Epicuryan: Bourbon Steak – 05/24/2014


237 S Model Blvd
Glendale, CA 91210
(818) 839-4130

As soon as upon a time a steakhouse was the ultimate phrase in high quality eating for me. Whereas these days are lengthy gone, I nonetheless have a passion for an ideal steak. Just a few years again there have been a rash of high-end steakhouses opening in LA from Wolfgang Puck’s CUT to the trendier BOA and STK steakhouses. Since then the LA eating scene has grown a bit extra refined with the rise of locations like Trois Mec and Alma; nonetheless I used to be intrigued once I heard Michael Mina can be opening a brand new outpost of his Bourbon Steak in Glendale.

With an inside impressed by the golden age of aviation, Bourbon Steak appears to straddle the road between traditional and modern. Certainly the ambiance appears like a traditional steakhouse/boys membership although the meals leans decidedly in the direction of the trendy which I favor over conventional steakhouse fare.

DUCK FAT FRIES – Pastrami Spice with BBQ Sauce | Parmesan with Caesar Aioli | Pickled with Pickled Ketchup
The meal at Bourbon Steak kicked off with a somewhat distinctive amuse: three uniquely flavored preparations of duck fats fries every paired with an appropriately flavored sauce. The fries themselves are excellent, dense crispy exterior with a fluffy inside and loads of inherent savor. The primary taste was a meaty pastrami spice coupled with a smoky vinegar-laced sauce. The Parmesan fries had been essentially the most conventionally scrumptious tacky zest paired with the wealthy tangy Caesar. Final up was a dill-laced selection that went properly with the intense tangy ketchup.

TLAQUEPAQUE – Barrel-Aged, Espolon Reposado Tequila, Crème de Pêche, Angostura Orange Bitters
AVANTGRAND – Barrel-Aged, Financial institution Notice 5yr Scotch, Laphroaig, Amaro Averna, Crème de Banana
VIEUX CARRÉ – Rye, Cognac, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, Benedictine, Bitters, Lemon
I used to be shocked on the depth and breadth of Bourbon Steak’s cocktail and spirits program. The restaurant presents each fashionable and traditional cocktails with an emphasis on bourbon and whiskey. Beside the traditional drink choices, diners can even select for table-side Japanese Whiskey or Bourbon displays. Our first spherical of cocktails ran the gamut of Bourbon Steak’s choices. The barrel-aged Tlaquepaque had an emphatic woody observe from the reposado concentrated by the growing older. The peach creme supplied a cloyingly candy counterpart that the aromatic orange bitters could not fairly stability. In contrast to the earlier cocktail the Avantgrand’s eager savory wooden smoke and brine had been sufficient to stability the heft of the banana making it the desk favourite because of its alternating mix of smoke and sweetness. The ultimate cocktail got here from the classics, named for the French Quarter in New Orleans, the drink opens with delicate candy vermouth and finishes with a lightweight tinge of medicinal sweetness.

The restaurant solely supplied one kind of bread however what a bread. Heady waves of truffled musk roll off the nice and cozy bread although I used to be anticipating one thing delicate and tender versus the marginally dry toasty texture.

OYSTERS ON THE HALF SHELL – Champagne Mignonette
Surprisingly the restaurant solely supplied one kind of oyster, happily that one selection was Kusshi; one among my all-time favorites. These had been a bit bigger than the normal Kusshi and although they’d the everyday creamy physique, the cucumber and melon flavors that usually characterize the oyster had been largely absent.

KAMPACHI BELLY TARTARE – Scallion, Yuzu Dressing
This was a particular that sometimes comes with the restaurant’s seafood tower, however the kitchen was variety sufficient to make us an a la carte portion. With every chunk of the dense snappy bits of fish , the meat exudes oily fatty relish that contrasts superbly with the tangy spice-tinged dressing and the contemporary onion topping.

