I used to be one of those people that wanted to stay within my proximity and keep my dining experiences to a 5 mile radius. So, that keeps me in the confines of Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Century City, Culver City, Downtown LA, Koreatown, Playa Del Rey, Santa Monica, and West Hollywood. It wasn't until last year that I started to venture out and be open to broadening my dining area codes. Today, marks my eighth visit and I have gone to two Wine pairing dinners that took place in October and November of last year. The first being "A Dinner with Antinori." It was a six course dinner and each dish was paired with wines from Antinori Vineyards. The menu comprised of the Scallop Crudo (dill, cucumber, lime and avocado), Gnocchi with (white peach, goats milk, rose, and duck), Roasted Pig (charcoal roasted vegetables, and onion jus), Dry Aged Beef Ribeye (potato, balsamic, tomato, and herbs), and Cherry (hibiscus, white chocolate, and almond). I was blown away with each entree that was presented. I was already full by the second course, but I made sure I was going to try every dish. The second wine pairing dinner was a precursor to their upcoming restaurant called Journeymans. Hence, it was called Journeymans Dinner "A Trip to Spain." This time the wine was provided by Torres Wines. This menu was entirely different and was a five course dinner. It started out with Tortilla Espanola (onion, potato, watercress), Octopus (caper, olive, ham, and padron pepper), Paella en su Tinta (Shrimp, mussel, squid and saffron), Quail in Grape Leaf (Jasmine rice and Escalivada), Orange (evoo, almonds, and laurel). My main reason for wanting to go to this particular dinner was the Paella. I haven't had a great Paella since my trip to Barcelona in 2011. This dish did not disappoint and was definitely a Paella I have never seen before. Very non traditional in its appearance. I thought the idea was based on one's journey to different countries and being able to experience the ecclectic flavors. I learned that it was more for the experience of the Chefs. The learning process and growing along the way. Chef Zach Geerson (Executive Chef) and Chef Nick Moulinos (Sous Chef) are creative and artistic. Always being innovative in all their concepts.
I am huge of fan of this restaurant, and I had friends who have never been join me today. So they too can experience why I love coming here. We had the fish market special (Crab stuffed "canelloni, skull island prawn, radish, pear salad, chicory, and prawn bisque), Macaroni & Cheese (cooked in duck fat and bread crumbs), Spanish Grilled Octopus, which is definitely a hit! Chef Nick even let us try something new from the breakfast menu that will be coming soon called, "Griddle Sandwich." It was heavenly. Of course, we couldn't leave here without ordering dessert. My friend was eyeing the Baklava, which is not made the same way as what one maybe accustomed to. It has more of a light and airy taste to it and topped with Blood Orange. I think the the Sweet Corn Bread with Butter Brown Ice Cream, pumpkin, and butterscotch was remarkable. We all loved this dessert. Everything we ate was spot on. If you are willing to drive from LA or you are nearby Fullerton, which is located in the Northern area of Orange County. Then Citizen Kitchen should be a place on your list to visit.