Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Fine Art of Food Fakery: moto

Chef Homaro Cantu is one part scientist, one part artist, and all parts crazy. Welcome to moto, where nothing is what it seems.
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moto is all about the masquerade. It's food impersonation. It's insane.

Happy crazy Valentine's Day to us.

The first thing you get is this. It's your menu. It's also your garlic bread.
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That's edible rice paper that went through a printer filled with squid ink. That's butter, garlic, and balsamic at the bottom. You read it. Then you eat it.

White steel.
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Fish. Pretty tame. Not crazy at all.

Loaded fries.
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This was mind-boggling. Why? As we nibbled on our garlic bread menu and downed our first fish course, we basked in the warm glow of the little candle on our table. Our server then plunked down this third course, picked up our candle, and poured the candle all over our potatoes! It wasn't wax -- it was oil!

Cigar with ashtray.
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A Cuban sandwich like no other -- pulled pork and all the fixings inside collard greens and an edible paper band with glowing red pepper purée and black sesame ashes.

Maitake and nuac man.
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Delectable pork belly and an adorable mushroom made from dehydrated mushrooms shaped back into a mushroom. It felt like Styrofoam. Did you get that?

Red Bull paella.
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Our server popped the top open -- yes, it was sealed -- and poured out hot soup. What?!

Coffee break.
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So! Not! Coffee! This was secret shabu shabu, complete with truffle foam "cream" and a truffle butter "sugar cube." A shabuccino, if you will. Confused yet?

Duck and mole.
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This was not a cannoli with chocolate, ricotta, and sugar. It was a duck taquito-like item with mole, crema, and cheese.

Menage a foie.
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Foie milk, foie cupcake, seared foie. Foie! Foie! Foie! Mwah! Mwah! Mwah!

Pink lemonade.
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Icy palate cleanser.

Snow ball.
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A gourmet take on the Hostess classic.

Chocolate truffle.
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"Truffle" made from chocolate mousse and cocoa.

Root beer float.
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Housemade root beer, edible packing peanut, and a whole lot of scientific-looking dry ice "smoke" inside a beaker.

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Macaron and chocolate heart pipette.

Happy truth -- this meal was one of the most amusing meals we've ever had.

Sad truth -- the food wasn't that tasty, which is rather disappointing when you're shelling out $130 per person.


  1. Nick has been wanting to go here forever. After your review I said no though. Too many other things to try that get good reviews.

  2. I'm so sad the food wasn't as phenomenal as the presentation.

  3. holy crap that's amazing!! and at $130, I hope it kept the crazy vday crowds at bay

  4. Insanity! I would have upturned the table and ran away screaming. lol

  5. looks like quite the dining experience--too bad the food wasn't that good.

  6. I got so excited reading this post!


    "Oh, WOW!"

    "WOW, WOW, WOW!"

    Then I heard a sad trombone as I read the part about the food not being that tasty.

  7. It looked like so much fun. I'm so disappointed it wasn't tasty. I would of thought I was getting punked. (especially with that red bull soup...whut?)

  8. I wonder if he is the only chef with a patent on his menu. How random.

  9. I'm still scratching my head over the candle and Red Bull tricks! Even if the food wasn't that amazing, it sounds like such a fun meal!

  10. that sounds like a fantastic april fool's day meal :)

  11. A damn shame, since the food isn't that great, especially for the price. I thought I missed out when I skipped Moto on my Chicago trip, but maybe that's not the case. Despite that, it'll be interesting to see what sort of dishes they'll come up with during the tasting menu.

  12. This was fun to just read - I can't imagine how it was to enjoy in person!


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