Friday, October 22, 2010

Wines and restaurants of this week (in LA)

Here are some of the wines I had and restaurants I ate at this week...

At home with a friend...2007 Petra Unger, Gruner Veltliner, Gottschelle DAC Reserve (Kremstal, Austria). The vineyard name "Gottschelle" is an old expression of "good soil". Classic Gruner aroma with the exotic fruit and white pepper. Quite rich on palate. 2007 Jacques-Frederic Mugnier, Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru, "Clos de la Marechale"...still at its youth. Beautiful and poweful "Nuits" character with the rich meaty texture and a hint of coffee.

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Dinner at Pizzeria Mozza. My favorite dish of the night was the pizza of Egg, guanciale, escarole, radicchio and bagna cauda. Egg was so nicely runny and all the flavor combination of bitter vegetables, cheese, and bagna cauda sauce was just perfect. The pizza was really nice with 2008 Terredora Dipaolo, Agrianico (Campania, Italy). The wine had the nice dense fruitiness. Restaurant was packed as always and it seemed almost like 80% of the crowd was Asian people (including myself)...there is something about Mozza and Asians??

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Wednesday night was live jazz night at Palate Food + Wine. The music was fantastic, the food was especially nice this evening, and the wines were really great. We ordered so many dishes and got so full. I enjoyed Blanzino with broccoli 2-way, pine nuts, and bagna cauda (again!). 2008 Francois Villard, Les Contours de Deponcins, Viognier...from the young vines of Condrieu (so it carries VDP appellation). Very rich aroma of tropical fruit. Fresh and young. 2007 Franck Balthazar, Cornas, Cuvee Casimir Balthazar...outstanding! As soon as I put my nose in the glass for "tasting", I sighed with excitement. The wine didn't even need to be decanted. So elegantly aromatic (with rose, perfume, fig, spices). Rich and smooth on the palate.

Lunch at Robata Jinya...newly opened on 3rd St. I was at Ramen Jinya in Studio City the previous week and my experience was a bit puzzling. During lunch hours, Robata Jinya also carries ramen, so I gave a try for their Premium Tonkotsu Ramen (limited to 20 servings per day). Wow, it was surprisingly delicious. My friend and I also ordered some Robata skewered dishes, such as duck, tsukune (chicken meatball), etc., and they were really nice also. (Didn't take any pictures.)

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Dinner at Hatfiels...I did their Seasonal Prix Fixe. My dishes were Monterey Bay Squid Salad (Mint, watercress, lime, Urfa Biber creme fraiche), Steamed Skate Wing Salad (picture....Wild greens, fried maitakes, garnet yams, harissa), Pan Roasted Duck Breast (picture...Caramelized endive and cherry, pistachio pistou, celery root puree), and Goat Milk Cheese Cake. Everything was so carefully prepared to the details and I was really impressed! I ate everything...we even ordered a side dish of Brown Butter Roasted Cauliflower, which was very nice also. Duck was great with 2004 Domaine des Comtes Lafon, Volnay Santenots-du-Milieu 1er Cru. Wine was still tasting young, yet it was so classic and elegant with the tea smoke, dark berry, and earthiness.

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Lunch at Sugarfish Sushi in Downtown, which is a newly opened location of Sushi Nozawa's franchise. I did "Trust Me/ Lite" (edamame, nigiri sushi of tuna, albacore, salmon, and shrimp, and toro hand roll). I also ordered albacore belly (today's special) sushi as an extra. Very modern-style space. All the sushi is made in the back kitchen to order. I got nicely full.