Larchmont Village: Fine Dining at Kali Restaurant
I first met Chef Kevin Meehan when he was over at Cafe Pinot and then he started his supper club Kali Dining. I somehow never made it to the supper club (I know, shameful) but I’m delighted he opened a brick and mortar of it on Melrose Avenue in Larchmont Village. Here I can enjoy cocktails and a pick-your-own-adventure dining. Should I go with a more formal tasting menu or go a la carte?
We probably would have gone with the tasting menu as it’s a very good deal but one of our friends is pregnant and wanted to personalize her experience. We opted for some appetizers and chose our own entrees and ended with one shared dessert.
While she sipped on sparkling water, the rest of us imbibing fools enjoyed mixed drinks and beer. I chose the Vangelis, a delightful sour with gin and egg white. I was a little bit unsure about the cherry vanilla shrub but it turned out very balanced. I also liked my friend’s Fort Bragg, another gin creation with orgeat. Chef Kevin says I have to come back to try their pad thai inspired drink next time.
Fort Bragg – Bummer & Lazerus gin, orgeat, lemon, bitters
Vangelis – St. George rye gin, cherry vanilla shrub, lemon, egg white
The kitchen sent out these wonderful egg amuse bouches. The chive oil and barely cooked egg worked so well with the creme fraiche.
I am fond of beets. I also like tartare. But it’s really cool to turn tartare upside down and use minced beets. It’s a gorgeous plate, something out of a fairy tale dinner.
I have a thing for legumes and grains. I enjoyed the wheat berry risotto very much and I can see this as a good lunch with some protein.
At first I was a little unsure of the charred avocado. What can you really do to make avocado better than its usual fantastic self? Well, charring it and adding some flavorful bits does indeed work a lot of magic.
The bass crudo was one of the best appetizers and so beautifully plated. It was such a contrast to get this after the earthy, rustic risotto. I really love the Modern American restaurant where several influences can be found and Chef Kevin does such a good job of bringing it all together at Kali.
In between our appetizers and entrees, we were given the cutest little loaves of bread and very good butter.
The halibut was so gorgeous and silky. Served with pretty colored cauliflower, the two friends in my party who ordered it were very happy.
I convinced my friend he had to get the rock cod if our other two friends were getting halibut. We couldn’t have three orders of halibut at a food adventurer’s table! Well, we can but I managed to convince my friends we have to get different orders so we can sample more food.
I’ve always been a fan of rock cod. The firm white fish usually is served with a great piece of skin and this was no exception. I enjoyed the olive-y sauce (a thinned out tapenade-like sauce) as well.
While the others got all their seafooding in with fish, I went with the duck breast which was served slightly rare. It’s great since it kept the bird juicy and I had to fend off friends begging for additional bites. I’m kidding, I happily gave them more bites for tradesies– I wanted another bite of halibut, too!
Chef Kevin mentioned some other dessert to try but we had our hearts set on something chocolate. As it turned out, it was an exceedingly great decision to get the chocolate cremeux. The rich dessert was so interesting with chocolate three ways- the crisp, the creamy pudding and the dust. I even loved the micro mint that gave balanced bite.
I really like fine dining traditions like amuse bouche and mignardises, little gifts from the kitchen. It evokes such good feelings and we left very happy after small bites of marshmallows and truffles.
Kali is now serving lunch so it’ll be fun to see what Chef Kevin is up to during the day soon.
Kali Restaurant5722 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038 — (323) 871-4160
© The Minty 2016