FOOD / November 3, 2011

RED MEDICINE MOST INVENTIVE NEW LA RESTAURANT

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QUIRKY- MODERN- ASIAN – INVENTIVE- FRESH- YOUNG

OUT OF 10

FOOD-8.5      SERVICE-6.5      DECOR-7       PRICE- MODERATE       VIBE- COOL HIP

I haven’t been to a restaurant as inspiring and creative as RED MEDICINE in Los Angeles since I went to Nobu the first time.

Regardless of the notorious reputation of Chef Jordan Kahn, the cuisine and especially plating is sowhimsical, feminine, organic and playful I felt like a child again. Like playing in a magical garden, each ingredient is close to its most natural form with vegetables having edible shoots and flowers and roots plated to make astounding compositions. But these dishes are not just pretty. The level at which Kahn pushes textures, flavour combinations and presentation makes me believe the world of cuisine is still able to change and move into new exciting directions.

LATE SEASON LEGUMES AND ROOTS / raw & roasted, virgin walnut, bayonne ham, rhubarb ($15) - This mouthwatering dish of fresh root vegetables and fruity and meaty accompanying flavours is very interesting and refreshing.

LATE SEASON LEGUMES AND ROOTS / raw & roasted, virgin walnut, bayonne ham, rhubarb ($15) – This mouthwatering dish of fresh root vegetables and fruity and meaty accompanying flavours is very interesting and refreshing.

OCEAN TROUT / cured with sugar cane, grapefruit, trout roe, burnt chili $16 - The Cured Ocean Trout, not disimilar to smoked salmon is nestled beneath an interestingly textured, but not too sweet sugarcane “puff” with herbs and trout roe bringing saltiness and asian pep to the dish. It was more interesting that delicious.

OCEAN TROUT / cured with sugar cane, grapefruit, trout roe, burnt chili $16 – The Cured Ocean Trout, not disimilar to smoked salmon is nestled beneath an interestingly textured, but not too sweet sugarcane “puff” with herbs and trout roe bringing saltiness and asian pep to the dish. It was more interesting that delicious.

CHICKEN DUMPLINGS / caramelized sugar, pork fat, lemongrass, confitures $9 - The CHICKEN DUMPLINGS with caramelized sugar, pork fat, lemongrass and asian confitures were soft, fatty and meaty but not astounding.

CHICKEN DUMPLINGS / caramelized sugar, pork fat, lemongrass, confitures $9 – The CHICKEN DUMPLINGS with caramelized sugar, pork fat, lemongrass and asian confitures were soft, fatty and meaty but not astounding.

PORK / caramelized black vinegar, goji berry, spring onion, dried almond $22 - The main courses are the really delightful parts of the menu and they are bold, hearty and super inventive. The PORK served on caramelized black vinegar, goji berry, spring onion and dried almond was super “sweet and meaty” with warm umame, asian flavours paired with the sticky, soft braised pork and the crisp spring onion and refreshing Asian Herbs. It was devoured.

PORK / caramelized black vinegar, goji berry, spring onion, dried almond $22 – The main courses are the really delightful parts of the menu and they are bold, hearty and super inventive. The PORK served on caramelized black vinegar, goji berry, spring onion and dried almond was super “sweet and meaty” with warm umame, asian flavours paired with the sticky, soft braised pork and the crisp spring onion and refreshing Asian Herbs. It was devoured.

DUCK / caramelized endive, banana, toasted grains, brown butter, chinese five spice $26 - Equally a similar dish in the sweet, meaty, sticky direction was the DUCK with caramelized endive, banana, toasted grains, brown butter and chinese five spice which was sweet and sticky from the banana, and caramelized endive and duck, textural with crispy toasted grains and bold with the Chinese five spice. Astounding dish.

DUCK / caramelized endive, banana, toasted grains, brown butter, chinese five spice $26 – Equally a similar dish in the sweet, meaty, sticky direction was the DUCK with caramelized endive, banana, toasted grains, brown butter and chinese five spice which was sweet and sticky from the banana, and caramelized endive and duck, textural with crispy toasted grains and bold with the Chinese five spice. Astounding dish.

He plates the main courses as if you have to go digging in the garden for buried treasures. It very playful, interactive and inventive.

My one gripe would be the service is moody and un-attentive, and considering this restaurant has the potential to become a megastar in the cuisine world that is really bad business. If I had the money and know-how in “restauranteuring” I would bring this restaurant to New York and London and train top notch waitstaff to deliver the delicacies. I think it could be the next Nobu style high-end restaurant group.

COCONUT BAVAROIS / coffee, condensed milk, thai basil, peanut croquant, chicory $9 The Desserts are an absolute treat! They are playful, polished but deconstructed and such a new world of flavours I was thrilled. The COCONUT BAVAROIS with coffee, condensed milk ice cream, thai basil, peanut croquant and chicory is interesting and has that interesting flavour and pudding texture of a south east Asian Coconut pudding with the grown-up sophistication of coffee, peanut and basil.

COCONUT BAVAROIS / coffee, condensed milk, thai basil, peanut croquant, chicory $9
The Desserts are an absolute treat! They are playful, polished but deconstructed and such a new world of flavours I was thrilled. The COCONUT BAVAROIS with coffee, condensed milk ice cream, thai basil, peanut croquant and chicory is interesting and has that interesting flavour and pudding texture of a south east Asian Coconut pudding with the grown-up sophistication of coffee, peanut and basil.

Also an outstanding dessert is the MUSCAT GRAPE with almond, white chocolate, zucchini, elderflower, violet $10,  where the Muscat Grapes are frozen and the elderflower and white chocolate mousse is made into about 4-5 gelatin balls. It was so delicate, feminine and mind-blowing.

BITTER CHOCOLATE / kecap manis, oats, parsnip, brown butter, soy milk sorbet $11 - The BITTER CHOCOLATE with kecap manis, oats, parsnip, brown butter and soy milk sorbet is like a little fairy trail of chocolately treats. It is remarkably varied in texture, sweetness, temperature and richness of chocolate.

BITTER CHOCOLATE / kecap manis, oats, parsnip, brown butter, soy milk sorbet $11 – The BITTER CHOCOLATE with kecap manis, oats, parsnip, brown butter and soy milk sorbet is like a little fairy trail of chocolately treats. It is remarkably varied in texture, sweetness, temperature and richness of chocolate.

All the dishes are great for a group or a date and make great conversation starters! Kahn who has never been to Asia seems to have inspired enough thought on Asian flavours from the comfort of his kitchen that it proves imagination is really a product of the mind and perhaps better not affected by tradition.

Dinner for 4 costs about $200-$250 with wine which is very affordable for the level of cuisine.

Overall the vibe is hispter cool, in the awkward neighbourhood of Downtown LA, and you may have to pinch yourself till the staff improves. But RED MEDICINE is worth the journey for those who are ready to try something truly new, delicious, inventive and memorable. 

“Sweet Dreams and Meaty Sauces” xx

RED MEDICINE

8400 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
(323) 651-5500

redmedicinela.com –  Check out their website! It is especially beautiful.

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I haven’t been to a restaurant as inspiring and creative as RED MEDICINE in Los Angeles since I went to Nobu the first time. Regardless of the notorious reputation of Chef Jordan Kahn, the cuisine and especially plating is so whimsical, feminine, organic and playful I felt like a child again.





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