Blanquette de veau may happen at Mignon.
Yes, THAT Mignon. The Mignon with no vent hood. Mignon never received a proper shout out here. It was always just somewhere you go when you don’t want to be found, when you want some solo Parisian chic time, when you just can NOT stand another 10 minute wait for a hand massaged cock tail at Varnish, or deal with the smoking nut jobs on Las Perla’s patio.
Starting in January, or perhaps earlier, Santos Uy and his chef partner-in-crime Tim Carey, two guys who are NOT serving foie gras at Papilles, will introduce a 3-course prix fixe, starting at $28. The recipe remains eerily similar to Papilles: use premium products, built them around a less expensive cut of a good protein, pair all the grub with French natural wine. Or no wine.
This particular veal blanquette was no blanquette at all. There was no roux! And it’s made from veal shoulders sous vide, with a cream sauce aerated by a… whip cream gun. The texture of the faux-quette was a bit lighter, a bit fluffier, and the sauce looked a bit unlike the ragout which it should be. And that is OK. Because the dish was still tasty, and the veal was still poached in a veal stock. It contained French methods, a French names, some leeks, but was offered as a part of a $28 3-course meal.
I love Papilles to death. It has done me right so many times, especially when they were clutch meals. Prices have risen slightly, but not uncomfortably. And the neighbors are happy, even the distance neighbors who chose to frequent it after their local bistro was sold off. Two reasons I no longer go:
I have a liquor problem the chinchilla at home has a nasty feed cost, and Papilles is just a TAD bit far for those week day outings. (Only amateurs dine out Saturday/Sundays, surely you all got the memo). If Carey & Uy somehow pull this bistronomic prix-fixe off in DTLA, I be getting natural wine drunk in DTLA and be glad to suffer the Varnish overflow once a month. Mark my word, no new gastropubs in ’13, only bistro-pubs. I have no idea what the hell that means.
Brad A Johnson, the ever dapper, globetrotting restaraurant critic, put OC’s food scene on blast in his very first piece at the OC Register. Yah, that was fun. Not quite AA Gill fun but way more substantive than dissecting a two month old piece on Mexican food published at Refinery 29. In case anyone missed the memo, Refinery 29 is a “fashion and beauty” site. Its relevance in the food scene ranks lower than the Leisure+Travel pitiful traffic-leeching slideshows.
Maybe OC Register can dissolve the Fast Food Maven column effective immediately. After all, it seems even OC isn’t Republican enough to vote No on Prop 37?
RIP KC Ma. — Nov 21, 2012.
I only met this dude once, 6 months ago. His PR gal invited me to check out a cafe concept he helped on. IIRC, this was a pharmacy cum coffee shop run by this Korean/Vietnamese couple. Ma was only 33, but has worked at Water Grill, Craft and Providence, after graduation from Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena. He even ran the kitchen for a bitch at Vinoteque. Ultimately, like many ethnic chefs, he traced back to his Chinese roots and wanted to open a noodle/rice shop. In June 2012, he offered me a Nichol’s Cola after I downed my Cock & Bull. Yes, this random freaking drug store in Hawaiian Garden carried Cock & Bull ginger beer because KC Ma, in addition to being completely obsessed with Japanese cutlery, somehow really digged bottle soda.
Honestly, I hardly knew the dude. But the ire he raised in the various knife and cooking forums is enough to get a massive LOL from me. In a massive movie worthy foreshadowing, KC wrote, in Ocotober, he went “crazy on bikes”. Here’s a pix of his 2012 Kawasaki Njina 600 in front of drugworks just a few months ago.
I don’t really know where I’m going with this, but this guy… he could’ve been any Asian cook v2.0 (please, do NOT use the term A-funk collective) found bouncing around in LA’s pop-ups, with a career and a family ahead. Read: the odd obsession with bottled soda, the motorbike riding, the OCD, the crotchety, confrontational bluntness coupled with the inability to form a lyrical sentence:
“… you know else what pisses KC off? Providence and Suzanne Goin serving Coca-Cola. Suzanne Goin and all her preachiness and Providence with their $400 bill, Coca-cola”? we serve awesome soda…”
Yet he seemed like just a cool cat just to shoot the shit with. As a decade-long rider who crashed annually for the first 3 consecutive years, I always thought crashing out on a motorbike would be a most proper way to end a passionate life. It’s just unfortunate the man was so young, so recently married, and so recently a father. Jon at Japanese Knives, Venice, confirmed a memorial service was held on November 28th, at 11, in Fresno. No information on a memorial fund.