Monday, April 19, 2010
Thanks to Rachel Krupa of Krupa Consulting, PR rep for XIV by Michael Mina, a guest and I were hosted by XIV to try out their New $40 6 Course Chef's Tasting Menu and since a tasting menu is so much more fun with a group, a few of my dining club members attended as well. Our meal started with a dish that actually wasn't part of the tasting menu. It was toasted pita bread with a dipping sauce made with feta and yogurt. That feta and yogurt sauce was quite refreshing with the feta cutting into the tartness of the yogurt.
Our first course was Ahi Tuna Tartare, Ancho Chile, Pears, Mint, Pine Nuts and Sesame Oil. What I found interesting was that all the dishes were served on trays that were put in the middle of the table for diners to serve themselves. I never dined that way before, but it was nice to just get your food whenever you were finished with the course you were currently enjoying. As for the Ahi Tuna, I think the sesame oil was a tad over powering, but I like the small bite of heat that came from the ancho chile.
For our second course, we had the XIV Caesar, Classic Dressing, Shaved Parmesan Reggiano and White Anchovy. Unfortunately, we all found this salad a bit uninspiring, especially in comparison to the rest of the menu. If a salad was going to be included, I think a better choice would have been their Heirloom Beets or Sam's Chopped Salad or if they're going to stick with the XIV Caesar, a more intensely flavored dressing and beautifully crunchy romaine may have done the trick.
Our third course was the Tai Snapper, Tapioca-Crusted, Broccoli Rabe and White Soy Vinaigrette. By far, this was the favorite dish of the group. The fish was light and delicate and paired well with the slight bitterness of the broccoli rabe. One of my dining partners mentioned that he could have easily eaten 6 courses of just that one dish.
The fourth course was Jidori Chicken “Tajine”, Vadouvan, Baby Carrot, Fennel, Petit Cilantro. Cooking chicken breast meat is no small feat because if not done well, it's dry; however, this chicken for this dish was tender and moist and I thought the vadouvan sauce was tasty.
Our fifth course was the Grilled American Wagyu Skirt with Moroccan Spiced Vegetables. That skirt steak was cooked perfectly. Pink in the middle and seared on the surface, this steak was tender and juicy. I definitely would not have turned away a couple more plates of this steak.
For our final course, we had the Passion Fruit Panna Cotta with Mandarin, Yuzu and Lemongrass. I enjoyed the refreshing tartness of this dessert and I thought it was a great way to end the meal.
Overall, this was a nice light meal and my group had a great time. The restaurant also had a wonderful ambiance and I loved that we got to sit by the fireplace which added a wonderful touch to the evening. If you have a large appetite, you may want to consider ordering a la carte dishes to supplement your dinner.
But considering that the tasting menus at XIV range from $64 to $112, this 6 Course $40 Chef's Tasting Menu is a great way to get a feel for the food first without having to dig too deep into your wallet just yet. So if you haven't given XIV a try yet, this may be the perfect time to do so while this $40 Chef's Tasting Menu is still available.
8117 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90046