This year, my culinary adventures take me from Las Vegas, New Orleans to Mexico and Hong Kong. There have been quite a number of outstanding meals, and some underwhelming ones which you probably won’t read about here. I’ve listed a few of my favorite dishes of 2015 below.
I love corn, and will most likely order it when I see it on the menu. In Orange County, Pueblo has one of the most delicious corn dishes I’ve eaten this year. Maiz is a plate of roasted corn strips tossed in rich Aleppo butter with a few shishito peppers thrown in for good measure . The robust flavors cling to the corn, while the heat from the Aleppo adds a lovely kick to the entire dish. My mouth waters as I’m writing this.
Stirmarket Porchetta from Stirmarket in LA offers this porky goodness two ways. You can opt for the porchetta in a sandwich, or sliced as an entree served on a plate. I suggest the plate which comes with two generous rounds of pork with crispy skin seasoned with fennel, rosemary, garlic, lavender and lemon zest. You’ll also receive a serving of seasonal roasted vegetables and a salsa verde which is to-die-for. Just ask for extra when you order, you won’t regret it.
2015 is the year I try my first Sopapilla. Panxa Cocina, a little gem of an eatery in Long Beach was a major surprise with several absolutely stellar items on the menu. I was amazed at how delicious these pillowly pockets of fried dough are, and at its utter simplicity. This New Mexico staple is a carb lover’s delight. Slather butter over them and then drizzle with honey. Freaking delicious!
Being a huge fan of seafood, the Charred Local Spot Prawns at Catania in La Jolla simply blew my mind. Don’t let these shell-on, head-on crustaceans deter you from ordering. There are no words to describe how mind-blowingly tasty they are. The prawns are grilled, then tossed in a coating comprising fennel, chile, garlic and oregano. You can peel them and eat, or, I just suck on the head, and peel the shell off with my teeth. This way, you’ll get the full experience! A must-order for any seafood lover!
Hudson Valley Foie Gras Ramen is positively THE BEST thing I’ve eaten in 2015. A bowl of house-made ramen immersed in a bowl of smoked duck bone broth with bacon thrown in — how much better can it get? Well, a piece of foie gras is first seared, its rendered unctuous fat drizzled over the ramen and broth, then placed on top of the bowl with a perfectly poached egg. Chef Daniel Barron has since left Blush Ice Bar in San Diego, but I’m hoping the ramen remains on the menu. One can only hope!
Looking forward to a journey of eats to come in 2016. Thank you all for joining me in the adventures!