Sunday, October 24, 2010

Kitchen 1540

Last night me and Sol went to visit our first wedding photographer. She wanted to meet at L'Aberege (Luh-Bearj) Del Mar, a boutique hotel right on the coast. Since I've been back in Cali I've heard about this place from a few people, so I was pretty excited. We met in the lobby/lounge which was very white. I felt like I was in a huge beach house in South Carolina, very cool atmosphere. You knew you were a nice place but it wasn't stuffy at all. After our meeting (we really liked the photographer for those of you wondering) we decided to try out the restaurant, Kitchen 1540.

We walked into the to a sleek modern restaurant with again lots of white and some orange accents. We started with a glass of champagne, I guess to celebrate something, though I'm not sure what it was we were celebrating. Just being happy I guess.

Sol started with Egg & Bacon app with house made pancetta, 62 degree egg, brioche, & smoked ketchup. What is a 62 degree egg you ask? Well, let me tell you. According to the chef it is when the outside of the egg is cooked and the inside is not runny, but still velvety and soft. The bacon was a thick tender cut - so good with the egg yoke. The whole dish was kind of set up like a Benedict but overall, very well put together and quite tasty I might say.
Sorry it's off center, super dark and it was my camera phone!
For my app I went with one of my favorites, Scallops or Scollops as Chef Gordon Ramsey says. It had popcorn puree, candied almonds, salted caramel, nasturtium. What's that last word and how do you pronounce it? Well to be honest I forgot to ask, but I just looked it up and its basically the scientific name for watercress. It sounds like an interesting dish right? It was amazing, it had some fresh popcorn that went well with the Carmel. Great texture. The diver scallops were huge! They were cooked so perfectly, a light sear on the outside and sooooo tender in the middle.

Yes, that's popcorn.

We ordered our next glass of wine, Sol a Pinot Noir and I was leaning toward a merlot/malbec but the server correctly steered me the right direction of a great Cabernet.  She did everything right, it was higher priced and it was the correct pairing.  I haven't mentioned the service yet but it was definitely spot on.  The hostess knew the menu, the server seemed like she was a cook in the kitchen she knew so much.  She had great things to say about what we ordered was VERY knowledgeable about the entire menu.

And the entree's arrived....

I ordered Natural Beef Tenderloin  (Filet Mignon) with Smoked Potato Croquettes, green beans (and white), lobster mushrooms, Roasted Tomato-Cabernet Reduction.  It was great, the steak perfectly cooked.  I used the croquettes  to sop up the sauce.  The veggies which I self admittedly am not a fan of were damn good.  Overall I loved it. 
Sol ordered  a Braised Pork Shoulder.    It was very tender, the server said it had been braised for 7 days.  The little shell looking things on the side is gnocchi.  Soft but firm.  This dish definitely had a lot going on but it all melded together well.  I would mos def order this one next time.

All in all we had a terrific visit, no issues what so ever.  Food was great no glitches in the service.  Ambiance was outstanding.  And the hotel was different than anywhere I've even been before.  If I could afford it I would spend the night just because.  If you have a special someone, this is a great place to take them.  With each item you order it keeps you on the edge of your seat.  I can't wait to go back.

Kitchen 1540 at the L'Auberge Del Mar Resort on Urbanspoon

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