Chef Sean Brock‘s Husk is an absolute must-do for all food lovers traveling to or through Charleston, South Carolina. A celebration of southern ingredients, Husk prides itself on using only flora and fauna indigenous to the surrounding areas. “If it doesn’t come from the South, it’s not coming through the door,” says Brock.
The restaurant, which is set in a grand ol’ building dating back to the late 19th century (image of the incredible facade below), was positively bustling when we came in. The Astronomer and I, along with the entire Chaplin clan from Birmingham, settled in for a very fine post-Christmas feast.
According to the restaurant’s website, “Seed-saving, heirloom husbandry, and in-house pickling and charcuterie efforts by the culinary team are the basis of the cuisine at Husk.”
The food served here, which is “modern in style and interpretation,” changes daily depending on what local purveyors are supplying the kitchen at any given moment.
Continue reading ‘Husk Restaurant – Charleston’
Martha Lou Gadsden’s pretty pink shack stands out in both form and function on this quiet, industrial stretch of Charleston. Opened in 1983, Martha Lou’s Kitchen has a garnered a reputation for stellar Lowcountry cooking; her fried chicken is especially admired.
This unassuming restaurant made such an impression on my brother when he dined here a few years back that he insisted that I make my way here during my trip to South Carolina last December. The Astronomer and I came in for lunch just as soon as we could.
The menu of meats and sides changes daily, but thankfully, fried chicken is always available.
Continue reading ‘Martha Lou’s Kitchen – Charleston’
I don’t know what’s gotten into me lately, but Los Angeles’ fine dining scene is appealing to me more than ever before. Maybe Chef Ludo spiked my champagne when I dined at Trois Mec a few weeks back? Really though, what’s not to love about pretty plates, perfectly paced? Just feelin’ fancy…that’s all.
My most recent fine dining explorations took me to Chef Josef Centeno‘s Orsa & Winston, which is “named after two little dogs” according the the restaurant’s website. My date this evening, the lovely D Takes a B, and I settled in for a five-course menu comprised of Crudo, Soup, Grain, Meat, and Sweet for $60.
The 20-course Super Omakase for $195 will have to wait for an occasion when I’m feelin’ fancy and flush.
To start, a refined cheesy broccoli situation consisting of taleggio, broccoli panna cotta, and crispy bits of rye bread. This amuse bouche certainly amused.
Continue reading ‘Orsa & Winston – Los Angeles (Downtown)’
Best known for its bountiful banchan and ganjang gaejang (marinated raw crab), Soban has been on my list of Koreatown haunts to test drive for quite some time. The Astronomer and I, along with our friends Diep and Tien, finally came in for dinner a few weeks back. It was about time.
As soon as we made our selections from the plastic-bound menu, three dishes for four persons, a parade of banchan made its way to our table. While the spread was as plentiful as anticipated, the contents left a lot to be desired.
Mostly comprised of stalks, stems, and leafy greens, the banchan tasted muted somehow, missing the punchy flavors of fermentation and spice that I was really looking forward to. We didn’t request seconds of any of ‘em, not even the pancake. For me, the best banchan in town has got to be at Mapo Kkak Doo Gee.
The whole raw crab marinated in herb-infused soy sauce arrived soon after. It smelled so strongly of the sea that this table full of seafood lovers was a little hesitant to dig in. Now, that is a first.
The crab’s jellied flesh was pretty awesome, but the marinade’s bitter tones and the crab’s questionable freshness kept all swoonage in check. Our table was crestfallen, to say the least.
Continue reading ‘Soban – Los Angeles (Koreatown)’