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20 September 2009 @ 03:19 pm
2nd parental visit down!  
Ok, so, the point of this visit was to celebrate Neil's parent's 39th wedding annaversary.  And since they're foodies, his dad picked this american-french restaurant in Santa Monica called Melisse.  It's got a couple of Michelin stars.  It's a place where you have to dress for dinner.  They had small stools they put by our chairs so we didn't have to rest our purses on the ground.  They actually tried to serve the dishes simultaneously (there were little glitches here and there, but you can't fault them for trying).  Our waiter was brash and kind of adorable, our somellier had the loveliest deep voice, and it was .. without a doubt on of the loveliest dining experiences i've ever had.

so, they started us with a very very tiny amuse bouche:
1/2 a cherry tomato covered in goat cheese crusted in pistachios

and then brought another, slightly larger duo:
a little tiny medalion of salmon roulade in a meyer lemon vinagrette
a tiny shot of cucumber tofu, a gaspacho and tomato gellee

First course:

I had the Seared Foie Gras with Cavillon Melon Confit, white port balsamic reduction with candied orange

If you've ever actually read any of my other food reviews, I do not pass up foie gras anymore.  I konw, i'm going to hell, and I like it.  This was beautiful, perfectly done, and every mouthful was so buttery and rich and soft and nummy.  Although I'm not sure if I'd do the candied pieces with it - I think I like an earthier berry (say blackberry) with my foie gras

Neil & his dad had the Duo of Foie Gras: one was twice cooked and the other terrine, with peach compote and puree, toasted brioche  (which was also really super duper tasty, but cold, and so i'm glad i went with what i got)
His mom had the Seasonal vegetable salad with the blanched Kolrabi, Daikon, Beets and Buratta cheese (oh my god if there was ever a salad that would make you pee your pants this was it. 
His aunt had the Sweet White Corn Ravioli with Summer Truffle Sauce (and a foam!)   One ravioli, and oh WOW was this packed with flavor and beautiful taste. and just ... the essence of corn.

Second course:

I had the Monterey Abalone, Geoduck clam with fennel, mizuna, and yuzu koshu

I would have never expected the Geoduck to be better than the Abalone, but it was - MUCH BETTER.  Not that the abalone wasn't good, but it was chewy, and the geoduck was actually really tasty without being fishy or clammy or anything.

Neil and his mom & dad all had the Salmon souvide with butternut squash gnocchi and a butternut squash broth with chanterelles and miataki mushrooms
His Aunt had the Imported Dover sole "Goujonnettes" with chanterelle mushrooms, almonds, and white corn brown butter jus

(and those two other plates were also nummy, but not as good as my geoduck, believe it or not)


I had the Liberty Farms Duck Breast and Confit with black mission figs, beets, and banyuls-star anise sauce

OH MY GODS duck with figs?? Yeah, i know, it's pretty traditional, but oh so frigging good, because the sweetness of the figs compliments how strong the flavor of the duck is, and the duck fat is mmmmmmm soft and tender and wonderful.  and the banyuls-star anise sauce came in these little red dots on the plate that just burst with flavor

Neil and his Aunt had the Prime Rib Eye and 48 Hour Short Rib with confit celery, dijonnais, herbed bordelaise sauce

admittedly, these were yummy and the short rib definitely fell apart, but i was far far happier with my duck

His mom & Dad both had the Slow Cooked Rabbit, Ras el Hanout with Heirloom carrot 'tajine', boudin blanc, and jus de lapin

and finally, we were able to actually eat dessert:

I had the "Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate" which meant I got 4 different styles of chocolate:
1) a chocolate souffle that was injected table side with molten chocolate
2) a peanutbutter chocolate mousse on a peanut crust
3) a 'marshmellow' (which looked like a marshmellow on a stick) of chocolate mousse ice cream dipped in white chocolate
4) a chocolate flan with little bits of toffee in it

Now, after the menu above, i was pretty damn close to done, and even though none of these were more than 10 bites, getting through all of them was completely impossible.  But how could I pass up chcolate souffle?  So I didn't, nor did I give out much of the peanutbutter chocolate mousse.  The other two I had to give away though (well, after a bite)!

