For our anniversary, Mike decided it was time to return to WD-50, the site of our #1 meal of all time. Could it reign supreme? Would our years of eating at some of the best restaurants make WD-50 look less lustrous?
As it turns out… NO. Not at all. But let’s get to that…
We started with cocktails that were so delicious that I can’t remember what they were.
We went for the Tasting Menu again ($140). We didn’t do the wine pairings because Mike had an early day the next day, however, since most of their wines are on the pricey side, the $85 wine pairings are pretty much a steal.
We started with oyster, grapefruit, tomatillo-horseradish and a hush puppy. Everything blended incredibly well, and even though I like oysters and don’t mind the sliminess, I was impressed at how this had none of the textural issues that most people don’t like.
Next we had what was a very memorable dish from our last dining adventure, the everything bagel (which was made of ice cream), smoked salmon threads, and crispy cream cheese. We remembered it being bigger last time (and referring to the photos, it appears it was) and much better. This was still good, but it didn’t have that pop of “wow” it had last time. Perhaps because it wasn’t the surprise it was the first time around?
Next we had “Foie-lafel” which was similar to falafel but made with foie gras.
In a wee pita.
And it was good.
Though as it turns out, it had peppers in it. I had to get a glass of milk and the entire wait staff was super apologetic. Luckily, it was a light hand so I only got a little itchy. They actually wound up offering us a free course because of it (as if we needed MORE food). It wound up being sweet potato and sake soup with a coconut puree, hazelnut oil, and lime. I was so surprised by this gesture that I forgot to get a photo, but it was beautiful and delicious. And I’m so glad we got it “by accident.”
Our next course was a poached egg “in the shell” (which was EDIBLE!), pumpernickel (which was more like a thin crouton), caesar dressing, and lily bulb.
This was a feat in food. The egg was perfectly poached but in the shape of an egg. I have no idea how they did this. I still stair at this picture and try to figure out how it was done.
And not only was it cool, it was delicious. The caesar dressing was perfect with the egg and those pumpernickle crisps were awesome.
Then we got a king oyster “udon” with sweet breads, banana-molasses, and pickled ginger. This was the only dish that didn’t work for me. The chewiness of the “udon” made from oyster mushrooms just didn’t sit well with me (kind of reminded me of those diet tofu noodles that I dislike) and the sweet of the banana molasses just didn’t work. I love sweetbreads, so I enjoyed those, but as a combination, this just didn’t work for me.
Next came monkfish with smoked barley, beet-mustard, and nori.
It was a beautiful stack of fish that had all the right flavors and it all really let the monkfish shine.
We then had quail with nasturtium (a kind of watercress or flower… not sure) yogurt, turnip, and nutmeg.
This was DELICIOUS, however, the turnips were a tad bit under-cooked. It didn’t matter in the slightest, however, since the quail was so perfectly cooked and succulent.
We had to split the next entree because the lamb loin with “red beans and rice” and chayote squash had peppers in the “red beans and rice.” I did try a bite of the lamb, however, and it was perfect.
My replacement course was wagyu beef with fig sauce, black eyed peas in 2 preparations (one crispy, one soft), and what I believe was a polenta cake.
Score! While Mike’s lamb was great, this was sensational. The meat was perfect, tender, and had a beautiful sauce. The 2 preparations of black eyed peas was novel and delicious. I really enjoyed this.
I was entertained that they replaced the silverware between each and every course.
And then… it was time for dessert.
First up was candied egg yolk, brown buttermilk, jackfruit, and hazelnut.
Oh man that candied egg yolk. It was sooooo good. It has a bite to it but was sweet and such a cool texture to go along with the rest of the dessert.
Next we had apricot, buckwheat, quince and green tea.
The buckwheat became kind of a crunch that was delicious with the rest of the fruits and sorbet.
Our last main dessert was milk chocolate, black bean, plantain, soy, and peanut. The black bean made for a very dramatic plate.
And while those combination of flavors is nothing I would ever put together or order, it all perfectly combined.
Our last bites were “rice krispy treats.” One was warm and fried, the other was filled with ice cream.
The used the same flavor profiles but made for completely different textures and mouth feels. Both were good, but I LOVED the crisp of the rice krispie coated ice cream.
So… was it as good? It was damn close. What I love about WD-50 is it is completely different from anything else I have ever eaten. A lot of thought goes into each dish and it comes out creative and really makes you say “how did they do that?” But if it was only that, I would scoff… another food trend… who cares? But WD-50′s tasting menu is delicious and really brings you through an epic, imaginative, tasty food adventure. It’s kind of like dinner and a show, but the performers are the courses prepared by the chef artists.
Bravo WD-50. You reign supreme.
Total Nom Points: 9.5 out of 10