Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Best of 2009 Part 2

To continue my previous post about the highlights from 2009, I'm going to go over the best, the most delicious 10 dishes I've eaten in the past year. Again, these dishes varies in price, type, and location. Like with the top restaurant list I posted earlier, these are just based on my taste, but I'm sure most of you guys would agree, to some extent!

10) Brodard's Nem Nuong Cuon: This wonderful mix of grilled pork, vegetables, mint, all wrapped in rice paper with a special house dipping sauce. At $1.50/roll, it's friggin fantastic, albeit affordable!

Brodard's Nem Nuong Cuon

Nem Nuong Cuon @ Brodard

9) Ricky's Fish Tacos: For what else, their famous fish tacos. The little fish taco cart in Silver Lake that could! At the beginning, Ricky was only able to sell 10-20 tacos a day, but now, with a legend of followers via Twitter and other media sources, Ricky can't go a day without being sold out amongst the long lines of patrons. After coming here, through the introduction of Will of FoodDigger, I can definitely see the hype. I'm DEFINITELY a fan!

Ricky's Fish TacosRicky's Fish Tacos

Ricky's Fish Taco, with its abundance of pico de gallo, crema, salsa, and cabbage on top of wonderfully fried fish. Fantastic!

8) Torihei's half cooked egg with salmon roe. Wow, what else can I say about this dish? The egg, delicately cooked, with runny yolks, and a generous scoop of salmon roe (ikura) on top. The egg is then put into a bowl of dashi broth. Simply fantastic!

I love this half cooked egg with ikura!


7) Melisse's Cornish Game Hen "Jambonette." I, having a self professed dislike of most poultry dishes due to the dry texture when it's overcooked, was pleasantly surprised with the cornish game hen dish I had at Melisse. The palenta and mushrooms added a nice touch to the dish, but the game hen was so wonderfully cooked, I really just wanted to devour that dish on the spot! Delicious!

Cornish Game Hen "Jambonette"

Cornish Game Hen "Jambonette"

6) Ludobites' Foie Gras Black Croque Monsieur with Ham Cherry Amaretto. The "only" disappointment during Ludobites' return at Royal T in December was the croque monsieur not making a return on the menu. The Foie Gras Black Croque Monsieur was fucking fantastic! On the surface, it looked like a simple sandwich on some sort of black rye/wheat bread, but in reality, it's much more than that. The black bread was actually a squid ink brioche. Sandwiched between the brioche were sheep milk cheese, foie gras, and ham. There is a cherry amaretto on the side, but the croque monsieur itself was delicious.

Foie Gras Black Croque Monsieur

Foie Gras Black Croque Monsieur with Ham Cherry Amaretto

5) Nota Bene's Pulled Suckling Pig Boudin Noir Tart almost saved my trip to Toronto. I do have to say, boudin noir is definitely not for everyone, but I'm definitely a fan. The crunchy tart, served on a bed of arugula was simply delicious. Juicy pulled pork, crunchy pig skin, smoky bacon, and slices of boudin noir layered onto of the top. The ingredients by itself were great, but combined together, added an extra element. I truly enjoyed the crunchy pig skin in this dish. I loved the texture and the taste of it. If I ever make a return to Toronto, Nota Bene will definitely be on the list!


Pulled Suckling Pig & Boudin Noir Tart

4. Petrossian's Truffle Mac 'N Cheese. A dish I've been raving since my review earlier last month. I don't really have anything more to add to my previous review other than I'll let my picture do the talking. Petrossian West Hollywood is a must visit for me after my New York trip!

Black Truffle Mac & Cheese - Orrechiette, bacon, parmesan

Truffle Mac 'N Cheese

3) Toque! Restaurant in Montreal, the 7 course tasting menu was fantastic, and it was hard to single out one particular dish. However, the one dish that stood out for me was the "Râble de lapin confit, feuille d’ail verte asperge, morille et purée d’ail noir." Or in other words, rabbit confit with garlic leaf, green asparagus, and a black garlic mashed potatoes. The rabbit confit was pure magical. The meat remained tender and flavorful, and even though it was the first time I've had a taste of "Thumper" (rabbit in Bambi), it was magical. The garlic leaf and the potato added a nice touch to the dish. Simply, fantastic!

Râble de lapin confit, feuille d’ail verte asperge, morille et purée d’ail noir

Râble de lapin confit, feuille d’ail verte asperge, morille et purée d’ail noir

2) Au Pied de Cochon's Duck in a Can was a dish that pushed for the best dish in 2009. Even so, I was also tempted to pick the foie gras poutine, as that was also an awesome dish. Duck in a can, as decribed by Anthony Bourdain, "Martin Picard uses like a pound of foie gras and a pound of duck, some vegetables, all cooked inside a can." Sounds simple, sounds strange, but the final result is just fantastic. Fatty, yes. Artery clogging, yes. Yet, I wouldn't hesitate to go back for another can of Duck!

Duck in a CanDuck in a Can

Duck in a Can

1) Urasawa's entire meal was memorable, and probably will put all of my future sushi endeavor to shame. However, although many dishes stood out, the one that will forever be memorable was the Kani Miso Kora-Yaki. As mentioned in my Urasawa post, it was a mix of kani miso (crab brain), meat from the hairy crab, and uni. Can that NOT be delicious??

Kani Miso Kora-Yaki

Kani Miso Kora-Yaki

In retrospect, 2009 was a fantastic year. Filled with great meals, met some great individuals, and all in all, I had a blast. I hope 2010 will hold more interesting meals and travels for me. I guess I'll be off to a good start with 2 weeks of meals in Philadelphia and New York City! I can't wait for more adventures ahead.....


Ravenous Couple said...

wow, the humble nem nuong cuon made it among urasawa hairy crab brain and uni? :)

MyLastBite said...

I am so JEALOUS!!! Au Pied de Cochon's Duck in a Can!!!!!!!!!!

Gastronomer said...

Son, you've been eating damn well. Your mama must be so proud!

Diana said...

We both had two of the same favorite bites of the year! :) The Nem Nuong Cuon looks amazing...

kevinEats said...

Interestingly, when I began to think of my top dishes for 2009, the Kani Miso Kora-Yaki was the first thing that I thought of.

Food GPS said...

Duck in a can is genius. I have to get to Montreal ASAP

Bonnibella said...

I agree whole heartily about the nem nuong cuon, I dream about them from time to time, it's the whole texture combo and sauce! I have to say I've had pig's blood but not "suckling noir."

joanh said...

wow! i'm drooling. you definitely can't go wrong with uni, crab and crab brain. though it's definitely funny to see the duck come out of the can!

what a great idea.. maybe i'll do for next year. too tired to do it for 09.

Food Marathon said...

I'm one for ten on that list, which makes me a terrible, horrible person. Things to strive for in 2010, to be more like Kung Food Panda...

Kung Food Panda said...

Hong/Kim: I have to say, the Nem Nuong Cuon + house dipping sauce is friggin fantastic!

Jo: It is really that good! :)

Cathy: My momma not happy with what I've been spending on food though! LOL

Diana: Let's hope we'll have some more similarities in 2010!

Kevin: I just gotta say, great minds think alike!

Josh: That & the foie gras poutine are both awesome. I'll have the post up soon.

Bonnie: Brodard's nem nuong cuon is just that good! I love pork blood in all aspects of cooking. Fantastic!

Joan: Those dishes were quite memorable. The duck in the can was cooked perfect! Never too late, I await your list for 2010.

Neil: Nah man, I think we just gotta eat together more often in 2010!