Last November 28 Playa hosted a pre-fixe dinner celebrating Esquire Magazine’s 2011 Best New Restaurants in Los Angeles featuring chefs from Playa (Chef John Sedlar and Chef de Cuisine Kevin Luzande), Sotto (Chefs Steve Samson and Zack Pollack) and Ray’s and Stark Bar (Chef Kris Morningstar).
The back of the menu provided some background on the chefs.
Three Generations of LA Chefs
There’s also 3 or 4 cocktails created to commemorate the event but of course I forgot to take a picture of the menu since I wasn’t drinking anything alcohol that night for fear of aggravating my already splitting headache.
pescado crudo/ finger limes/ peruvian aji amarillo chile
True to Playa’s plating style, this dish came with a square plate printed with what one would find in the pages of Esquire magazine. I can’t get enough of this dish. It just woke my palette and got it ready for an absolutely tasty dinner.
huitlacoche tortelli/ cotija/ pumpkin seeds
It’s creamy, delicious and the pumpkin seeds provided that crunchy texture.
braised rabbit leg/ chestnut chile sauce/ purslane/ aged nantes carrots
The rabbit leg was a bit salty for my taste but it was nicely counterbalanced by the creamy with a kick chestnut chile sauce. The carrots were tasty. One thing I find odd in the whole thing was the purslane. I suppose it’s purpose was to round out the creamy heaviness of the whole dish but all it did for me was to provide a “grassy” taste.
chilaquiles alla sarda / pana carasau/ lamb tonque and neck/ tomatillo/ egg
This dish by the chef duo at Sotto is not your usual chilaquiles, instead of the usual tortilla the bottom of the dish is lined with pieces of pane carasau which is a thin flatbread Sardinian in origin. Topped with super tasty and tender lamb tongue and neck meat. Topped again with soft centered egg. A bite meant a taste of everything dipped in the runny yolk. A very heavy, rich bite indeed.
venison/ charred maize/ juniper berry sauce
Another rich and heavy dish, the puree though was heaven together with that berry sauce.
spiced chocolate mousse/ salted pumpkin seed sauce/ guava frozen yogurt
This is the perfect way to end a great meal. It is my little piece of cloud 9 on a plate. All the components go well together. I could’ve licked the plate and still want more. (now that I’m thinking about it, I should’ve licked my plate!)
Another memorable dinner full of heavenly dishes. These chefs truly deserve the title Esquire bestowed upon them.
to go goodies
On our way out, they gave us goody bags with these delicious homemade oreo cookies…of course they didn’t last very long.
I’ve already been to Playa and Sotto twice but I’ve never been to Ray’s and Star Bar. But have no fear I plan on going as soon as I can.