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This Uni and Caviar-Topped Filet Mignon Is Surf & Turf At Its Finest

We’ve had surf and turf before, but not like this. Oh boy, not like this.

Salt + Charcoal, a steakhouse located in Brooklyn, NY, is serving a massive filet mignon that’s topped with uni and caviar.

Hand selected by the restaurant’s chef Tadaaki Ishizaki, the 50-day dry-aged cut of beef is grilled over organic wood charcoal on a custom-made crank designed by the chef himself to most effectively utilize the heat and flavor of the steak. What a pioneer.

The steak is spread with a seaweed umami sauce made from a combination of kombu and moshio salt. It’s then topped with a hefty amount of Maine uni and ikura caviar. To say this dish is decadent would be the understatement of the year.

Lowkey hating our NYC family for getting to try this before we did. Lowkey.

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Top Chef Amar Santana Has A Luxurious Uni Scrambled Egg Dish You Need In Your Mouth Right Now

Amar Santana is a product of Queens, New York, but has found a new home on the West Coast, as chef and partner of Vaca in Costa Mesa, and Broadway By Amar Santana in Laguna Beach, California.

After finishing as a finalist on Bravo’s well-known culinary elimination show, Top Chef, in 2016, it’s safe to say Santana’s culinary resume is intimidating.

Yet, his humble demeanor paired with his competitive passion for cooking – along with an outside-the-box approach in creating vibrant, imaginative delicacies – is exactly what makes this Southern California chef and his cuisine “Foodbeast Approved.”

Recently, FOODBEAST was able to catch up with Chef Santana at Vaca, a Spanish-style tapas restaurant in Costa Mesa, where he whipped up one of the most elegant items on the menu.

Erizos con huevos, softly translated to “uni scrambled eggs,” consists of a freshly cut sea urchin with a mixture of soft scrambled eggs, served with toast and housemade miso butter.

If you’ve never had sea urchin before, don’t let this enigma deter you. The Erizos con huevos is creamy and full of umami, and manages to be the shining star despite a Vaca menu consumed with meaty options like Jamon de Iberico and pork belly.

Vaca is located in Costa Mesa – also known as ‘City of the Arts’ – a bustling neighborhood on the Newport Beach border full of good food and culture. If you hadn’t heard of this spot previously, it’s for certain Amar Santana and Vaca should be on your radar in 2018.

To learn more about the Costa Mesa food scene, visit travelcostamesa.com/eatcation. Don’t forget to tag your photos with #eatcation!

Photos by Pete Pham


Created in partnership with Travel Costa Mesa

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#foodbeast Features FOODBEAST Restaurants

Uni ‘Banh Mi’ Is Hors d’oeuvres Done Decadently Right

hanoi house_uni banh mi toast

New York City is a town no stranger to fine dining done in inventive ways. The most creative of food items pop up with frenetic speed and make the news cycle on a daily basis. So it goes without saying that only the most genuinely unique new dishes end up distinguishing themselves as noteworthy. Even at the smallest of bites, hors d’oeuvres and appetizers like to resist the confines of conventional and every now and then and traipse into memorable territory.

Enter the uni “banh mi” at East Village Vietnamese eatery, Hanoi House. Much of the menu here is Chef John Nguyen’s way of combining Vietnamese classics, like banh mi, with a twist, like using the uni.

hanoi house_uni banh mi toast

Though the concept for this nouveau take on an hors d’oeuvre isn’t exactly a banh mi, it’s essence is capture well via a toasted baguette, pate, and pickled veggies. The uni is just the decadent topping to catapult this bite into flavor nirvana.

hanoi house_uni banh mi toast

 

Photos: Janet Kang
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Restaurants

The Foie Gras And Sea Urchin Espressos That Kept Me Up All Night

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While sitting at my desk yesterday contemplating changing my last name to “Burger,” I began to doze off. In my sleepy state, I heard a rumor that a restaurant in Pasadena, CA, served an espresso made with foie gras.

Holy shit, I couldn’t tell if that sounded disgusting or delicious, but I was more than ready to seek it out. I grabbed fellow writer Reach and hopped into my car ready for a foie gras adventure.

We arrived at Alexander’s Steakhouse in Downtown Pasadena where were were seated at the bar. It was right at the peak of Happy Hour and folks were ready to get their booze on after a long day of work.

I asked the bartender if she served an espresso made with foie gras. She confirmed it and, shortly after, brought us a cup they called Kuki to sip on.

Two hours in traffic we sat through, waiting for this beverage.

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You can definitely taste the foie gras right off the bat. While subtle at first, the flavor gets more and more intense as you get to the bottom of the cup. The top is filled with a smooth foam, while the middle is a tad oily. Finally, when you get to the bottom, you can easily find chunks of foie gras settling at the base.

The bartender was eager to hear our thoughts, as she had never tried the drink before. Not many customers had. As we happily gave her our review, she mentioned there were two other espressos on the menu we needed to try.

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One was made with Wagyu fat and the other with Uni (sea urchin).

I quickly looked at Reach who gave me a nod of approval. We ordered the drinks.

The Wagyu fat, called Tochi, didn’t taste too crazy. The sweetness from the chocolate and honey overpowered the fat, but it made for a pretty delicious dose of caffeine. Probably the most normal of the trio.

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While I was sipping on the Wagyu espresso, Reach had just done the same to the Uni. His eyes lit up like it was Christmas. The dude isn’t normally a coffee drinker, so when he says to try it, I don’t hesitate.

The foie gras was good, but the there was something about the uni beverage they named Umi that blended so well with the espresso. Hands down the best of the three. At the bottom, like the foie gras, you can clearly spot bits of sea urchin swimming about.

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The three drinks were definitely a cool take on espressos.

After a jittery car ride home, I spent the rest of the night watching New Girl episodes on Netflix. Can’t handle three espressos after 5pm any more. Not if I want to sleep at a decent hour.

You can get the espresso trio for $30, or $10 a piece.