Friday, September 14, 2012

Flavor Del Mar and the 63 degree egg


Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at the restaurant week menu offerings at Flavor Del Mar. This restaurant has been on the top of my to-do list after hearing very good reviews about it, and I was already considering trying it out for restaurant week.

Located in the upstairs section of the Del Mar Plaza, the enclosed terrace seating with floor to ceiling glass windows offers a gorgeous view of the coastline, especially if you get there before sunset.

Complimentary amuse bouche

To whet the appetite, we were served corn two ways. The inside of the glass consisted of corn chowder with curry popcorn and tomato. I enjoyed the chowder,  but the popcorn was missing its crunch due to the chowder, though I enjoyed the curry flavor to it.

Bread with sea salt

Bread was accompanied with four different flavors of infused sea salts: orange creamsicle, sriracha, yuzu, and rosemary. I thought this was pretty unique though the only  flavor I could distinctly detect was the sriracha.

Spicy Crispy Shrimp Frisee, arugula, chipotle, yuzu vinaigrette

Based on my yelp reading and our server, this is one of their most popular dishes, so it was nice to see them offer it on the restaurant week menu.

This was a very rich appetizer. The crispy shrimp are smothered in a creamy chipotle sauce. It’s best eaten together with the raw salad and vinaigrette which tempers the spice. DH thoroughly enjoyed this one. I liked it as well, though I loved my appetizer even more.

Sauteed Greens Broccolini, Purple Kale, 63 Degree Egg, Manchego Cheese, Chili Oil

Never has a plate of vegetables sounded so appealing to me as this description did. It was every bit as good as I imagined. The vegetables were warm and comforting. The chili oil added to the heat of the dish and made the greens even more enjoyable as well as masking the slight bitter edge of the kale. Sitting on top and waiting to be broken onto the bed of greens was a 63 degree egg.

I did a little research into this 63 degree egg cooking method. The egg is cooked sous vide until the egg yolk reaches 63 degrees. Egg yolks actually solidify at a lower temperature than egg whites, so by cooking it sous vide at the lower temperature, you actually can get a just cooked, but still extremely creamy egg yolk, even though the egg whites are still runny.  I had mixed feelings about the egg. I loved the yolk and what it added to the greens, but wasn’t a fan of the runny egg whites. DH happily ate up what I didn’t finish.

Big Eye Tuna Tataki Daikon, Avocado, Tomato Ginger dressing

I knew immediately this would be DH’s choice, with his penchant for raw fish. The tuna was a beautiful deep shade of red. It was lightly seared and served on a bed of ginger dressing. Accompanying the tuna were salad rolls made with thinly sliced daikon acting as the skins of the rolls. Inside each salad roll was a lot of lettuce and dollop of avocado. I actually found the rolls to be too plain. I thought they needed some dressing or something so it didn’t feel like I was just eating a mouthful of lettuce.

Ricotta Cavetelli Lobster, Spring Peas, Bacon, Wild Chanterelle Mushrooms

The lobster version is what is normally at the restaurant though for restaurant week they will be serving a shrimp version. The cavetelli were light and pillowy, the lobster perfectly poached. I loved the spring peas and mushrooms as well. The only part I didn’t like was the bacon. Normally I love bacon, but these large chunks were too salty for me.

Despite the cloudy day, we were able to catch a glimpse of the sun set.

I really loved the cut out of “flavor” for the dessert menu.

Butterscotch Budino Italian Pudding, Caramel, Whipped Creme Fraiche, Maldon Sea Salt

This is another signature item of the restaurant. Normally, despite my sweet tooth, I don’t like intensely sweet desserts. This pudding is intensely sweet, especially with the layer of caramel on top. But it was ridiculously good as well and I loved it despite its intense sweetness. The sea salt really helped to balance out the intense sweetness.

Cherries Jubilee Crepes, Candied Almonds, Bing & Rainier cherries, vanilla bean ice cream

We thought we’d go for something lighter and fruitier as our second dessert option. I actually didn’t really like these. As  a personal preference, I enjoy my crepes crispy and these were quite wet from all the sauce.

