Before we returned to Los Angeles, we squeezed in a dinner at Gary Danko. After hearing so many raves, we were worried it wouldn't live up to the hype.
The ambience leaves much to be desired. Very 1990s. And, yes, that is a baby contraption on a seat behind Mr. Monkey.
Don't be those people. Babies don't belong at Gary Danko.
Unwelcome baby and dated decor notwithstanding, our experience at Gary Danko was very enjoyable. I am happy to report that it met our high expectations and is very deserving of its Michelin star.
It seems we always have fun with our butter. Ding!
Like a miniature waffle! Awww.
We slurped up this coconut-based soup with tofu with some tiny spoons and were all smiles after we finished. It made us look forward to what was to come.
The beauty of Gary Danko is that you can create your own tasting menu -- three courses for $66, four courses for $83, or five courses for $98. Even better, you're not limited to choosing from specific genres. Want five meats? Sure! Want multiple desserts? Go for it!
We loved having creative control and were elated to order an additional meat and appetizer instead of the usual cheese course. If you're wondering, we got the five-course tasting. Did you have any doubt about that?
Soft shell crab with white polenta, tomatoes, corn, basil, and pancetta.
Sniffle. I am shedding a tear now just remembering this. So freakin' yummy. Crisp and savory on a bed of corny, bacony goodness. Strong start!
Sweet corn soup with Dungeness crab, red pepper, crème fraîche, and ham biscuit.
Did I mention I love corn? And crab? And pork? Warm, creamy, dreamy. Sigh.
Roast Maine lobster, potato purée, Shiitake mushrooms, corn, tarragon.
Substantial, fresh, and excellent. The lobster's unmasked natural flavor was delicious.
Risotto with lobster, rock shrimp, corn, peas, roasted tomatoes.
Rare Moroccan spiced squab, chermoula, orange-cumin carrots.
Squab is ideally enjoyed rare to medium-rare, but this was a bit too rare for my liking. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed the meat's richness and interesting spices. This was probably my least favorite dish of the night.
Branzini with fennel purée, Niçoise olives, navel oranges, saffron.
The skin was crisped to perfection. Really enjoyed the pairing of the fish with citrus.
Roasted loin of bison, king trumpet mushrooms, glazed cipollini onions, herb spätzle.
Hey! This mushroom looks like Italy! The bison was meaty and tender. My heart belonged to the spätzle, though. I really really like spätzle, and this neon green spätzle was awesome. Bounce, bounce!
Quail stuffed with foie gras, leeks, and quinoa, farro, Maitake mushrooms, zucchini, roasted red peppers.
If this quail got into a fight with the squab, this quail would totally kick the squab's ass. Of course, this quail had an unfair advantage of being stuffed with foie gras, which gave it the extra energy of a distant cousin's liver. You want rich? I got your rich right here. Booyeah for tasty tiny fowl!
French macaron ice cream sandwiches with three sauces.
Rawr! We plowed through these like hungry lions. Not that lions are known for liking macarons. Or ice cream. Ok, this made no sense. All you need to know is that these were great.
Trio of crème brûlée with assorted cookies.
Mocha, caramel, vanilla all on one plate. Mmmmmarvelous.
We were so full that we just boxed these to go.
In addition to our boxed mignardise, we got a little breakfast cake and a signed menu.
With all this loot in both hands, I did a little dance outside. The meal was that good.