Thursday, January 08, 2009

Fabio (Top Chef): "Colicchio. He is like Pope to me."

I think I can honestly say that now - I've had the best meal of my life. Well, to date anyway - here's to hoping that I will always one up that. I've eaten at a few 'nice' restaurants and some of them are so incredible, they warrant a second visit. While most of those are on the high end- price wise, one that is consistent and more affordable, is Craft by Tom Colicchio.

Yes, that Tom Colicchio, judge on Top Chef. Craft is located in Century City, right by the CAA 'Death Star'. Tucked in the back, you wouldn't even know it was there. If you remember my first visit, it was fantastic except for the dessert. This time I think all the menu choices came together well, so well that I would say yes, it was the best meal I have EVER eaten. Luckily everything is served 'family style' which is easier on your pocketbook AND more importantly - when you go with a few people you get little tastes of everything. The combinations of flavors and textures are perfect. While some of the ingredients aren't your average fare, they are always seasonal and you can taste the freshness in the food.

I had to write down everything as I ate it because I didn't want to forget it. Food nerdy? Yes. But man, it was a memorable meal:

Fennel, watercress, citrus and pistachio salad
-Good lord this was good. It was just the right combo of, well, everything. you could taste each and every locally gorwn ingredient and it worked wonderfully.

Wild Striped Bass with Piquillo Pepper
-The fish was AMAZING. It was cooked perfectly and the pepper was mild, yet sweet.

Roasted and Braised Berkshire Pork with Radish
-This was pork done two ways on one plate. Both were fantastic with amazing flavors. The dish was so large it could feed 4 people easily.

Dungeness Crab Chorizo and Saffron Rissoto
-Ok. This was by far, the best thing I have ever eaten...ever. I can die happy, and I don't even care for crab! The risotto was melt in your mouth amazing, and I would go back here just to order this and nothing more forever.

Peanut Butter Cup with homemade Peanut Brittle and Caramel Gelato
-Chocolate and peanut butter, you can't go wrong, really - but still, this was made from scratch and just truly perfect.

Glazed Donuts with Lemon Thyme + Vanilla custard, tangerine marmalade and chocoalte pudding dipping sauces
-This dessert is what Craft is known for, and the donuts were light and lovely just like beignets and mand do I love me some beignets.

Yuzu sorbet
-Let's not talk about this, one misstep. Tart doesn't even begin to describe it. Blame my mother for ordering it.

This poorly lit photo is of the HOMEMADE PEANUT BUTTER CUP. Good god. I can't even express to you how decadent this is, and to the left, it is paired with a scoop of homemade caramel gelato. To die for. I don't normally like taking restaurant food photos, but this one was worth it.

The other great thing about Craft are the amuses that are brought throughout the meal, completely complimentary. Free things are always good, right? Of course anything served in a tiny dish always makes me swoon. And right when you leave, they always hand you a fresh muffin on your way out. Great for breakfast the next day. The service is fantastic, and that coupled with amazing food will always keep me coming back and recommending Craft as one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles. Tom Colicchio truly knows what he is doing.

Now if Fabio gets kicked off Top Chef, then maybe I'll boycott. He keeps me entertained every week. "This eez Top Chef, not Top Scallops!"

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Anonymous Babs said...

We just got a Craft in Atlanta. I am so excited about trying it. Ironically, this is the first season I've ever watched Top Chef and that is only because of Blais' restaurant. By the by, he has opened a new restuarant (Flip Burger Boutique). I'll be trying that before month's end.

Friday, January 09, 2009 6:20:00 AM  
Blogger Sizzle said...


I just fainted.

Friday, January 09, 2009 8:19:00 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

TOTally excited to check it out, that is once my newborn gets over his obsessive boob fetish and we can leave him with a sitter.

Since you are my west side foodie (I'm down in the LBC and have to know something is worth it to make the trek up the 405), have you tried this place yet Looks intriguing...

Friday, January 09, 2009 9:21:00 AM  
Blogger suburban housefrau said...

I don't necessarily like Fabio,but I completely agreed with him. Get off the scallops already!

Friday, January 09, 2009 11:21:00 AM  
Anonymous dee said...

totally love Fabio, he's the only reason I'm still watching this season.
Eugene and the huge chip on his shoulder turned me off. And he's from my hometown too...

Friday, January 09, 2009 3:28:00 PM  
Blogger bonnindesigns said...

great to know about Craft. I thought it was only in NY. It truly sounds like a food heaven. I love that they send you home with a muffin.

As for Fabio saying "this eez Top Chef, not Top Scallop", it has to be my favorite Top Chef line of all times now besides Dave's line. Must be on this year's t-shirt for sure.

Saturday, January 10, 2009 7:51:00 AM  
Anonymous McCrum said...

I completely and utterly and totally recommend the Hen of the Woods mushroom if you ever see it on his menus (I've had Craft and Craftsteak's). It is sublime and the only mushroom I ever eat.

So fab. I wish Craftsteak lived up to Craft, it's kind of a downer that the veggies are staggeringly better than the beef. It's not Craftveg.

But thinking about it, I'd get there too...

Saturday, January 10, 2009 8:23:00 PM  
Blogger Que Sera Sara said...

saffron anything is good good good fantastic. while working as a server in a somewhat fine dining steakhouse, "somewhat" because technically it wasn't fine dining service but damn it sure beat anything fine dining in taste... anyways, we had a saffron chicken noodle cream soup and of course cream was a major no-no for most diets. we would just say, it was the 24k gold of soups, and for real saffron... ALWAYS sold that $4 soup no one cared it had masso cream in it. can't wait to visit craft, it was well recommended from amex in NYC, glad my concierge days paid off. your harrison ford is scaring me btw. if your *freaking* 5 yr old saw the last one he wouldn't give two carrots about it. you know what i'm saying, it sucked chicken nuggets.

Sunday, January 11, 2009 12:38:00 AM  

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