Marcel Vigneron’s down the “Hatchi” at Bread Bar
I’ve been to a few different Hatchi nights at BreadBar in Century City now so it’s not a surprise to order all 8 dishes (for $8 each) but I did something last night I hadn’t done before. I ordered all 8 of Marcel Vigneron’s dishes for myself. Usually I share with someone but between battling a cold and just plain gluttony, I wanted all 8 delicious dishes to myself.
First up, the amuse.
It was very interesting. Yes, there’s a whole blueberry hiding in there.I’ve not had spherification before and I guess it’s one of those oooh-aaah chef things. A chef or a mad scientist?
This was great. It came with espelette (that chili powder sprinkled on the plate), momo chan (baby peach), kumquat and ice plant. I loved the kumquat and ice plant! And the hamachi was firm and sweet.
This was my fave dish of the night. I just loved the combination of the seared scallop with the seaweed and creamy cauliflower (the cheerfully bright pink, purple-gray and yellow dots on plate).
The perfectly cooked fish to the left, was very crisp. I enjoyed the avocado wrapped diced mango and the langoustine was so good. I could have had a bowl of these and some noodles and been perfectly happy.
I had so much fun with this dish. The nesting egg was just so purty which accounts for all the pictures. And once I cut open the egg to let out the yolk, it was so marvelous. It was like the best egg and bacon sandwich you ever had, but carb free.
I just loved this dish. Such tender fish, wonderful broth and the edible nasturtium (flower) was lovely. I wish I had drank up the broth like one of my dining companions but more food was hitting our table.
When I first saw the lamb, I got misty-eyed. It was so beautiful. I am not always on board with lamb but taking a gander at this slice, I knew not only was I on board, I was the conductor of the train to Happy Foodieville!
Perhaps there was too much fat but hey, a little fat is okay once in a while. Absolutely fantastic.
Of all the dishes I had last night, this one stands out the most in my mind because it was just so interesting. The sous vide short rib was so tender. The whole baby corn along with the creamed corn paired really well the beef. Though I think I would have been happy with just gravy or natural juices from the beef.
But my favorite was the pastrami. I think Langer’s pastrami is pretty divine and Sam Lagrassa’s (in Boston) is pretty up there as well but this “Saul’s pastrami” was definitely in the top 3. I had a terrible hankering for a rye sandwich with lots of this pastrami, plenty of mustard and maybe a side of sauerkraut.
Who’s Saul and is he married? I want a pastrami sandwich!
I’m not a huge souffle person. I can take it or leave it but this was such a light way to end our 8-course meal. I ate every bit of the airy souffle to get to the bottom which was flavored with green chartreuse. The ice cream a great vanilla bean.
We were also given mignardises, tiny macarons and marshmallows.
My drinks this evening included the Coke in Manhattan which was a Manhattan with a coca cola spherification. It was a nice fizzy pop to the drink.
I didn’t enjoy the coconut margarita as much. It tasted like coconut water with some pink foam (hibiscus espuma).
I started thinking about getting the Irish coffee to end but opted for specially blended Earl Grey tea (traditional Earl Grey with Yunnan black tea) which came nicely presented.
We had heard about the “dragonsbreath” some tables had got and when asked, our server brought to us.
The concept is after you bite into these popcorn studded morsels, you can exhale the liquid nitrogen, creating a pretty plume of smoky air. They were neat! Of course, our first bites didn’t have any liquid nitrogen left because were too busy photographing our food so one of servers at Bread Bar generously gave us more.
Overall, it was a great time despite being seated at what I considered the worst table; on the patio right by the hostess stand. It was just not appealing with the cold I was fighting and the windy night but the restaurant said they would try to move us if space opened up inside. But it turned out service was really great outside and the lighting made for better pictures. I heard from the folks inside they were missing food, slow service and it was stuffy.
Okay BreadBar, I forgive you once again and look forward to the next high stakes culinary game of Hatchi. Marcel proved himself to be a top chef indeed.
My tablemates’ posts about the night: