Saturday, February 11, 2006

Hoping to take it seriously

Here goes... A serious rebirth...

Last night after missing the Goddard film at UCLA and going east instead of west and missing the NuWilshire entirely, A and I ended up at Chameau. I've been meaning to try it since it's earlier days on Hyperion. We were received by a red hallway of headless torsos, and were then fairly blinded by the eerie blue of the reception area/bar. I'd read so much about the fantastic decor that I guess I was a little surprised... Maybe not my cup of tea. The ceiling looked, as Andrew aptly put it, like an inverted vagina. But we were lucky to get a table at the last minute, so I was actually quite grateful to be sitting down with menus before us.

We ordered a bottle of Rioja, a big change from A's usual pick of Malbec or Syrah. Pretty good. I started with the Duck Bastilla. I'd read about it a lot. If I'm not mistaken J. Gold was raving about it just recently. A began with the Grilled Merguez with Chickpea Puree, Cipollini Onions and Eggplant Salad. The Bastilla was delicious. Crisp pastry, light sprinkling of powdered sugar, soft sweet duck. In point of fact, it was probably too sweet for me, and even A said it tasted like dessert. I almost always prefer the salty savory to the sweet. I just have never been a dessert person. So it was very tasty, but I really loved the Grilled Merguez. The textures were amazing... And the flavors sharp and perfectly balanced. The sweet soft onions, the creamy chickpea puree, the rough and slightly spicy Merguez... Wow!

I'm pretty crazy about couscous. It reminds me of the year I lived in Bordeaux. There was couscous and Merguez everywhere! Couscous is so comforting. Like at Chez Omar in Paris two Thanksgivings ago. It was so cold and inside it was so crowded and warm. We were jam packed in there but the couscous was divine. Couscous has never been such a transcendental experience... Except for when I was there the first time with Brian and Mo the year prior.

Huge digression... Last night I ordered the Lamb Shoulder Tagine with Vegetable Couscous with Almonds and Raisins. I loved it. Again the textures complimented eachother exquisitely. The candied almonds played a huge part in this. I would have liked a little more lamb, but the abundance and variety of vegetables pleased me. Yellow beets, asparagus, carrots, potatoes. I've got some leftover so, I'll be revisiting it this evening. A chose the Lamb Shank with Figs, Almonds and Scallions. I didn't have a taste, but he seemed more than a little content.

I'm not sure if a tagine gets to be called a tagine just because it is served in a tagine, nevertheless I'm quite sure we'll be back.

No comments: