July was brutal for me. Apologies for the delay in posting this gem.
The Rogue Experience by Wolfgang Puck is an intimate dining venue, where Puck’s veteran chefs can experiment with new dishes to their hearts’ content. With only 8-10 seats per night, this gastronomic laboratory was in the 12th week of its run when I attended. And I’m sure glad I did.
Set in the Pacific Design Center, Wolfgang’s corporate test kitchen is the perfect setting for such an endeavor. His personal collection of cookbooks and memorabilia are here for us to peruse…
Aperitif: Farmer’s market white raspberry, St. Germain, Oxley London dry gin, basil parfum… Sets the mood for the evening.
Amuse bouche: Tendon / Truffle / Marrow: Stewed tendon with puffed marrow, topped by summer black truffle… Smashing!
Amuse bouche: Crayfish / Corn / Beer: Crayfish and popcorn fried in beer batter with shellfish reduction sauce… Fantastic!
The dining room is ready for seating…
Walking through the test kitchen…
Wine pairing #1… Something aromatic…
Geoduck / Michelada / Kimchi: This works really nicely. The kimchi adds just the right kick and adds to the crunchiness of the geoduck. Dinosaur plums, infused in Dos Equis beer (!) adds some astringency and tartness.
Lobster / Vodka / Chili: Green chili oil, and a side of sauteed corn and zucchini-stuffed pimiento really round out this ‘drunken crustacean’ concept beautifully. Gorgeous.
Tomato / Iberico / Nasturtium: Iberico consomme with tomato water?! Whoa! That is insane! Such balanced flavors. Foraged flowers add the perfect garnish.
Wine pairing #2… Something bold…
Short Rib / Chanterelle / Corned Beef: Beautiful. These ricotta & beef ravioli are supremely tasty - the beef used is Akaushi wagyu (brown cattle beef) from Japan, with extra ‘au jus’ reduction. Shoulder cuts, in peppercorn-Armagnac emulsion, are used for the corned beef, and butter-browned chanterelles on the side. Spectacular!
Our pastry chef makes an early appearance, not for dessert, but instead to prepare the entremet (palate cleanser)!
Entremet: Melon / Chartreuse / Oolong Tea: Probably the most complex entremet presentation I have seen in quite some time! Sorbet made from summer melon (Weiser Farms) is served with compressed cucumber and chartreuse in an yuzu rind-infused oolong tea.
Very refreshing indeed!
Wine pairing #3… Something dry…
Foie / Lychee / Nuts: One of the best bites of the year! The foie gras mousse, soaked in St. Germain rum, plays so well with the lychee and shaved macadamia nuts, while the Champagne takes it all to the next level. Sublime.
Octopus / Toasted Cheese: Grilled octopus tentacle with sea salt, pepper and sudachi is served with a ‘toasted cheese’ sauce in mezcal (!) and accompanied with basil. While I appreciate the concept, the gestalt was not completely convincing, taste-wise.
Wine pairing #4… Something rich…
So THAT’s how they get the beef to go into the shiso netting!
The Laguiole knife makes an appearance…
No pressure, right? Only everyone is watching… It’s like Jenga, only yummier!
Rib cap / Herb Buttermilk / Celery: A tarragon & dill oil buttermilk serves as base, while the Snake River beef rib cap is encased in shiso netting, surrounded by summer peas, with sorrel topped for effect.
Wine pairing #5… Something sweet… VERY sweet!
Pineapple / Mango / Coconut: A classic ‘Pina Colada’ feel to this dessert - Poached pineapple, coconut & Bacardi rum sorbet, mango butter, passionfruit seeds, and finger limes. Very tropical.
Coffee / Chocolate / Banana: A combination of Bananas Foster and itramisu, this was a big hit! Ripe bananas were sauteed in Grand Marnier and placed at the bottom. This was then topped with ladydinger biscotti with chocolate shavings, centered by Valhrona chocolate mousee and cream. Outrageous!
Digestifs… Rare pleasures.
Petit fours: Watermelon pop rock lollipops… Playfully wowing the audience!
A keepsake copy of tonight’s menu - the menu here changes weekly… This was an absolutely resplendent meal !!! Huge kudos to the team at The Rogue Experience - We WILL be back!
The Rogue Experience by Wolfgang Puck
Pacific Design Center
8687 Melrose Ave.
West Hollywood, CA 90069