I resisted Red Medicine. I didn't want to try Vietnamese-inspired food made by a white guy. I didn't like the way the restaurant treated S. Irene Virbila.insomniac raved about Red Medicine so much that I set my feelings aside and finally tried it. In fact, I trusted insomniac's opinion enough that I suggested Red Medicine for a belated birthday dinner for Mr. Monkey. The Cruisers treated us!
Campo de Encanto Pisco, Galliano, pineapple syrup, lime, soda, Fee O.F. Bitters shaken with purple basil, grapefruit peel, candied pineapple and rolled into a tall glass ($10).
Pork rillette, crispy chicken skin, lychee, clove, pistachio, spicy herbs ($11).
A running theme at Red Medicine is the hiding of the good stuff under something else. Take away the greens to unveil the rich, salty, meaty spread!
Brussels sprouts, caramelized shallots, fish sauce, vermouth ($9).
Chicken dumplings, caramelized sugar, pork fat, lemongrass, confitures ($9).
Wrap these li'l nuggets in leaves smeared with Sriracha and hoisin. Green pockets of chicken delight!
Crispy spring rolls, Dungeness crab, lime, pea pods, fines herbes, chili ($15).
I've never met a spring roll that I didn't like. And these were stuffed with crab!
Heirloom rice porridge, egg yolk, hazelnuts, ginseng, echire butter ($17).
This may not sound or look like much, but this was hands down my favorite dish of the night. Stir it all up, and you have a warm bowl of pure happiness. You must order this!
Beef tartare, water lettuce, water chestnut, nuoc leo, chlorophyll, peanuts ($15).
Scoop up the beef and pile it high on a shrimp chip. So weird. So tasty. So artistically carnivorous.
Rabbit, five-flavor berry, pandan custard, roots, tubers, black currant, sesame leaf ($31).
Not as interesting as the other dishes but still quite yummy.
Lamb glazed in tamarind, hibiscus onion, Swiss chard, pomegranate ($24).
Another hidden treasure! I loved the meatiness of the lamb combined with sweetness of the tamarind and punctuated by the pop, pop, pop of pomegranate seeds throughout.
Vietnamese iced coffee -- El Diablo Dark Roast, Blue Crane Rooibos, condensed milk, crushed ice ($6).
Red Medicine really doesn't mess around when it comes to its beverages. This includes its coffee drinks. Strong. Creamy. Fabulous.
Coconut bavarois, coffee, condensed milk, Thai basil, peanut croquant ($9).
Man. Man! I really adored this dessert, and that is a big deal because I don't really like coconut. All the different flavors and textures really worked. Such a creative combination of ingredients!
Bitter chocolate, kecap manis, oats, parsnip, brown butter, soy milk sorbet ($11).
I liked how this dessert looked more than how it tasted, but it was still a pleasant end to our inspired meal.
Mr. Monkey commented that Chef Jordan Kahn looks like a hipster Jesus.
Consider me a fan of Chef Kahn's modern culinary miracles.