March 31, 2008 6

Ortolan (3rd St.)

By in 09: Weho, Favorite Food Entries

My friends and I went to the Ortolan for my birthday. Their menu is creative French Haute cuisine, created by Chef Christophe Eme. We sat at the elegant white classic French main room with sparkling chandelier. However it was still too dark, they gave us a thumb size flash light to read the menu. There was an intriguing dark room behind the curtains emitting mystic blue lights (with plants on the wall?).

A champagne cart roll by when we sat down, we got few glasses and wasn’t aware they cost $23 per glass. o_O;

My dear friends decided to treat me the $125 chef’s menu.
A yummy bean puree dip for bread. Amuse Bouche: soup in test tube (“ready for experiment”?). The green ones have sour fruity flavor on top then creamy avacado at the bottom. The red tube is more citrus juice flavor.

Macaron of Foie Gras Confit with Quince Gelee, Fig Chutney. After the initial shock, the foie gras actually goes well with sweet macaron. Since i like savory + sweet when it’s done well, this dish is like my childhood + adult fantasy in one.

Almond Gelee with English Pea, Red bell Pepper Parfait with Tomato Water. The dish looked like a set of playing blocks. The mint on top of the Almond gelee is a very heavenly combination. The white square is also sweet almond mousse. I was starting to suspect every course will taste like dessert (and look pretty and toy-like).

Egg and Caviar Cooked in Hot Ash, with whipped Cream and Vanilla (Fresh and smokey, very good) and Roast Langoustine with Pineapple, Spinach Gnocchi, Crispy Potato. (The lobster is very delicious, the gnocchi is so light and the crispy potato taste like gourmet snack).

Roast Scallop with Artichoke Jerusalem Chorizo, Herb Caviar. A less memorable dish of the course (why is it always the scallop one).

Roast John Dory with Spaghetti Quail Egg and Bacon Emulsion The grapefruit on top and sweet glazed roasted fish unified the ongoing sweet + citrus theme. The spaghetti are too beautifully layout to take apart.

Duck “Laque” with Fennel, Rosemary Panisse with Kumquat Very good tender duck. The kumquat goes delightfully well with duck (almost taste like the plum sauce that goes with Chinese roasted duck). The ‘roll’ on top seems to have chocolate fillings. Maybe I remember wrong, but that’s pretty telling that ‘sweetness’ was the dominating flavor in pretty much all the courses.

Cheese Plate:
Herbed Goat Cheese with Olive Oil
and Mint Sorbet. We were pretty full by then, but the cheese was so fresh and flavorful to resist.

Panna Cotta Pear “Caviar” This one was definitely one of the most ‘highlight’ course because of its concept and presentation. There are pear slices at the bottom, I wish I can keep the container.

Citrus in Five Ways Gelee, Confit, Powder, Parfait and Sorbet. Citrus heaven!

Petit Four We were too full by then, so I get to take these home to enjoy slowly. They’re all very good. The soft candies are soaked with dense and rich juicy flavor, incredible!

To be honest, I felt like I just had 11 course of dessert. I can see why someone might get turn off by it. I don’t mind at all as I tend to like sweetness and all the key ingredients are my favorites. The dishes are artfully designed like art piece, the food are presented in graphical shapes. There’s something very sweet, toy-like cute and girly about the overall course, it made me happy and all of us giggled like little girls. 🙂 Keywords: citrus, sweet, tiny cubes, mint, green onion,

Ortolan (323) 653-3300
8338 W. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048.

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6 Responses to “Ortolan (3rd St.)”

  1. seat says:

    Wow what a wonderful birthday dinner. XD

    The food reminds me of the molecular gastronomic meal I had…especially the spaghetti whirl and the pear “caviar”. Yours look so much better though! Macaron and foie gras is really unheard of – though I heard some famous chocolatier was selling foie gras chocolate. What’s the cube thing next to the macaron?

  2. sneakermonkey says:

    Hey, you and Joan are twins… So where’s Joan’s B-day pics? I only see 1 birthday cake!
    Happy Birthday!

  3. Joan says:

    Thanks Sneakermonkey!
    My birthday dinner will be up soon. 🙂

  4. Freda says:

    Yeah Seat, I did remember the spaghetti whirl and pear caviar from your blog haha!
    Damn, foie gras chocolate sound like might be good (you know, some silky smooth foie gras terrain is almost choco like anyway). I’ve tried bacon choco before I think. Chocolate with savory isn’t unheard of either (the Mexican Mole sauce).

    The cube at the Petit four? I think they’re marshmallow.

    Thanks Sneakermonkey~ 😀

  5. RP says:

    Wow, quite a feast for the eyes! All these lively, pretty color and style X-D!
    I like the elegant interior a lot too, would go and try out its vege dishes 🙂

  6. Freda says:

    Hey RP, that “Almond Gelee with English Pea, Red bell Pepper Parfait with Tomato Water.” is a sample of their veggie dish. How unnatural and ungreen it taste + look. ^^;;;