Archive for April 24th, 2009

XVI Restaurant, Michael Mina & SBE – Los Angeles (Closed)

Friday, April 24th, 2009

XVI Restaurant (Closed)
8117 Sunset Boulevard
Tel. 323-656-1414
Opening Hours: Sunday-Wednesday: 6:00PM to 11:00PM
Thursday-Saturday: 6:00PM to 2:00AM
Credit Cards: all Major
Prices: Expensive-Very Expensive

Chef Michael Mina has collaborated with SBE to launch his new L.A. restaurant XVI  Decorated by the world-famous French designer Philippe Starck, XVI decor resembles a chateau somewhere in Europe with rich paneling and wood-burning fireplaces however, the decidedly American menu, which is not a surprise considering who is cooking, clashes, maybe only in my mind, with the elaborate setting in a way that is slightly disturbing but this is purely a matter of opinion.
Mina is coming back to where he first started, as a pastry chef at the celebrated, Bel-Air Hotel
XIV’s menu is based on individual portions, allowing guests to create their idea of the ultimate tasting menu. Entire parties make their menu selections, which are served to the table in an informal, un-coursed and individually plated manner. This style of service allows guests to share the same dining experience without the disruption of splitting plates and dividing dishes. Update: You can now order “normal dishes”, on large plates to eat with a knife and fork. The kitchen, however, is still willing to make the decisions and compose a menu in tasting portions (eight-courses $59, 11-courses $81, 14-courses $98) if you so desire. The wine list lists about two hundred selections from smaller wineries in Europe and California; any bottles priced over $100 are offered for half price every Monday.
I can’t say that the “tasting-style menu” would appeal to me very often, as I do not seek out tasting menus, as living in Asia as I do, it is common to put plates in the middle of the table and take a portion to put onto your share-plate so tasting, sharing or splitting plates is a daily way of life. There are times that I would rather concentrate on a couple of dishes that I have been craving, and horde the entire plate for myself; and not have to share it with anyone, or have to share their plate and wade through a hundred different tastes popping off like fireworks on my palate, and simply enjoy a few different flavors that meld gently together. This would seem terribly boring to the average Southeast Asian who needs different splashes of taste sensations with pungent flavors, punctuated with hot chilli. This is not to say, that I don’t crave the same things as they do on occasion, although, not constantly!

Dousoeur Pastry Shop, Hell’s Kitchen – New York City

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Dousoeur de Paris
Neighborhood: Manhattan/Hell’s Kitchen
652 10th Ave
(between 45th St & 46th St)
New York, NY 10036
Tel. (212) 315-4543
Opening Hours: Breakfast, Lunch, Take-Out
Children Friendly: No
Outdoor Seating: No
Wi-Fi: No
Credit Cards: Yes
Prices: Moderate

Dousoeur is a new patisserie and miniscule salon (3 small tables each with only 2 seats) run by two French sisters, thus the tricky play on the words “two sisters” and “douceur,” the French word for sweet shop.
Classic renderings as chocolate mousse, creme caramel,  lemon tart, walnut macaroons, mille feuilles, and peach clafoutus on the menu with creations such as: almond brioche, financier, and cannelé.
Besides the traditional items, Douseur de Paris has a deft touch when it comes to forming pastries as an exquisite pyramid of pink glazed cream puffs named, Marie Antoinette, aromatized with orange liqueur which looks more like jewelry than a traditional pastry. The macaroons are designed and displayed like a croquembouche to attract people passing by. A small lunch selection is available with some old standards as: quiche Lorraine, Camembert, saucisson, cornichons and croque-monsieur.