George's California Modern - New Years Eve 2013

>> Thursday, March 7, 2013

Date of Dining: 1/31/2012
Price: $75 for 4 course prix fixe
Location: 1250 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037
website

The Quick Bit

+ high quality innovative dishes
+ great service and front of house
+ nice selection of wines
Δ some small inconsistencies in food
Δ dishes could have been explained better

For those wondering, I am still alive but I've been quite busy traveling around the country the past few weeks. While I did eat many a great meal, I decided not to try and get past TSA with my camera as I wasn't checking any bags, so unfortunately we'll have to re-live a few older experiences.
While I've covered TBL3 quite extensively, it's been awhile since I've visited George's for the regular menu. While my previous experience wasn't that great, I hoped that I would enjoy the "regular menu" more during this visit.
I ended up visiting as part of the New Years Eve 2013 celebration with a group of other foodies. When we sat down, we noticed a red wine stain on the tablecloth as well as some hairs as if the table had not been properly bused prior to our seating. When we pointed it out to the wait staff, they promptly re-set the entire table and gave a complimentary round of champagne for the table, which I thought was a great, Michelin quality move.

First Course

smoked beef tongue carpaccio - winter truffles, comte, burnt onions, thyme pearls
I ordered this dish remembering the fabulous beef tongue dish from TBL3. While this was not those standards, I still found the dish very enjoyable. There was a nice balanced smoky flavor on the perfectly prepared beef, and the onion and comte was the perfect complement to the dish. The only downside was that I did not detect any truffle as was advertised, but fortunately I felt the plate was great even without it.

Second Course

chanterelle stew - 60 degree egg, roasted onion jam, potato foam

As I previously pointed out, I felt this dish was one of the best of all of 2012. The creamy unctuousness of the egg was balanced with the harmonious earthy flavors of the chanterelles that were stewed to a soft texture so that the entire dish sung of umami flavors. The onion jam added just a touch of sweetness to brighten the dish as well. 

Third Course

roasted duck - beets, cocoa, black pepper gnocchi, strawberry, buckwheat, sorrel
The duck was cooked perfectly and the skin retained a nice crispy texture. The gnocchi were cooked to a nice soft pillow and worked well against the sauce. I particularly enjoyed the contrast between the sweetness of the beets, the bitterness of the cocoa, and the tartness of the strawberries. The elements were deconstructed on the plate, but amalgamated to a nice complex and rich sauce.

Fourth Course

goat cheese panna cotta - cranberry compote, orange segments, bacon, sage gel, honey foam
I really enjoyed the contrast between the bacon bits and the dairy flavors of the panna cotta. I also felt that the safe gel and honey foam really provided nice highlights to brighten up the flavors of the dish. Unfortunately, the crust of the panna cotta was too hard; it was difficult to eat and didn't seem to add any interesting flavors to the dish. Fortunately it was easy to scoop the panna cotta off the crust and enjoy the meal without the hazard.

Conclusion

Overall, my second visit to George's was much more successful than the first visit. While there may have been some roadblocks, the front of house skillfully overcame those obstacles and made the entire evening a night to remember. The chanterelle stew was one of the best dishes I had all year, and I can't wait to potentially see it again in the future.
While TBL3 won the terrabyte, the regular George's California Modern is still a great destination, and is awarded the gigabyte award.

1 comments:

Rodzilla March 8, 2013 at 8:41 AM  

That chanterelle stew is one of the best dishes I've ever had.

I've had both preps of the beef tongue as well, and agree. My preference lies with the vitello tonnato - this was still very good.

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gastro bits is a blog that juxtaposes the geeky with the foodie; it is an attempt to be educational about food, yet entertaining at the same time.
None of the reviews are meant to dissuade you from trying anything by yourself, but simply to provide information for you to make a more informed choice.
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