LQ Foodings at Vertical Wine Bistro in May and June

the famous LQ cheese cart

the famous LQ cheese cart

One of my favorite chefs is Chef Laurent Quenioux. I’m always up for trying his latest pop-up. And interestingly enough, he’s been doing them on his home turf. He’s the Executive Chef at Vertical Wine Bistro and on some nights of the last couple of months, he’s been doing his “Foodings.”

His next set of dates are May 19 & 20 and June 2 & 3. It looks like he’s doing a rice porridge in May. Veal sweetbreads and uni? I just might have to go since I loved his rice porridge last year.

But the most exciting thing about the new menu is the Wagyu beef he’s bringing in. I’ve been seeing pics on Instagram and can’t wait.

In the meantime, I’ll dream some more about the meal I had last month which is the best meal I’ve had this year.

a little FG never hurt anyone

a little FG never hurt anyone

We started with an amuse bouche. A little FG (c’mon, you can figure it out- damn California) never hurt anyone (a little! Not a lot!). It was topped with smoked eel. The combination was a little Asian, a little French. But we also got this great lamb heart tartare topped with uni and I liked the fresh wasabi in it.

tartare

lamb heart tartare with charred uni

It was a bit like a lamb heart tartare nigari (sushi).

shrimp

shrimp

Next we had the Belizian shrimp spring roll with black mussels. It was plated with smoked dashi gelee, clementine miso curd, pickled celtuce, sweet potato, aji chiles and tobiko oil. I swirled my bites of spring roll around to get the full taste experience.

fish

“galinette”

Every now and then I go through this “I just want a nice piece of fish” phase. LQ’s galinette with lobster broth, fennel jam, anchovy toast was great. I really enjoyed the fava bean vanilla puree as well that was on top of the deep bowl. Having the touch of sweetness with the savory satisfied both sides of the brain. It’s like salted caramel– just a touch of sweet to amplify the savory.

duck

all duck everything

 

I called the next course, “all duck everything” because it had duck gizzards, duck hearts, duck tongues and duck leg confit. I don’t think I’ve had a dish like this before though I’ve had each of those things individually. Combining it all in a wonderful sauce with Chinese lion peppers and apricot seed dust just shows the genius of Laurent. I could not say though which was my favorite dish at this point. All were so good, so different yet flowed easily to the next course.

potpie

trotters and tails potpie

 

We moved onto the last savory course, the trotters and tails potpie. There’s a certain obsession among foodies to eat head to tail. This meal highlighted some of the best offal and organ meats out there. I remember reading once how eel was (and probably still is) very popular for pies in the UK. Although their meat pies like shepard’s pies may have been more famous. Still, I don’t know anyone else serving something like this. Imagine all the gelatinous bits you love- tendon and bits of crunch.

dessert

dessert – coconut clove bayleaf ice cream, chocolate cardamon crumb cake

 

I was trying to save room for the dessert course, a lovely contrasting chocolate cardamon crumb cake with a beautifully light coconut clove bayleaf ice cream. And then I asked my friend about the cheese cart. Chef Laurent’s famous cheese cart- you can come to just enjoy that cart (starts at 4PM, dinner service starts at 5:30). Maybe one day I’ll do that. You can have every single cheese for $120. But we modestly got 3 ($12).

I love that this 6-course meal was only $48 and you had the option of adding a wine pairing for $25. I did add the wine pairing which I like to do with tasting menus. The wines are selected by DomaineLA.

 

LQ Foodings at Vertical Wine Bistro

Other LQ posts

Reserve for May 19 & 20, June 2 & 3 now

Vertical Wine Bistro

70 N Raymond Ave (Upstairs), Pasadena, CA 91103  — (626) 795-3999

© The Minty 2013