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Epicuryan: Dialogue – 09/27/2017


1315 third Road Promenade
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Dialogue, the tasting menu-only restaurant from Chef David Beran is well considered one of this 12 months’s most enjoyable restaurant openings. Chef Beran lower his tooth at each Tru and Alinea. In 2011 he was tapped as the chief chef of Grant Achatz’s new restaurant Subsequent. He lead the bold new restaurant by means of 15 totally different menus, incomes a slew of James Beard nominations and a pair awards. In April 2016, Chef Beran served his last meal at Subsequent earlier than placing out on his personal.

Following the pattern pioneered by Achatz and Kokonas at Subsequent, Dialogue requires visitors to buy tickets prematurely of the meal. With solely 18-seats unfold throughout a handful of tables and a bar overlooking the kitchen, it is sensible that the restaurant lacks the flexibility tackle the burden of no reveals.

Beran adopts the Kaiseki philosophy of tasting the seasons and his menu begins with a springtime levity , earlier than transitioning to a hearty summer time heat, and ending with the flavors of fall.

“Springtime for Sean”
Caviar is a good begin to any meal whether or not served with conventional accoutrements or as a composed dish as we now have right here. The Osctra Caviar is paired with contemporary basil, charred scallions, and peanuts two methods. The basil jumps out instantly laced with a twang of lime. The smoky-bittersweet scallions comply with whereas the peanuts deliver a beautiful textural element gentle boiled nuts and a dense creamy butter. The caviar overlays a nutty salinity over your entire dish.

roasted banana tea, browned butter, peanut
Chef Beran has a penchant for getting older his personal vinegar which made a number of appearances all through the meal. First up was a shot of roasted banana vinegar (I did not even know that was a factor) topped with a brown butter and peanut foam. The vinegar has a lightweight tang tempered by the aroma of the ripened cooked fruit. The vinegar actually shines when the froth comes into play bringing with it a savory-sweet toffee essence turning the tipple right into a liquid Bananas Foster.

blackberry thermidor, quick rib, bone marrow
The third course was markedly heavier than the primary two with a creamy base of blackberry thickened with bone marrow. A little bit of quick rib facilities the dish with a meaty holiday-roast like heft. A little bit of cooked fruit add a pop of tart sweetness and the croutons present a component of construction.

fennel, white peach and rose vinegar
The following two programs had been deliberately designed to be accomplished by the wine pairing, a white mix that brings a vibrant juicy acidity. Whereas I appreciated the gentle notes of jammy peach and flowers, the fennel undoubtedly stands out with a pungent licorice taste. The acid from the wine does assist issues however the bit nonetheless felt unbalanced.

dragon fruit, scented with roses from early spring
With my palate nonetheless reeling from the fennel, the dragon fruit had virtually no taste. Chewing on the gentle gentle block of fruit I saved ready for one thing to occur, however alas, no matter was speculated to occur was misplaced on me.

king crab, popcorn, orchid, earl gray
For Chef Beran, roses all the time marked the top of spring and popcorn was evocative of summer time evenings. The crab meat is roofed in a subtly aromatic floral fragrance. The crumbled popcorn comes by means of loud and clear; a fantastic praise to the candy crab meat.

“burnt lettuce that thinks it is a peanut”
Som Tum or inexperienced papaya salad has all the time been considered one of my favourite Thai dishes. This elegantly minimalist Som Tum has the normal parts of papaya, chili, lime and sugar with one key distinction; the peanut has been changed with charred lettuce. Regardless of this variation, the flavour profile is eerily trustworthy to the basic recipe.

96 hour koji plum, contemporary yuba, thai basil
Two phrases: “Sugar Smacks.” That is how Chef Beran described our subsequent dish. Utilizing their kitchen wizardry, Beran and his workforce have transformed plum, soy, and basil into cereal. Toasted soy beans present the starch whereas the fermented plum completes the phantasm with an eerie caramel savory sweetness

squab, thai lengthy peppercorn crème fraiche, begonia
The squab was served two methods, a sublimely supple breast and lusty hash. The breast is completely cooked with a bit of additional taste from the pores and skin and a creeping trace of parsley. The hash has way more meaty richness up entrance however finishes with a lactic creamy tang and faint whisper of warmth.

bitter chocolate, cherry, preserved sakura
The chocolate has a darkish bitterness and vibrant pink fruit middle that paired properly with the lingering flavors of squab. This dish is one thing of a psychological experiment, with 76% darkish chocolate the filling flavored solely with cherry juice, there is not a lot sugar on this course, however we’re so conditioned to think about chocolate as a dessert or sweet that the majority diners are stunned when its served in the course of the meal.