Neil had the Peach 'glazed' with rosemarry, greek yogurt mousse, and caramel powder
Neil's aunt had the Poached cherries with frozen almond parfait and basil sorbet
Neil's parents had the Sticky Toffee Pudding with mocha malt ice cream and red berries-hibiscus consomme

OH, and then AT THE END, they came around with fresh plums in a bowl with a little creame freche and some rock-sugar (though they didn't need the sugar at all).  AND a custard post-dessert amuse that i can't for the life of me remember the name of, but it was baked custard in a little dime-size pastry type thing.  Seriously blew the lid off my stomach, for sure.

Even though there are smaller portions with a tasting menu I'm amazed we were able to waddle out of there.  Oh, and that doesn't even include the champagne, then white wine, then red wine that we all put away.  Ooofta.  But amazing, nonetheless.

Other than that I haven't really been all that productive this weekend, so I've got to get to it.

And remember, if you have a Spander Story and you might want a fic banner, I still have spaces open so PLEASE PLEASE REQUEST ONE HERE!
literate and stylishmishloran on September 20th, 2009 06:54 pm (UTC)
food. porn.

*drools a little*

I personally don't like Foie Gras but believe everyone should try it at least once. So I don't know if that makes me a bad person? Yes, it's made from force-fed ducks. But... they're ducks? Made for food? I guess... ?
my monkied brainkatekat1010 on September 24th, 2009 01:05 am (UTC)
I know, right?! if i could've had a tiny camera i totally would have snuck it in, just so you could see :D

and i totally agree everyone should try everything at least once. and honestly, the idea of how ducks are mistreated is repugnant, but somehow not enough for me to not eat it.
brutti_ma_buonibrutti_ma_buoni on September 21st, 2009 01:33 pm (UTC)
Well, I had a nice lunch yesterday (still filled with happy food thoughts) - but nothing on this scale! It sounds fabulous.

And yeah, on the whole, I go with the foie gras too. Maybe once a year or less: it's hardly an everyday thing. Last time I had it was in France, in a little place we went to about this time last year but the weather was OMG freezing and we just wanted to warm up. They had bean soup on the menu, so we all ordered it for the rib-sticking warmth (made with local beans 'haricots de Soissons', which we'd never heard of - so they brought some out to show us - like butter beans, but green). And in the middle of a really rich, creamy, tasty bean soup there was just a little cube of foie gras they hadn't mentioned on the menu! Just taking the heat of the soup, and almost melting into it. So. Good. (and luckily, none of us were vegetarians...).

Sorry, in my own foodie dream world - this was the most fantastic place, but it's in a city no one ever visits (maybe once, there's a cathedral), and I have this great restaurant rec and no one to share it with. Hence: venting, but happily.
my monkied brainkatekat1010 on September 24th, 2009 01:07 am (UTC)
gah! you make me want to fly across the ocean just so i can go to France and find your little restaurant - that sounds absolutely *amazing* (and happy foie gras surprise!)

that's ok, i like your foodie dream world. it sounds like a fantastic place to visit!
Lostgirllostgirlslair on September 22nd, 2009 11:44 pm (UTC)
::wipes away drool:: OMG that sounds wonderful!! *G* And though I haven't read the actual fic, yet, your graphics for To Have and To Hold are *GORGEOUS*!! I'll call tomorrow or Thursday and we'll totally catch up!! *G* ::HUGE HUGS::
my monkied brain: buffywill - *glomp*katekat1010 on September 24th, 2009 01:08 am (UTC)
i know, right darling?! i was seriously full for two days afterwards.

and thanks sweetie! the fic is fantastic too - you'll love it when you get the chance to read it (but hey, give yourself time to recover from the traveling first, ok)

and yay!! I'll be home thurs after 3 pm your time? i think that's about when - so we can catch up and you can tell me all about your adventures!
Lostgirllostgirlslair on September 24th, 2009 08:21 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, I brought home a virus or something. Today's the first day that I can lay down flat without coughing up my lungs. I haven't been able to snatch more than an hour or two of sleep at a time in the past couple days, so I don't think I'd be very good at the talking thing. ::pouts::

On the plus side, I can breathe today without feeling as if there's a gorilla sitting on my chest. I'll call soon, darlin' lady. ::hugs you tight, but without the germs::
my monkied brain: buffywill - *glomp*katekat1010 on September 25th, 2009 01:43 am (UTC)
*hugs you* oh my darling, that sounds awful (although not surprising - travelling always exposes us to strange bugs). i'm so glad that you're breathing better though!! that's VERY important stuff!! *squishes you to pieces, virtually*

and not to worry, we'll catch up. i had a brain-free day today myself, so it's all good.