Friday, June 29, 2012

The Breslin Butchers Ball

I had the good fortune of attending The Breslin Butchers Ball hosted by Underground Eats and Meatopia and emceed by Josh Ozersky. The event featured the estimable talents of chef April Bloomfield who cooked the feast, Pat LaFrieda who personally selected and aged the beef and Mark Pastore who spent the evening texting (or worse) on his iPhone, his emaciated face permanently cast with a ghostly glow from the screen. Truth be told I spent most of the evening in the back of house marveling at how April and chef de cuisine Peter Cho run their kitchen and snacking on scraps of aged beef in various states of rawness while quaffing whiskey sours (or worse).

For the punters that plunked down cash for a seat I can't imagine a better combination of beef and booze with a little education thrown in for good measure. Guests were treated to a butchering demonstration by Pat and April followed by a three course meal plus dessert and wine pairing. Pat selected a handful of rib primals that exhibited exceptional marbling, the top 1% of his stock,  and aged them specially for the event. The resulting beef looked ethereal - deeply flecked with fat and imbued with a pronounced funk from the dry aging process. April then crafted three courses to highlight the textures and flavors of the individual components of the cut.

The rib bones where cut flanken style, in a fashion more often associated with the short rib and then chargrilled until crispy.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Eating in LA

I was in Los Angeles last month for a little photography and a lot of eating. Nothing fancy, I was shooting street and wanted to eat accordingly, which I mostly did. It has been a while since my last visit and there were quite a few new places I wanted to try out as well as reacquaint myself with some old favorites. I previously wrote about my visit to Pann's, which never disappoints, as well as the pastrami sandwich at UMAMIcatessen - one of LA's oldest restaurants and one of its most recent. Here are the rest of the highlights:

Pacific Dining Car

Speaking of old my first dinner was at the original downtown location of Pacific Dinning Car, an old favorite and a restaurant that dates back to the 1920's. I had the massive ribsteak. It was the as good as ever although the cost was eye-watering - almost $80! Expensive for USDA Prime, even by NYC standards. I seem to recall the steak costing substantially less on my last visit here, but that was several years ago.