Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Masa's in SF

One of my top 3 restaurants and meals ever. Masa's is an institution. Everything about it is top notch, the atmosphere (classy, yet not stuffy), the service (perfect in every way), and of course the food. Oh my, the food. Our dinner took about 3 hours and because we I can't resist a 9 course option we both had to roll out of there and climb straight into bed.
When doing the 9 course tasting menu, they don't give both diners the same dishes. This worked out well, as we shared (well, most of the time). We had champagne to start, a sweet really good wine with foie, and a pinot noir with the poultry. I wish I had remembered the wines.

Amuse bouches:
Lobster broth (a la French Laundry - where Gregory Short was a Sous Chef and worked under Thomas Keller for 7 years) - EXCELLENT
Ahi tempura - I thought good, P (my companion) thought greasy. had a yummy sauce.

Caviar course:
Souffled oyster with caviar - P LOVED!
Potato blinis (also from French Laundry) with creme fraiche, salmon gravlax, and caviar and a lemon oil - YUM!

Raw fish course:
Tuna tartare with mango, avocado and a mango sauce and brioches - P only let me have a tiny bite it was delish. Might beat out Aqua's tartare as my favorite.
Yellowfin tuna and hamachi sashimi with wasabi oil, daikon, and something else - I did not love. But I don't like hamachi and the wasabi was overpowering for me since i hate it, gave it to P. He loved it.

Shellfish course:
Diver scallop, with black truffles, and some yummy sauce. - P thought best scallop he's ever had. I agreed that it was delish, but liked my crab salad more. Mostly because there was more of it.
Maine crab salad with english peas, and a pea sauce, red radishes, mint oil and pea shoots - SOOOOO YUM.

Warm fish course:
Red sturgeon with fava beans - light and yummy
Halibut with italian butter beans and applewood bacon - yum yum. I liked his fish better, but these beans were better.

Foie course:
Cold canadian foie sprinkled with some tasty salt with brioche and muscat gelee - P thought too rich so I got half of that without having to share mine. Soooo good! Like butter it melted in my mouth. Of course he ate all the brioche so I just had mouthfuls of foie. Never a bad thing.
Seared foie on a brioche with orange marmalade, a Madeira sauce, and tangerines - fuckin amazing. P commented that I never look as happy as I do when I am eating foie.

Poultry course:
Duck breast with duck jus, potato gnocchi, and a little duck leg - Excellent gnocchi, very good breast.
Squab with squab sauce, a tiny squab leg, wilted spinach and the best potato gratin I have ever had. - I liked the leg more than the other parts of the squab, it was a bit too salty. P liked my squab more, I liked his duck more.

Beef course:
Saddle of lamb with brussel sprouts, with lamb belly served with bacon -P didn't like the belly, I thought the rest of the lamb was good.
Prime rib eye, forest mushrooms, and white asparagus - delish! We both agreed my course was better. Gave P most the shrooms (I have a huge aversion to them), but in the end I tasted some and they were good.

Palate Cleanser:
Apple Arugula Sorbet with pear soup - would never think to try arugula as a dessert, soooooo amazing! Very clean and fresh.
Hibiscus Sorbet with rose water gelee - I love hibiscus and rose water so I loved it. Paul loved the gelee.

Flourless chocolate cake with a chocolate chicory latte (very interesting, it was foamy on top, but then the two other layers were cold and not liquidy) - he loved the latte. I thought the cake was just eh.
Basmati rice clouds, three of them one with creme anglaise (fuck i love that), one with rum raisin ice cream, and one with tangerines. - I just want to know how one makes rice feel like meringue.

But wait, there's more! The waiter brought out the dessert amuse bouche cart. I can't even describe it. There were a zillion things on it. Including: fruit jellies, pineapple coconut cake, something I got and don't remember what it was, Turkish delights, candied orange peel, caramels, nougats (softest he'd ever had said P), lollipops, an amazing selection of chocolates including Meyer lemon milk chocolate, chocolate mole (had chili and other spices, P said it was amazing), mocha chocolate and I can't even remember what else. We were told to pick as many as we wanted. But I think we both felt funny asking for one of each thing and limited ourselves. In retrospect, that was silly.
So yeah, amazing doesn't even describe the meal. If you want a mouthwatering dinner in SF, money is not an object, and don't want to wait 2 months for a reservation, go here!

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