Test Kitchen: Kris Tominaga & Phillip Pretty

The Grape Escape

Recently I attended a dinner at Joe’s in Venice and learned their new chef de cuisine, Kris Tominaga, was going to be at Test Kitchen along with Phillip Pretty of the London in West Hollywood. Kris and Phil used to work together at Joe’s and they presented a menu of “Land and Sea” last Monday.

Per usual, I arrived a bit earlier to partake of some cocktails at the bar. I tried the Great Escape which was bourbon, lemon, grape spiced cider and dry sherry. I took this photo but used my dining companion’s new camera. I’ll be alternating between photos from her camera and mine.

Peruvian Lantern Scallops

Here I am trying to learn how to use the camera.

close up of scallops

This dish featured caviar (salmon roe?), ogo, pickled mushroom, prosciutto and cucumber dashi. I really wanted to slurp up the broth but didn’t ask for a spoon in time. The prosciutto was a great touch. While in my head I thought we’d get some dishes with just seafood and some with just land meats, the reality was most dishes featured both. I should have guessed considering one dish hinted at this at the Joe’s dinner. Later, I asked the chefs about the menu and they said it took them about 2 hours hashing it out at a coffee shop. It was a collaborative effort.

Grilled Spanish Mackerel

photo by F for Food

At this point, I decided I was taking too much time photographing on an unfamiliar camera and handed it back. The rest of the photos are hers when indicated.

The fish was accompanied by a garlic puree, fennel, celery, watermelon radish and crispy pork. It was another great dish to start with.

Crispy Sweetbreads

photo by F for Food

After a bit of a wait, the next dish of sweetbreads which were fried and came out looking like fried chicken (a thought strengthened by the biscuit) was my favorite.


The menu said it came with crayfish but they were actually shrimp.

Roasted Monk Fish

photo by F for Food

With hearts of palm dyed red, Okinawan purple potato, black mascarpone (brushed on plate), lotus root, lamb bacon (wrapped around fish) and braised artichoke.

close up on the monk fish

I do not eat skin (or I try to avoid it as much as possible). So, did I think about the skin I took off the fish? No! But of course, that wasn’t skin. It was a very thin slice of bacon. Lamb bacon. And I didn’t eat it because I thought it was skin. Silly, silly Minty. I have to say the bacon kept the fish quite moist and I enjoyed a little the crunchy veggies that came with this dish.

Sous Vide Pork Chop

photo by F for Food

This chunk of pork chop came with squid, clams, chorizo, olive, sunchoke and herb puree with a roasted garlic jus.

seafood galore

A baby squid, a chunk of pork, I’m in heaven. I even really liked the fresh veggie garnish.

Poached Apple

We ended up with a poached apple with foie gras ice cream and a sea salt caramel. Word on the street is there were two lobes of foie in that ice cream but we felt it was a bit light. Still, this was a nice way to end an intense meal. I think this is one of my favorite Test Kitchen meals so far.

Davidson Fernie, Tim Heller, Jeremy Lake

photo by F for Food

Test Kitchen
9575 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035

Reservations online only.

Here are my other Test Kitchen adventures:

Test Kitchen: Red Medicine

Test Kitchen: Ricardo Zarate’s Cebiche Night

Test Kitchen: TiGeorges

Test Kitchen: Starry Kitchen

Test Kitchen: The Sous Chefs Team

Test Kitchen: Chicks with Knives

Test Kitchen: Neal Fraser

Test Kitchen: Alain Giraud

Test Kitchen: Gary Menes