Dec 2017

The Year in Delicious: Top 10 Bites of 2017

Best of 2017

In years past, I rounded up my favorite recipes and restaurant dishes (savories and sweets) to mark the year’s end. This year, I’ve pared down the review to a single list, because truth be told, extravagant home-cooked meals and noteworthy restaurant outings have taken a backseat during The Suburban Years. You know how it goes…

Thank you for reading Gastronomy these past eleven years—it wouldn’t be the same without you. And without further ado, here are the 10 best dishes that I ate this year…

Meizhou Dongpo Restaurant - Arcadia - Santa Anita Mall

Chinese Sausages from Meizhou Dongpo in Arcadia, California

We were presented with three varieties, each with different degrees of fat and spice. The best of the trio fell in the center of the spectrum—neither too lean nor too fatty and spiced just right.

Pujol - Mexico City

“Mole Madre, Mole Nuevo” from Pujol in Mexico City, Mexico

The “Mole Madre,” aged 1,270 days, was deep, dark, and soulful. The “Mole Nuevo” was just as flavorful but with more heat and less heft. Served on the side were warm corn tortillas layered with an hoja santa leaf. The moles were terrific eaten with the tortilla but even better consumed straight up.

Holbox - Los Angeles

Taco de Pulpo en Su Tinta from Holbox in Los Angeles, California

Served on a warm, handmade tortilla, the Taco de Pulpo en Su Tinta was served atop a calamari ink-stained sofrito. The taco’s flavors and textures melded together like an oceanic dream.

Best Noodle House - Rosemead

Youpo Noodle from Best Noodle House in Rosemead, California

The wonderfully toothsome “Youpo Noodle” were adorned with scallions, garlic, and chilies. I wouldn’t hesitate to return for another bowl of these wide, handmade strands.

Delicious Food Corner - Monterey Park

Pineapple Buns from Delicious Food Corner in Monterey Park, California

Split through the center and tucked with a luscious pat of butter, the warm buns melted the butter just so, making each bite supremely sweet and rich.

Geste Shrimp Truck - Maui

Hawaiian Scampi from the Geste Shrimp Truck in Maui, Hawaii

The Geste Shrimp Truck is a must-stop for anyone flying in to Kahului Airport. In the fashion of the shrimp trucks scattered along Oahu’s North Shore, the specialty here is shrimp prepared with Hawaiian flare. We ordered a serving of the garlicky Hawaiian Scampi, as well as the Spicy Pineapple, each served with a scoop of white rice and crab salad. Both were stellar.

Felix - Venice

Sfincione from Felix Trattoria in Venice, California

The Sicilian sfincione (focaccia) arrived poofed to the nines, slicked with olive oil, and sprinkled with sea salt and rosemary. Homemade bread, served fresh out of the oven, has got to be one of life’s most simple and delectable pleasures.

Tartine Manufactory - San Francisco

Roasted Nantes Carrots from Tartine Manufactory in San Francisco, California

I’m not one to wax poetic over a plate of produce, but man, oh man, this dish was phenomenal.  The carrots and persimmons tasted like they were plucked from the finest California soil minutes before, while the accoutrements, especially the spiced sesame brittle, dialed the dish to an eleven.

The Mighty - Los Angeles (Downtown)

Butternut Squash Agnolotti from The Mighty in Los Angeles, California

The highlight of our meal was the butternut squash agnolotti with maple brown butter, treviso (chicory), radicchio, pecans, pomegranate, Parmesan and mint. The autumnal flavors, a balance of sweet, savory, and bitter, knocked it out of the ballpark.

Baroo - Los Angeles

Kimchi Fried Rice from Baroo in Los Angeles, California

Chef Kwang Uh’s kimchi fried rice is truly like no other. Imagine this: a bowlful of basmati prettied with fermented pineapple kimchi, a sous-vide egg sprinkled with toasted buckwheat and quinoa, a quenelle of gremolata, pineapple jalapeño salsa, purple potato chips, nori strips, spices, and a microgreens garnish. Bacon is optional but highly encouraged. Every spoonful is deliciously familiar yet somehow completely novel.

Honorable mentions: peanut pudding and hand-torn pasta at P.Y.T.; chef’s tasting menu at Providence; grilled octopus at Lost at Sea.


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2 thoughts on “The Year in Delicious: Top 10 Bites of 2017

  1. Congratulations on 11 years of Gastronomy Blog! Whenever somebody asks me about food blog recommendations, I always recommend your blog. It’s one of the few blogs I still check at least once a week. I’ve been diligently following your blog for 8 years or so, and it has truly been a pleasure reading through every recipe, restaurant review, personal milestone, and etc. Thank you for all the work you put into Gastronomy Blog to make it amazing as it is.

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