DUCK SPRING ROLLS – Ginger-Chile Dipping Sauce, Mint, Cilantro
I had my reservations about this subsequent course, pondering the faux-Asian rolls would possibly really feel a bit drained. Certainly the generic savor of the rolls was pretty pedestrian, however the accompanying herbs added a very poignant distinction as did the astringent piquant tang of the dipping sauce.

THE FRENCH GENTLEMAN – Fizzy-Lifting, Landy Cognac, Yellow Chartreuse, Asian Pear, Domaine de Canton Ginger, Lemon Anise
DARKER & STORMIER – Fizzy-Lifting, Vizcaya Rum, Domaine de Canton Ginger, Grapefruit, Lime, Fernet Branca
NUMBER 1 (LAVENDER MIST) – Demise’s Door Gin, Tempus Fugit Kina L’avion D’or, Lavender-White Pepper Syrup, Lemon, Absinthe
Our second spherical of cocktails wasn’t fairly as spectacular as the primary. The French Gentleman was a contact medicinal thanks the Chartreuse however with a contrasting sweetness. The Darker & Stormier was an particularly tough drink with a taste paying homage to Japanese medication notably Huang Lian or Coptis extract. The Number one was a riff on the Corpse Reviver however with a extra cerebral natural part because of the lavender and Kina which is way extra complicated than the extra ubiquitous Lillet.

HAMACHI & TUNA POPPERS – Crispy Rice, Ponzu, Ginger Dressing
Just like the duck rolls, I had my doubts about this course. Certainly the dish proved to be a contact simplistic although no much less tasty for it. Each fishes come dressed with a Sriracha mayo and go good with the tangy chunk of the ponzu and ginger. The crispy rice added a pleasant savory taste though by the point I received to it the mayo had saturated the rice turning the ostensibly crunchy texture a bit cheesy and delicate.

JAPANESE WAGYU SHABU SHABU – Dashi, Miso, Watermelon Radish
This was simply essentially the most thrilling of the appetizers and at $29 per ounce it was additionally far-and-away the most costly. The fragile meat comes wrapped round just a few strands of Enoki mushrooms which brings a core of springy supple construction to the paper-thin meat. The inherent richness of the Wagyu is balanced by the bitter radish and shiny herbs. The meat is sweet sufficient to eat by itself, however after just a few swishes of via the mushroom broth the meat develops a taste of rendered fats and darkish earthy savor together with a delicate silky texture.

OCTOPUS A LA PLANCHA – Romesco, Fingerling, Lemon, Almonds
The plank grilled octopus was a factor of absolute magnificence. The meat is dense tender and cloaked in a heady char. The meat has a persistent saline taste but it surely was the nutty perfume of the Romesco and shiny tang of the lemon that dominate on the palate. Even the earthy funk of the contemporary inexperienced olives had been completely on level within the context of the dish.

ENGLISH PEA AGNOLOTTI – Maine Lobster, Spring Onion, Meyer Lemon
The English Pea Agnolotti was a straightforward selection to begin with. The pasta itself was just a little over-tender however the candy nutty pea puree is every thing I used to be anticipating it might be. Although there was a smattering of lobster scattered all through the dish it’s actually the bisque-like sauce that stands out; a flood of buttery shellfish luxurious in opposition to the vegetal character of the peas. The scattering of greens contrasts fairly nicely with the pasta and sauce notably the eager acidity of the pickled onion which simply cuts although the weighty heft of the duo.

2007 Copain Syrah, Brosseau Winery, Central Coast, California
As an alternative of the extra standard Cabernet, we opted to pair a lighter Syrah from Copain with the steak. The wine has rigidity, however is not fairly as concentrated and wealthy as a cab. As an alternative there’s a trace of smoke and brine combined into quite a lot of purple fruit and juicy berry notes

