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Epicuryan: The Rogue Expertise – 06/21/2017

8687 Melrose Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90069

A pair months again Wolfgang Puck opened what is probably going his smallest restaurant. Tucked away in a tough to search out nook of the Pacific Design Middle, The Rogue Expertise serves as a take a look at kitchen with govt cooks from throughout Puck’s international empire coming for week lengthy stints. The house supplies a chance for the cooks to interrupt out of their consolation zones, experiment with flavors and dishes that may not match their day jobs, and change concepts with their friends.

When visitors first enter the take a look at kitchen, they’re greeted by host David Evers who invitations the diners chill out within the comfortably appointed residing space whereas he whips up a market-driven cocktail.

Ham and Melon – Mezcal, Melon Ice, Iberico Salt
Our welcome cocktail was impressed by the traditional mixture of ham and melon. Utilizing mezcal as the bottom liquor offers the drink a hefty smoke that works properly with the fatty funk of the salt. The ice dice is constituted of the three sorts of melon juice that has been concentrated by means of using a rotary evaporator. The drink rewards the affected person because the dry woody components of the mezcal are slowly countered by the addition of ultra-saccarine melon juice.

This was the primary of two snacks the kitchen introduced as we sipped our cocktails. The tart crust was surprisingly dense however with a pointed butteriness that performed properly with the one-two punch of earthiness from the abalone and mushrooms.

Our second morsel was a traditional gougere twisted with a dusting of saline nori and ending with lingering onion-y taste from the ramps.

Like most eating places, Rogue presents a wine pairing with their tasting menu however right here it comes with one distinctive function: it is bottomless! Given the meal is restricted to a most of 8 visitors, it is sensible to open a restricted variety of bottles and permit the diners to drink their fill. Whereas this implies lightweights cannot cut up a wine pairing, it does enable diners to get pleasure from their wine with out ensuring to ration it all through a number of programs.

With the snacks and drinks executed with, we got a short tour of the kitchen earlier than being dropped at a slender kitchen counter the place the cooks whipped up delectable creations proper earlier than our eyes.

The meal kicked off with a bowl of paper skinny slices of uncooked amberjack. The tremendous skinny slices have a markedly softer texture whereas the peppers and peanuts give the dish a spicy Thai-like verve.

Goma Dofu is constituted of sesame paste as an alternative of soy. The ensuing texture is barely firmer than conventional silken tofu with a slight creaminess in addition. Using sesame provides a slight taste although the tofu nonetheless absorbs loads of taste from its companions, on this case a light-weight savory dashi punctuated with a countervailing acidity from the citrus.

This was arguably my favourite course of the evening and leveraged each a part of the prawn. The physique was served completely cooked in a European-style redolent of butter and pepper. The grilled rice ball had a pleasant little bit of crunchy char and a heady saline funk from prawn innards. The course finishes with a dashi flavored with cherry blossom soy sauce and tinged crimson with powdered prawn shells.

The newborn avocados got here contemporary from the native farmer’s market. The superbly contemporary creamy avocado has a light verdant taste brightened by the pickled twang of the chanterelle and the toasty aroma of the puffed sorghum.

This was one other of the evening’s standouts that includes a base of silky easy creamed corn and a dense nugget of sea urchin roe. A lightweight shaving of 2-year outdated cheddar from Fiscalini provides a little bit of nutty pungency to stability the heft of the corn.

The beltfish was some of the visually interesting programs of the evening. The golden brown high regarded harking back to completely toasted bread. The delicate white flesh is fork-tender and a pleasant canvas for the playful BLT notably the interaction between the tomato and bacon.

The heavier fish course makes use of contemporary spring components to create Autumnal vibe. The bottom was a fatty slab of spruce-smoked Sablefish. The aggressive smoke is tempered by marinated grapes designed to style like cranberries. A course of extremes, this was a enjoyable idea, however wanted some refinement.

Subsequent up was a duo of livers. The traditional foie terrine had a textbook texture and traditional candy fruit to go with the buttery liver. Likewise, the Ankimo was dressed with textbook flavors of candy miso that pair properly with the aggressive caviar-like salinity of the monkfish liver.

The ultimate savory of the night was a superbly executed A5 New York strip. The seductive pink flesh is threaded with loads of heady fats and sandwiched between two layers of excellent char. A medley of humble potato salad seasoned with dill and onion serves as a easy simple aspect lets the succulent great thing about the steak shine.

I’ve by no means run throughout an olive oil dessert that I did not love and this was no completely different. The unique perfume of the olive oil is enriched with a multifaceted bouquet of fruit from the jammy apricot to the marginally astringent mulberries.

The ultimate course was a veritable showcase of modernist methods from the versatile ganache to the aerated brioche. Style-wise the chocolate and cherries dominate although the dollops of jellied bourbon end the dish with a pleasant boozy warmth.

First up was a white chocolate bonbon with lemon that tasted uncannily like a lemon starburst. The cone consisted of traditional ricotta mascarpone in a dense praline shell dusted with cinnamon. The ultimate candy was a darkish chocolate full of ancho that has an exotically spicy bitterness.

After dinner we retired again to the demo kitchen for glasses of 1992 DRC Marc de Bourgogne brandy and China China and dialog with the Rogue crew and different visitors earlier than calling it an evening.

Each side of the Rogue Expertise exudes the eagerness that drove the idea. With a 1-to-1 ratio between diners and visitors, it appears unlikely that the restaurant will ever flip a revenue, however the house wasn’t designed with such base goals in thoughts. Certainly the Rogue Expertise is a secure house for Wolfgang and his workforce to push the boundaries and the ensuing menu is a celebration of that artistic course of.

The Rogue Expertise is just open three nights per week with 8 seats per evening in order phrase will get out I’ve little question it would quickly change into one of many metropolis’s hardest tables.

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