Five Fabulous Courses At Ryan Carson's Pri-ve Pop Up

Categories: Five Great...
Anne Marie Panoringan
All things oyster

Modernist cuisine isn't just about foams and liquid nitrogen slathered on a plate. Creativity and humor are often conveyed, making a dish more conversation piece than "elf food". We spent Valentine's avoiding the 405, excited to sit down at Taco Asylum for something other than pricey tacos. Former AnQi chef Ryan Carson has set up his own ad hoc residence for molecularly-starved eaters like ourselves. His 11-course expedition is a rare sight in these here parts. We're sharing our favorites.

1. All things oyster

I knew there were approximately four seafood-centric courses on our prix fixe. Yet we should've known Ryan would take a more playful (sometimes literal) approach to some of them. The most visually stunning dish would also be the interactive one, as chef and servers gingerly poured seaweed stock into the base of our bowls. Buried under the seaweed, dry ice would react with the liquid. It would not only vaporize, but impart a waft of the Pacific on our senses. Chicken oyster dark meat, oyster mushroom, salsify, residual oyster liquor, and other treasures were there for the taking. I half expected to find a pearl, since another lucky diner received a diamond that night.

2. Have a Heart

Anne Marie Panoringan
Have a heart

At first glance, this looks like an untossed salad--perhaps a kitchen sink variation. Wondering what the commonality was, we read his description on the monitor: Veal, palm, artichoke, romaine, Greek salad flavors. While the notion of ingesting any heart makes me a tad squeamish, I was craving protein. It may appear hodge podge, but the varying textures of plant and animal integrated with salty olive tapenade-like crumbles pulled the plate into cohesiveness. Deconstructed this was not. Quirky kitchen scientist. . . . .maybe.

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