AMERICAN WAGYU – Heart-Lower Flat Iron 10oz
AUSTRALIAN WAGYU – Kansas Metropolis Strip 16oz
JAPANESE WAGYU – Miyazaki A5 Striploin 16oz
For modern high-end steakhouses, it’s nearly obligatory that they provide not solely quite a lot of cuts but additionally a mixture of breeds starting from the prosaic Angus to the chic Japanese Wagyu. At any time when potential, my companions and I attempt to order the identical lower to higher examine the steaks, however sadly there was no American Wagyu Strip steak so we selected to do the Flat Iron since we thought it might be a more in-depth comparability than the fattier rib-eye choices. Although it most likely comes as no shock, the prime beef was the least attention-grabbing of the bunch, a contact stringy the steak tasted largely of bitter char with out the buttery weight of the others. The American Wagyu had essentially the most attention-grabbing grain and texture and confirmed extra heft than the usual Angus however fell in need of the worldwide breeds. The Australian bone-in strip was most likely essentially the most pleasant steak, with a contact of gamy complexity and pronounced however not overbearing fattiness. Paradoxically the Japanese Wagyu ended up being the biggest of our steaks because of Eric who handled us and insisted on getting 4 ounces per individual. We later realized that our 16 ounce steak was the biggest single order beating the earlier report by a wholesome six ounces. The primary chunk of true Wagyu wasn’t particularly spectacular however the weight of the steak grew to become extra obvious with every chunk. The Miyazaki beef was essentially the most spectacular single chunk however I’d have struggled to complete something greater than the 4 ounce serving we every acquired and even that was a bit heavy in the direction of the tip.

The black truffle wasn’t fairly as pronounced as I’d have appreciated however the al dente pasta and wealthy sauce nonetheless made for a really pleasant facet.

Our second facet confirmed a surprisingly heavy Asian-influence that includes slivers of asparagus stir fried with mushrooms and lap cheong. Whereas the flavors had been a pleasant change of tempo from the traditional asparagus served at steakhouses, I want the vegetable wasn’t so finely chopped so we may higher admire the feel.

The ultimate facet was a candy cream corn laced with southwestern aptitude from the chilies.

SAZERAC – Rye or Cognac, Absinthe, Peychaud’s Bitters, Angostura Bitters, Lemon
Our meal allotted with I opted for a traditional rye-based Sazerac as an after dinner digestif.

MASCARPONE CHEESECAKE – Bing Cherry Sauce, Meyer Lemon Curd, Vanilla Bean Crust
Our first dessert was a deconstructed cross between a berry cheese cake and a lemon tart with contrasting jammy and tart fruit to go with the creamy mascarpone and buttery crumbled crust.

Our server talked about this as a substitute for their composed desserts. The donut actually lives as much as its title, dense and cake-y the candy glaze and bacon praise each other nicely although I’ve had higher bacon donuts earlier than.

LEMON SCENTED OLIVE OIL CAKE – Market Strawberries, Sicilian Pistachio, Comfortable Whipped Cream
As a lot as I dislike olives, olive oil desserts are an entire different story. The refined floral aroma of the olive oil works wonders when added to straightforwardly candy desserts like cake or ice cream. The contemporary market berries are delightfully candy and the mix jogged my memory of an opulent strawberry shortcake.

BUTTERSCOTCH TOFFEE PUDDING – Salty Caramel Sauce, Heat Madelines, Confectioner’s Sugar
Salty caramel is a should for me and although this delivered on that rely the dessert felt a bit too primary even with the perfectly-made Madelines.

MICHAEL MINA’S SIGNATURE ROOT BEER FLOAT – Heat Chocolate & Pecan Cookies, Sassafras Ice Cream
The ultimate dessert was a root beer float saturated with wealthy sassafras taste and two delicate heat cookies. The mix was easy however remarkably comforting.

The meal ended with foil wrapped bourbon caramels combined with bits of hazelnut. The mix had a touch of booziness however largely tasted like Almond Roca.

Although I have not been to Mina’s signature spots in SF, I’ve tried all his LA/OC spots in addition to just a few of his Vegas haunts and I’ve discovered them very hit and miss. Happily, I feel we will put Bourbon Steak firmly within the hit column.



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