig into it, you’ll realize that there’s some sauce at the bottom of the bowl. This is no regular bowl of “fried rice,” it’s a truly amazing blend of colors and great taste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disappointments:

You wouldn’t believe me if I said none so here it goes.

  • Chinese desserts: They offered to serve four different bowls of Chinese desserts so we could sample a bit of each. We got the Almond with Egg White Soup, Walnut Soup, Green Bean Soup and the Mango with Sago and Pomelo Dessert. I have to say I was pretty disappointed with all of them except for the mango one. They were simply too watery for my liking.

The meal ended up taking a good two and a half hours, way longer than your normal Chinese meal. However, Lung King Heen is worth your time and money.

Happy eating,
Joey Wong ♥