@moonboy403 and i donned our best wife-beaters to taste OOE at chef eric bost’s debut restaurant, auburn. We were impressed with chef bost’s pedigree (alain ducasse, cdc and executive chef at guy savoy vegas, and executive chef at republique) and were excited to see what he had to offer.
The space is open and airy and with enough blonde wood to make a finnish sauna jealous. Servers were professional but a bit cold.
puffed pig ears, salt, vinegar
pb: fried and puffed like a chicharrón
mb: Think of a very crispy, light, and salted chicharrón with a touch of vinegar à la street cart
red beet wheat galette
pb: beets were like candy that complemented the savory galette well.
mb: aromas of savory buckwheat permeated the galette and paired well with the lightly smoked and naturally sweet beet
yellow beet kumquat tartlet
mb: freshness of the brunoised yellow beet is highlighted in this bite with a touch of kumquat for brightness
bread, avocado butter
pb: we both thought the same thing after eating this, it tasted just like avocado toast, in a good way.
mb: bread is excellent. Served warm with a crisp top and immensely moist center. It also pairs well with the avocado butter…think of the spread as a lightly buttery and an immensely creamy avocado.
hiramasa crudo, minterbrook oysters, citrus, purple radish, oxalis
pb: a bit too acidic and couldn’t detect any oysters
mb: what pb said. It’s a miss with lots of sour notes and a very dominant vegetal flavor that overwhelmed the hiramasa.
english peas, santa barbara sea urchin, seaweed, chive blossom, sweet lemon
pb: really nice, light and refreshing. peas popped with flavor in your mouth.
mb: It’s pea season! Peas were barely cooked, if at all, and its lightly sweet flavor echoed with chunks of briny but sweet uni.
asparagus, razor clams, bone marrow, fava, green garlic
mb: when asparagus and fava beans are in season, you just can’t go wrong pairing them with a savory bone marrow broth that’s imbued with briny ocean flavor with a touch of green garlic.
turnip, spanish mackerel, allium, aged pork broth
mb: highlight alert. The smoked meaty mackerel comes in thick cuts and the savory broth withstood the fishy (in a good way) mackerel by infusing even more mackerel fishy goodness in. The charred turnips, on the other hand, act as a palette cleanser.
halibut, chanterelle mushrooms, trotter, sorrel
pb: probably my least favorite dish of the night, the fish was a slightly overcooked and a bit salty.
mb: don’t listen to pb . Yes, it’s a little overseasoned and a touch overcooked, but the pairing of porky trotter and what seems to be a brown butter foam paired well with the mild flavored halibut without overwhelming it. I liked it quite it bit even though the execution fell short.
cabbage, leeks, celery root aligot, onion essence
pb: great balance of creamy sweetness from the celery root and smoky vegetal flavors. one of the highlights of the night.
mb: when a restaurant can make a such a veggie centric dish shine, you know you’re in good hands…agree with pb…but I do wanna highlight the good depth of the onion sauce here
sonoma duck, sprouted rye, black garlic, bitter leaves, puffed amaranth
mb: duck is more cooked than I prefer so it’s not as juicy as it can be but still tender nonetheless. This is one of the safer, but still satisfying, dish of the evening.
ribeye, artichoke, cipollini, orach, tart blueberries, resting juices
mb: no doubt the safest dish of the evening. It’s pleasant with good marbling on the meat.
epoisse, sunchoke, seeds & flowers
pb: reminded me of cheesy potatoes.
mb: i’m not a cheese lover but a cheesy potato doesn’t sound too far away from the truth. I do wanna highlight the silkiness of the cheese and the fluffiness in the center of the crisped up sunchoke though.
yogurt, mushroom caramel
mb: not a fan. The shroom caramel tastes exactly like the old Chinese favorite, Brands chicken essence, for those of you in the know. If you don’t mind that flavor, the savory sweet caramel does balance out the tang of the yogurt well.
apple tart, vanilla cream
mb: another highlight alert. This is a deconstructed apple pie with intensely flavored dehydrated apple crisps doing double duty as the “crust” and apple filling. Pairing it with the velvety vanilla cream and spiced apple sauce is fantastic.
pb: agree with mb, this was the highlight of the desserts. the tart reminded me of the bottom of a perfectly caramelized kouign amann.
salt-baked orange, burnt honey
mb: think concentrated spiced orange, with texture of a somewhat soggy bread, topped with orange granita and caramelized honey to reintroduce freshness and a complex nutty sweet flavor.
caramelized coconut, red shiso, huacatay
mb: Putting my romantic evening with @PorkyBelly aside , Auburn has a few kinks to work out but it’s no doubt a very unique restaurant offering great food and value. The menu offers 12 items and diners are allowed to pick and choose their own courses with tasting menu options of 4 ($75), 6 ($105), and 9 ($150) course. Parties of 2 are encouraged to get the 6 course with each person picking a unique item and sharing in order to sample the entire menu. Lastly, with Chef Bost’s heavy French fine-dining background, I was expecting a butter heavy meal. But this meal actually didn’t remind me of Guy Savoy’s cooking at all. I would say that food at Auburn is best described as seasonal, light, creative, and sophisticated…
6703 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
lamb tartare, charred broccoli, mustard, nasturtium
mb: Couldn’t detect any gamey flavor and flavors went reasonably well together.
ridgeback prawns, almond, green garlic, pickled peppers
mb: The sweet prawns were great by themselves especially if you don’t mind going full zombie-mode and suck up its brains. However, the crunchy almond, green garlic, and pickled peppers mixture was too salty and overwhelmed the prawns.
pb: prawns were excellent, albeit small. agree the pickled peppers were too overpowering, i enjoyed the dish more just eating the prawns plain.
charred chanterelle mushrooms, pumpkin, preserved persimmon, endive, bronze fennel
mb: Great balance between the buttery shrooms and the mildy sweet and tangy preserved persimmon sauce. Not sure how the pumpkin roulade worked with the dish though.
pb: agreed, great dish.
oxtail, seaweed marmalade, sunchokes, seeds & flowers
mb: Awesome dish. Think of an amped-up braised short-ribs and smashed crispy potato dish. Chef Bost should replace his “sunchoke cheese course” on the main menu with this.
pb: highlight of bar menu, loved the thick, rich sauce, soft tender oxtail, and crispy sunchokes.
sonoma duck leg, puffed grains, black garlic, torn herbs
mb: Generous portions of dark meat is cooked through and quite chewy but I do like how the various herbs thrown in to brighten up this somewhat lackluster dish.
pb: a bit vietnamese-y with the fresh herbs, skin was crispy in parts, meat was a bit chewy.
rice milk pudding, raw cream, pistachio, marcona almonds
mb: Fan-f-ing-tasticaly delicious.The combination of nuttiness, crunch and creamy pudding is perfect. Please migrate this over to the main menu in place of the mushroom caramel/yogurt dish.
pb: wow, another highlight, delicious.
Thoughts on Bar Menu:
mb: Skip it and head over to the main dining room. The bar menu is a landmine!
pb: eat in the dining room and supplement with the mushrooms, oxtail, and rice milk pudding from the bar menu.