Foiepocalypse Now! The End is Near and the Foie Gras Feasts are Here... Petrossian, Takami & UMAMIcatessen. Los Angeles, CA.
End of foie gras. Donut make you sad?
According to the Mayans the world will come to an abrupt end on December 21, 2012. Come to think of it, it's not even an abrupt end. You had 5,125 years heads up on the apocalypse, so there's no use grumbling about it now. It didn't sneak up on you. Learn how to surf or something before it's all over.
If you live in California and are paying any kind of attention, then you may know that an "end times" of another sort is about to go down. Foiepocalypse or the ban of the sale of foie gras in California starts July 1, 2012. The world may not be really ending on that day but some top chefs around town who specialize in cooking with the fatty goose liver are acting like it is.
It's been 7 years since the longest grace period I know of has begun. Those 7 years have dwindled down to roughly 1 month. If you are a lover of foie gras, this is a bittersweet moment because some of the most creative foie gras plates are coming out of kitchens all around Los Angeles during these final days. Sometimes desperation begets inspiration. Here are but a handful of foie dinners being served on the days before the Foiepocalypse.
You're so pretty.
The lovely Chef Giselle Wellman of Petrossian West Hollywood has set aside Petrossian's prized caviars to honor foie gras on a special menu. She put together a 5 course "Farewell to Foie Gras Menu" available for the entire month of June. It's $100 per person and Chef Wellman has created a foie gras meal that will not leave you hating the stuff by the end of it. In fact, you'll demand encore plates. Every dish has its unique focus and is executed tastefully.
Chef Wellman raises the bar from course one with a Summer Berry Gazpacho which is versatile enough to begin or conclude this meal just fine. The foie gras itself is poached in Armagnac and harmoniously blends with the much bolder, sweet ingredients. Seasonal berries of all sorts, from blackberries to strawberries, represent the bright, sweet flavors in the cool gazpacho that also visually soothes like a Monet watercolor. Pickled beets give the soup an interesting depth and earthiness that unify the foie and berries.
The Bentley of ice cream sammiches.
For dessert Chef Wellman takes the diner back to carefree days of summer childhood with the irresistible ice cream sandwich, except this ice cream sandwich has foie gras mixed into the impossibly creamy frozen treat accented with peanut butter and raspberry jam. The warm, grilled brioche is tough enough to keep all the goodies inside and intact. Balance was the key to this luxurious dessert: peanut butter, raspberry jam and foie gras were equal partners and shared time on the tongue nicely, never overwhelming with any one flavor. This is the treat that the 1% eat.
A tuna, an eel and a goose walk into a sushi bar...
Meanwhile, across the city on the 21st floor of a Downtown LA high-rise is a "Farewell to Foie" dinner that has a Japanese twist. Takami Sushi & Robata jumped into the foie fray with a six-course menu. One of the standout plates was the Nigiri of Ahi Tuna & Foie Gras with Eel Sauce. A fairly straight forward concept with the addition of seared foie gras atop a piece of fresh ahi, the flavors of this bite were oddly compatible, almost like the foie gras and oyster on the half shell at CAFE del REY. Fresh fish meets fresh and hot goose liver ― a match made in heaven or, at least, a sushi bar on the 21st floor.
The Notorious FG&J!
And what would a final farewell to foie be without the infamous Foie Gras & Jelly Donut at UMAMIcatessen? Adam Fleischman's mad scientist donut experiment is achieved by injecting a foie gras mousse into one side of the donut while a fancy, housemade jam is thrust into the other end, the whole shebang topped with peanut crumbles called "peanut yeast". The result? Well, depending on who you talk to, it could be either the best thing since the invention of the donut or represents one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Both very appropriate for our discussion, don't you agree?
Chef Ludo Lefebvre crushing a foie gras & jelly donut. Viva la foie!
Will the Foiepocalypse really be the end of foie gras in California? Well, for one high-pro toque, it's a resounding no. Unlike his forefathers in WWII, Chef Ludo Lefebvre of LudoBites, one of the most vocal opponents of the foie ban, will not surrender. He will cook and serve his beloved ingredient until they pry it out of his cold, dead, French hands. And, I, for one, believe he will do just that.
But just in case he doesn't, check out the places below if you want a fix of foie gras before July 1st. Otherwise, you can foie-get about it!
PETROSSIAN RESTAURANT & BOUTIQUE
321 N Robertson Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90048
Mon-Fri 11am - 10pm
Sat 10am - 10pm
Sun 10am - 4pm
TAKAMI SUSHI & ROBATA RESTAURANT
811 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Mon-Fri 11:30am - 2:30pm
Mon-Thu 5pm - 10:30pm
Fri-Sat 5pm - 12am
Sun 5pm - 10pm
852 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Mon-Sun 11am - 12am