Monday, September 12, 2011

Mouthwatering Museum Meal: Ray's and Stark Bar

After the Tim Burton exhibit at LACMA, we went to Ray's and Stark Bar for dinner.

It's a vision from a mid-century modernist's dream, replete with Eames molded plastic chairs and Bertoia barstools. We sat in the patio area.
And the food? Glorious! Ray's is worth visiting even if you're not going to the museum!

Left: Owl and Pussycat -- rum, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, chilis, strawberries ($10).
Right: Lost in Yonkers -- rum, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, raspberry, cucumber ($10).
Ginger Collins -- gin, fresh lime juice, ginger, mint, ginger ale ($10). We all loved our drinks.

We opted for the five-course tasting for $55...and ended up with seven courses in addition to our amuse and mignardise. The kitchen just kept sending things out! I actually got worried at one point and felt compelled to confirm with a server that we were indeed on the five-course plan. He assured us that we were -- apparently, the chef was feeling generous!

For $55, we really got a lot.

Amuse bouche -- heirloom tomato, burrata cheese, sunflower seeds, arugula, Maui onion.
So many fresh flavors and textures in one mouthful!

Bay scallops, marinated, avocado crema, smoked tomato jelly, American sturgeon caviar, crispy potato, chives.
Cool bites from the sea. Just lovely on a September evening.

Squid ink tonarelli, garlic, chili, mint, Bottarga.
Tender and springy with just a hint of kick.

Halibut, braised lobster mushrooms, potato gnocchi, chive beurre blanc.
As rich as a fish could be! Gorgeous golden browning and juicy and flaky in all the right ways.

Pork belly, golden watermelon, pickled rind, scallion, opal basil, basil seeds, black vinegar, serrano chile.
Crispy and luscious paired with sweet and refreshing! An odd couple that worked!

Seared lamb tongue, saffron aioli, cannellini beans, olives, peppers, tomato.
None of us had ever had lamb tongue before. Boy, have we been missing out! Crunchy on the outside and strong and meaty inside, it partnered well with the tang, crispness, and creaminess of its supporting cast.

Aged New York steak, truffles, frisée, Flavor Paste #1.
Superb cut of meat done beautifully. The flavor paste reminded me of a cross between beef paste and oyster sauce.

Fried huckleberry pie, pistachios, ice cream.
This brought back fond memories of a fried pie I had in New Orleans two years ago. That is a good thing! Also, it seems that I can eat huckleberries without any problems. That is an even better thing! (I am allergic to blackberries, boysenberries, and lingonberries.)

Not pictured: triple chocolate -- dark chocolate mousse, black cocoa tuile, ice cream, kumquat puree. Two of us received the huckleberry pie, and two of us got the super chocolatey dessert. My photo of the chocolate was tragic. The actual dessert, however, was not. My one bite was incredibly dense and strong and sure to win over any chocolate lover.

Mignardise -- mini housemade Oreo whoopie pies.
Just when we thought things couldn't get any better, this landed on our table. Whoopie!

The combination of good friends and good food made this dinner (and the preceding exhibit excursion) pretty amazing. It was a fabulous way to celebrate dapotato's graduation. We're so proud of you, tater!

I drove home with a big smile on my face.


  1. Yay! Did you notice that the receipt for our meals said CHEF TASTING


  2. wtf to the receipt. lolz.

    and thanks again for such a lovely meal and for even better company. such a great night.

  3. Everything looks delicious. I really like the plating.

  4. 7 delicious courses for $55?!? That's a steal!

  5. yay for tater!

    and thanks for reminding me that i need to take the teen to the tim burton exhibit, asap.


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