I liked the lights.
Tom Colicchio's Los Angeles eatery is usually not open for Sunday brunch, but this was a special Sunday -- three courses for $48.
Complimentary fresh-baked scones, blueberry crumb cake, carrot crumb cake, and cheese bread greeted us after we placed our orders. Very very good and worth taking home if you don't finish!
Spring pea soup with lobster fritters.
The golden nuggets arrived naked, and our server poured a wondrous savory green pea soup atop. Fried lobster? In creamy soup? Thumbs up.
Crispy oysters with warm leek vinaigrette and almonds.
So light and crunchy and wonderful that even this bivalve hater loved them.
Foie gras torchon with cocoa nibs and ginger.
Nom nom nom-errific. Particularly delish with the cocoa nibs.
Pork terrine with spring lettuces and ramp oil.
Nobody's perfect. Not even Tom Colicchio. This was the loser dish of the day. Flavor was fine, but it was really just a total of two full bites. Sad.
Dungeness crab omelet with California asparagus and roasted tomato.
Generous portion of crab embraced by light, fluffy, and perfectly cooked egg. A seafood lover's morning dream treat.
Roasted and braised lamb with spring garlic and morels.
Are you a carniwhore? I am. The braised portion was particularly droolworthy.
Fried pheasant egg with crispy Berkshire pork belly and shoulder ravioli.
This fat-filled, cholesterol-laden dish was worth it. I still haven't encountered any pork belly as good as the pork belly at Animal, but this was tasty. I enjoyed the ravioli very much.
Moulard duck with mulberries and green almonds.
Winner, winner, ducky dinner! My fave main, hands down. Tender, meaty, and a little sweet. Yum.
Chocolate mousse with seared marshmallow and candied kumquat.
I adored the marshmallow! Mousse was fine. Kumquat was not so great.
Crème fraîche panna cotta with strawberries.
Red velvet cake.
Good enough. The vanilla bean ice cream actually outshone the cake.
Salty chocolate tart.
The salt brought out the dark richness, but, again, I enjoyed the ice cream more. This scoop had a buttery toffee flavor.
Rhubarb blueberry cobbler.
Best dessert of the day. Hot tart cobbler! In a mini cast-iron pot! Paired with more ice cream! Really awesome stuff.
***** Begin Side Story Re Camera Stuff*****For those of you uninterested in lens talk, allow me to show you my other purchase from Samy's before our brunch with Mama Monkey.
The previous day (which I hope to blog tomorrow), I went to Samy's Camera for its No-Sales-Tax Mother's Day Sale (going on until Wednesday, May 13), intending to buy a nice zoom lens and a decent prime lens. Lo and behold, Papa Monkey was just down the street at LACMA, so he met me at the store...and bought me my coveted zoom lens! Ahhhhh! Ahhhhh! Even better than paying no tax! Thank you, Papa Monkey!
Sadly, however, the store had run out of the prime lens I wanted and suggested I call the next day in case there were any in stock. As directed, I called Sunday morning, and the store had two of them! I asked the salesperson to hold one for me and told her I'd be there in 20 minutes.
Apparently, these lenses have been selling like hotcakes. You can't even get them on Amazon right now. No exaggeration. By the time I got to Samy's, the other lens had been sold. Good thing I put one on hold!
Anyway, the point of this side story is that I have two new lenses, including a prime lens that's perfect for food photography. I ripped open the packaging in the car on the way over to craft and used my new lens for the food at this brunch. I can't wait to see how it fares during a dimly lit dinner -- it's so much faster than my kit lens!
***** End Side Story Re Camera Stuff*****
Shiny happy people laughing.
Many years ago.
After brunch, we went to Brother Monkey's house to watch the Laker game. I snapped these outside his place.
I found this little story that BroMo wrote when he was four.
BroMo has been making Mama Mo (and the rest of us) laugh since forever.
Another laugh for you -- when I gave Mama Mo my corporate photo, she asked, "Where is my Tiffany bowl?" Told you she reads my blog!
Happy Mother's Day, Mama Monkey! We love you!