When I was invited to my first food blogger dinner by Kevin of kevinEats to the Six, a "gastrobistro" in West Los Angeles, I was ecstatic! I love wining and dining; I aboslutely love being out with my friends and having a great time. But there are times when I wished I had more foodie friends or blogger friends, especially when I'm taking pictures of the food and my friends are looking at me like "there she goes again..." So, as you can imagine, I was really excited about the dinner.
course 1/amuse bouche: hamachi ceviche, pancetta, tangerines, pickled jalapeno, crispy red onion
The hamachi was marinated in lime juice for about 10 minutes prior to being served. The pickled jalapeno was mild, which I was happy about. I did not want to only taste "burning" in my mouth! (Ralph Wiggum reference: "It tastes like burning.") The crispy red onion added nice texture to the dish. The sweetness of the tangerines and the saltiness of the pancetta depth to the dish. The hamachi was good, but the slices were a bit oddly cut so it was a bit difficult to eat.
Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale
Our next course was paired with Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale. At first sip, I immediately tasted coffee and it finished with a slight saltiness to it. I enjoyed this one very much.
course 3: beet panzanella, mission figs, ricotta superfina, bacon, wild rocket, sherry almond vinaigrette
I love beets so I was really looking forward to Chef Gussin's take on the traditional Italiand dish, panzanella. The ricotta was nice and creamy and the arugula gave a wonderful spicy flavor to the dish. However, I thought the sweetness of the figs overwhelmed the beets. I wanted more "beet" flavor and perhaps this could have used bigger pieces of beets.
Stone IPA was the next beer given to us. This was really too bitter for me at first, but after a few more sips the bitterness becomes less offensive and rather enjoyable. But, I must warn my ladies out there, the first gulp might just make the hair on your eyebrows grow out! Happy plucking!
course 4: crispy jidori chicken thigh, butternut squash hash, sage, pomegranate gastrique
I recently had jidori chicken thigh that wasn't so great - it was extremely salty. So, I was a bit wary with this dish. But, I was so wrong to do so! The crispy skin and the juicy meat was perfectly cooked and seasoned. The hash was a little on the sweet side due to the apple and the squash, but all eyes were on the chicken!
course 5: Prince Edward Island Mussels, spanish chorizo fumet, confit garlic, grilled ciabatta
The fumet, made from Santa Barbara halibut and spanish chorizo, was rich in butter and full of flavor from the garlic. Butter and garlic - two of my favorite things, but don't tell my hips and thighs that! Sssssh!