It has been quite some time since I’ve dined at Addison, a little over three years in fact. I’ve seen Chef William Bradley at events since then, but it is never the same as a dining experience at Addison, where he has been at the helm since the beginning.
Therefore, when I receive an invitation to visit Addison, not only do I accept, but I would have re-arranged my schedule had there been a conflict. Addison is one of those special places where it is truly an experience when you are there. Although the restaurant is of utmost elegance, it never feels stuffy. In fact, they don’t even expect you dress in a suit and tie, just that you arrive in a presentable manner.
On this evening, I am in the company of some very respected LA-based writers and bloggers. It is a very intimate group and I am delighted to be among them.
Our meal is paired with a different wine for each course, but since I’m no wine connoisseur, I won’t be mentioning any of those here. For those of you who are interested in such a pairing, you should leave it in the hands of Elizabeth Huettinger, Addison’s wine director, to guide you through your meal.
I do, however, apologize for the quality of the photos as it is extremely dark in the dining room and often, I lose patience trying to capture the perfect shot because I am dying to put the morsels into my mouth.
An amuse bouche of Whipped Yogurt arrives to whet our tastebuds. The citrusy tart notes of cranberry and lime enliven the senses and make me hungrier than ever. Light as air, the yogurt disintegrates into my mouth and quickly dissipates.
Next is another amuse — a Gougeres — although I don’t quite remember if there is anything else other than it being a buttery, cheesy gougeres.
My dining companions enjoy a first course of Kumamoto Oyster with caviar and champagne, but since I’m allergic to oysters, Chef Bradley creates something else for me.
My Osetra Caviar with smoked potato purée and sour cream reminds me of a puff of air which melts as soon as it hits my mouth. I am shocked at how subtle and sublime it is, even though the luscious caviar hits my senses almost immediately. The decadent aroma lingers for a little before joining the airy potato purée and sour cream for a well-balanced finish.
I’m beaming when Chawanmushi hits the table and I hear the ingredients describing it. My love affair with uni is notorious and I will always order it if it is on the menu. Paired with a dollop of finely grated daikon, this dish is absolute perfection when it comes to textural contrast. The smooth and soft chawanmushi (egg custard) is beyond description — the ultimate mouth-gasm in my opinion.
The simplicity of Chef Bradley’s dishes is perfectly represented in King Crab. The presentation is minimalist with a bite-sized log of sweet, succulent crab topped with a crispy shrimp chip, sitting in an emulsion of vanilla and passionfruit. I’m never quite sure when it comes to fruity flavors in a savory dish, but this is so subtle the passion-fruit brushes gently against the luscious crab’s umami without interfering.
Artichokes en Barigoule is something, which, if on the a la carte menu, is definitely be something I will order. Octopus is one of my favorites, and here, is paired with chorizo and picholine olives — a marriage made in heaven. The perfect octopus is tender and possesses the amount of saltiness absolutely ideal for my palate. Eat all components in one mouthful to create a wonderful sensation in your mouth, both in flavors and textures.
I am impressed by the Steamed Dumpling‘s presentation. The black vinegar broth is poured table-side and so delicate it never overpowers the nuances of the pork and shrimp dumpling itself.
Salmon Au Beurre Doux is next and once again, so exquisite it just melts as soon as it hits my mouth. The salmon is accompanied by salmon roe and a crispy piece of salmon skin in a sauce of porcini trois facon. There are no words to describe how ethereal this dish is.
Black Truffle Croustillant is definitely a fun item to eat. A crispy “half log” is filled with San Danielle prosciutto, parmesan, olive oil and topped with black truffle shavings. Crispy, salty, and that heady aroma of truffle wafting around in my mouth and nose — heavenly!
I am really full by the time Pithivier Hiver arrives, but it is too stunning not to eat. I take one mouthful of this elegant meat pie with a luscious Bordelaise and before I know, I have eaten the whole thing. I look at my neighbor who isn’t able to keep up and feel like a glutton — but a very happy one. I don’t have much willpower to resist exquisite food like this — sheer excellence!
As we come to the cheese course of the meal, we are presented with Fourme D’Ambert, a bite of cheese puff with fine herbes and frisee salad on top. So light and intricate, it vanishes ever so quickly in my mouth like air collapsing in a ball. I wish for more even though I am bursting at the seams.
Our meal ends with two desserts beginning with a quenelle of Mango Sorbet in a dollop of espelette gelee. A refreshing palate cleanser if you will, the sorbet is refined and smooth, with the natural aromas and flavors of mango drifting into my olfactory senses.
Then, Galette Au Chocolat arrives and I relish it completely, including the mint chip ice cream and chocolate mousse. It is decadent and absolute perfection.
Addison is one of those place which you have to visit at least once in your lifetime. Whether it be an anniversary, birthday, or any type of celebration, it is what memories are made of. Tomorrow, Chef Bradley is offering an eight-course Valentine’s Day prix fixe (with many of the dishes presented here) for $215/person or $390 with wine pairings. 72-hour cancellation policy of $100 per guest. To see if there are still reservations available, please call 858.314.1900.
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