XIV by Michael Mina
8117 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90024
After waiting a good 30 minutes AFTER our reservation time of 9:15, my friends D, A, and I were getting impatient and ready to sit down and begin our meal. We were given a table that had a very clear view of the kitchen--it was perfect--and we all forgot about the 30 min wait. We had such a great time watching the chefs in the kitchen carefully prepare dishes as the suspender-clad waiters rushed them to tables in the busy restaurant.
Given the dark, mood-setting lighting, these pictures were the best I can do. They really don't do the food justice. Every dish was delicious and pristine--not like these blurry pictures.
Tataki of American Wagyu Skirt
Moroccan Spiced Vegetables
The skirt steak was tender and at a perfect doneness. It wasn't anything spectacularly different but it just tasted like a good piece of meat! Luckily, the vegetables on the side were nicely acidic to balance the red meat.
Sweet Corn Soup
Pork Belly, Apple Cider, Cilantro, Sea Salt
The sweet corn soup was a creamy bowl of happiness that I wish I had to my own! This was A's appetizer and they poured the soup into the bowl, on top of the pork belly and corn, after bringing it to your table--nice presentation.
Cantaloupe Melon, Mustard, Cherry Tomato
This was what I had for my entree. I don't usually go for white fish dishes but the melon component seemed very interesting. Overall a nicely done piece of halibut--not overcook thank goodness! I loved the light broth at the bottom and the little spheres of cantaloupe.
Jidori Chicken "Tajine"
Vadouvan, Red Kuri Squash, Baby Carrots, Cilantro, Side of Jasmine Rice
This was definitely, in my opinion, the best dish of the night. The tender jidori chicken came under a tajine lid with a lovely spiced broth and side of flavorful jasmine rice. This, again, was A's entree and I had to actively restrain myself from taking too many bites from his dish!
Squash Blossom, Chervil, Castelmagno Cheese
This risotto dish was amazingly light for being risotto. The asparagus pieces were perfectly cooked and tender and the whole dish just smelled of that wonderful cheese.
Dark Chocolate Cake
Coffee Cream, Coconut Sorbet, Crunchy Peanut, Basil Syrup
The plating of this dessert was spectacular--so creative and beautiful. This was also A's dessert! I swear he picked the best combination tonight. The coconut sorbet was delicious, as was the mysterious peanut crunch. The texture is hard to describe--almost like a butterfinger but chewier. I LOVED it.
Michael's Classic Rootbeer Float
Warm Chocolate Chip Cookies
Popcorn Ice Cream, Toast Streusel, Passion Fruit
This was my dessert--nothing to look at, but the flavor and texture combination was amazing. The foam at the top was interesting and mixed with the cold passion fruit ice cream, creamy nutella custard, spongy toast, and crispy streusel topping, I couldn't stop digging my spoon into the cup. It was so good.
Great dinner at XIV with my lovely D and A!