For pictures: http://twofoodiesonejourney.blogspot.com/2010/02/bistro-lq-los-angeles_07.html Bistro LQ opened less than a year ago but is more and more becoming one of our favorite restaurants in LA. Chef Laurent Quenioux has an interesting and impressive background with a start in France and beginning his apprenticeship with 14 and working in numerous restaurants before he came to LA and was involved in several restaurants/positions (including executive chef of the Dodgers). One of his last restaurants was Bistro K in Pasadena which got very good reviews but we unfortunately never had the chance to visit. So we were very excited when Bistro LQ opened end of July 2009 and have since then visited several times and were never disappointed by the food and creativity of Chef Quenioux. It is not only the kitchen at Bistro LQ which delivers, but also the team in the front of the house under the guidance of Eric Bouty is doing a similar outstanding job to let every customer feel welcomed. Our last visit was no exception when he greeted us and mentioned that he saw our names and discussed with the chef that we could get a completely new 9-course tasting menu since we had the last one just a few weeks before. This was of course an offer we couldn’t reject. Amuse-Bouche: Mussel with red beet and salmon caviar. Very tender mussel and a nice contrast by the earthy red beet 1st Course: Dungeness crab with fennel apple slaw Good balance between the sweetness of the crab and the slight sourness of the apple and fennel 2nd Course: Foie Gras (Torchon style) with black truffles, oxtail pastry and frisee. The foie gras worked nicely with the braised oxtail and flaky pastry. 3rd Course: Miso Soup with scallop, Foie Gras and shrimp One of the highlights of the evening – the Foie Gras gave the miso soup a great depth and richness. 4th Course: Sea urchin tapioca pudding with yuzu and oyster in yuzu martini gelee This was the only course we had in a previous tasting menu but we weren’t disappointed to have it again. The tapioca pudding with the uni gave a very smooth taste of the sea which is amplified by the oyster/gelee. (And as chemists we also like the presentation in small beakers…) 5th Course: Smoked haddock with blini pancake, ricotta lemon mousse and Sevruga caviar Another strong seafood course with a nice variation to the standard smoked salmon with blini. 6th Course: Skate with cippolini, fava beans and raspberry sauce The skate and cippolini were both very tender but the fruity sauce brought the whole dish together by providing an interesting sweet contrast. Intermezzo: Lychee Sorbet Very refreshing sorbet as a palate cleanser before the meat courses 7th Course: Squab with pistachio flan and blueberry sauce Meat was very tender with crispy skin and had a nice gamey flavor. And again it was a great dish were many different flavors worked well together. 8th Course: “Mixed Grill Plate” – hanger steak, heart, kidney, sweetbreads and sunchoke puree Not your standard mixed grill plate but great presentation of different meat flavors and textures 9th Course: Cheeses The cheese cart at Bistro LQ is well known for its large variety and we always let Eric arrange a selection with only the Epoisses as our favorite constant. The condiments are always very impressive and range from truffle honey to red paprika mustard to sweet onion jam to cranberries. 10. Course: Several fruit based sweets – unfortunately forgot the details… Good contrast to the next dessert course but most of these were quite sour and could have been a little bit more balanced 11. Course: Chocolate cake with crème anglaise and whipped cream Good finish of the tasting menu with a light chocolate cake. Mignardises So far we haven’t had any disappointments at Bistro LQ and this visit was no exception. Together with the excellent wine pairing which always supports each dish without overwhelming it this restaurant also presents a real bargain with the 9-course tasting menu and wine pairing for $125/person. The name Bistro LQ doesn’t really cover the food at this restaurant since Chef Quenioux cooks food which goes far beyond “conventional” bistro food. The techniques and the “heart” of the restaurant might be French, but the ideas one finds in the dishes combine influences from all over the world and won’t disappoint anybody interested in creative and innovative food.