April 8, 2015

Out in the 'hood

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Hello Kitty felt that some flag-planting was long overdue, and decided that she would not let the opportunity slip by again.  Since she has never been to any of Chef David Lai's restaurants, she requested that the ceremony take place at Neighborhood, because... who else would be in a better position to take her there?

We decided to sit at the bar tonight, as we wanted to sit next to each other instead of across.  This also made it easy for us to talk to David, as he spent a good amount of time behind the bar hanging out with to entertain us.  We decided to take it easy on food tonight, as we really just wanted to hang out while casually munching on the simple dishes.

Yellowfin tuna toro / fennel / fava bean / bottarga - this came highly recommended, and was OK.  At least it wasn't bluefin...  The fennel added a light touch of flavors along with the basil, while it was a new experience for me to have the fava beans raw...  There was plenty of anchovy sauce and balsamic vinegar on the side to add a little ooomph to the dish.

Vaucluse asparagus / morel / escargot / wild garlic - also came highly recommended, and the asparagus was definitely tasty.  The gnocchi were a little too soft and fluffy for me... I would have preferred a little more bite.  The morels were awesome, and were prefectly paired with the escargot.

Acquerello risotto / bone marrow - it's almost unthinkable to come here without having the bone marrow risotto.  Just very yummy and homey, and of course having black truffle shavings on top don't hurt one bit.

Baby squid / borlotti bean / squid ink - David very kindly sent this out from the kitchen.  This had actually caught my eye earlier, but I hesitated with the squid ink since we were drinking a bottle of red tonight.  His squid is always tasty, and of course the squid ink just made everything better.  The peppers were very, very nice, as were the somewhat crunchy beans.

Roast pigeon - today's daily roast.  The minute I took a knife to this I realized I had slipped up.  I should have asked for this to be done more "pink", the way a French diner would have it.  While this was not technically overcooked, and the meat was still tender, the "doneness" was really more suitable for "Chinese palates".  Very tasty, and nice and gamey.

Cat anus pastry Canelés - we didn't order any desserts, so these came after the pigeon.  I was actually offered more of them, since the staff here know that I like 'em, but I politely declined.  Tonight I would be content with just one cat's asshole...

36 mo. Comté "Bernard Anthony" -  it's actually Bernard "Antony"...  Not surprisingly, this was pretty delish... and nutty.  Chomp.

Brie de Meaux "Alléosse" / black truffle - I always love a good Brie de Meaux, and again... shaving black truffle on top ain't gonna hurt!  Nice and ripe.  Thanks again to David for this.

2003 Kistler Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast - fruity and sweet, almost jammy.  A little forest pine, animal, black cherries, and caramel.  Very fragrant nose.

Many thanks to David for indulging us, for letting us sip from his Whisky collection, and for helping someone with the all-important flag-planting...

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