“the sobering of rhubarb”
Together with the chocolate got here a pair items of dehydrated rhubarb. The feel was extra akin to fruit leather-based, the dense chewy “chip” tends to get caught within the tooth, which because it turned out was by design, with the remnants of this course wanted to taste the subsequent.

choy sum, strawberry nahm prick, cashew
Choy Sum, a mainstay of many Cantonese eating places, was a daily a part of my food plan rising up, however I do not suppose I’ve ever had it served uncooked. The vegetable is laced with a strawberry chili sauce that was concurrently candy, funky, and spicy; a daring accompaniment to the contemporary succulence of the inexperienced.

pork stomach, nasturtium, strawberry sambal
Chef Beran generously described this course as a “salad” however it was the stuff beneath the leafy nasturtium that stole the present. The tender slab of decadent pork stomach will get a tangy elevate from the jammy strawberry in addition to the funky heft of the sambal.

black cod, yuzu kosho beurre blanc, sea grape
This was one other of the psychological experiments. Diners both really feel the dish is Japanese or French relying on the flavors the employees chooses to focus on. Certainly, with my focus diverted to the heady beurre blanc, the distinctive taste of the yuzu kocho registered solely as a obscure sourness.

“the whole lot is burnt”
With this course the Dialogue crew deftly recreate the sensation of a yard barbecue, the quintessential capstone to summer time and an applicable option to welcome the onset of fall. The plate of monochromatic components does not look notably appetizing however the mixture of smoke, onion, and soy was so eerily acquainted to the household cookouts I had as a baby that I could not assist however really feel an immediate affinity for this course.

french onion soup, rosemary aroma
Satirically the savory portion of the meal wound down with re-imagined variations of basic soup and salad recipes. Contained in the cheese coated puff was a concoction of wealthy candy onions.

“recollections of a tomato salad”
The shot of salad was centered round a tomato gelee. The intense summery morsel has a fantastic tomato perfume contrasted by a peppery nuttiness.

whipped persimmon, lemon shortbread, hibiscus sugar
Our first dessert was a tangy lemon shortbread topped with a candy persimmon frosting. The candy and bitter flavors complimented one another fairly nicely.

ages of seedling farms apples, miso caramel
Shifting firmly into fall, this was considered one of my favourite programs of the night. The core of the dish is the acquainted interaction of a caramel apple with a constant even savor from the miso. The dish is augmented with a rapid-fire melange of textures

“an autumn morning”
The pink and white coloration of this dish together with the prominently positioned leaf, gave our final dessert an unintentional Canadian really feel. The flavors had been certainly autumnal with a pumpkin spiced ice cream and toasty pepitas. The leaf had an oddly tangy taste to it that helped lower the heft of the pumpkin.

“a carrot pulled from the snow”
The petit 4 consisted of a cooked carrot tossed in a sugar frost. My girlfriend B aptly dubbed this a paleo churro.

Given Beran’s resume, I had tremendous excessive expectations for Dialogue and I am pleased to say that the meal simply met them. Regardless of his stellar resume, Beran comes throughout as very approachable; assured but self-effacing. Beran and his crew have interaction with diners as a lot as they need to be engaged. A pair engrossed in dialog will obtain a distinct stage of clarification with every course than say a few meals bloggers and their buddies who’re intently following the motion within the kitchen and hanging off chef’s each phrase.

At one level, Beran defined his purpose was for visitors to concentrate on one another with the meal as one component of their expertise, a catalyst to generate dialogue. To that finish the meal leverages parts of narrative, psychology, and naturally the avant-garde strategies Beran honed over the previous decade in a few of America’s most interesting kitchens.

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