Overall, we had an enjoyable meal here. I definitely think it’s worth considering for restaurant week or any other time you want a nice night out. We thought the food was every bit as good as all the buzz we had heard prior to our visit and we’ll definitely be back again.

Here are pictures of the restaurant week menu and the regular menu.

Please note, my meal was complimentary. However, I was not paid for this review and my opinions are my own.

Flavor Del Mar
1555 Camino Del Mar
Del Mar, CA 92014
http://www.flavordelmar.com/
Flavor Del Mar on Urbanspoon

 

18 Responses to “Flavor Del Mar and the 63 degree egg”

  1. 1

    caninecologne — September 14, 2012 @ 5:40 am

    Everything looks amazing! Your photos are so gorgeous and magazine worthy! :) i know my husband would love to try that butterscotch pudding too!

    • Kirbie replied: — September 14th, 2012 @ 8:25 am

      Aw, thanks. I was excited that the sun hadn’t set yet when we started our meal because the natural light makes for such nicer pictures. We really did like almost everything. Usually I’m the one raving about the meals, but DH said right after that he thought everything was really well made and that we should come back.

  2. 2

    Mary — September 14, 2012 @ 7:22 am

    I loved the butterscotch budino and the crispy shrimp appetizer – totally delicious items! The salad roll looks really pretty, too bad they didn’t add something to enhance it and make it more than just a pretty bite.

    • Kirbie replied: — September 14th, 2012 @ 8:26 am

      Yeah, it was strange. Like eating lettuce without dressing. it did look pretty though. I would def get the budino and shrimp again

  3. 3

    Jinxi — September 14, 2012 @ 9:46 am

    Your appetizer description really does sound like the best plate of vegetables! I didn’t like runny egg whites, either, but now I’m warming up to it. Looks delicious! Now it’s getting even harder to pick where to eat for Restaurant Week…

    • Kirbie replied: — September 14th, 2012 @ 10:30 am

      Well if you don’t get a chance to check out this place for RW, I recommend you checking it out some other time. I really enjoyed it, especially the two appetizers.

    • Kirbie replied: — September 14th, 2012 @ 10:32 am

      Well if you don’t get a chance to try out this place for RW, I recommend you check it out eventually. Both appetizers were really good. Oh, and I didn’t get to try but supposedly they have good steak too! They talked about it being aged and everything in the bar next door.

  4. 4

    Michael — September 14, 2012 @ 10:58 am

    What I meant by product placement is that the content of your blog no longer seems driven by your own loves and interests but by whomever offers you a free meal or product. I do appreciate the fact that you disclose that you are receiving things complimentary, but I prefer reading blogs that remain non-commercialized.

    • Kirbie replied: — September 14th, 2012 @ 11:29 am

      Well I definitely respect that and I respect blogs that don’t take any media meals at all. For example, I very much admire Kirk’s blog and the fact that he never takes any media meals.
      I know that my media meals and product reviews have increased as my blog as gotten more exposure and I’ve been contacted by more. But I do feel that my blog is still my own and it’s still about what I love and stuff I’m interested in. I actually turn down a lot of media meals because they don’t interest me. And I make sure that a lot of my content is still places I visited on my own. But if I am presented with a place that I wanted to check out, or a menu I find interesting, I do accept them because I wanted to visit anyway and eating out is expensive. I’m at a place in my life where I’m trying to save money towards a house and a future and I definitely would not be able to eat out and try everything I wanted to without some of the meals being free. In addition, at a lot of these events I attend, opportunities come up that wouldn’t happen if I didn’t meet people at these events. A lot of writing opportunities and other activities have become possible from people I meet and connect with by going to these events.

  5. 5

    cynthia — September 14, 2012 @ 11:00 am

    This is in my top 3 list of contenders for restaurant week! Glad to see you enjoyed it.

    • Kirbie replied: — September 14th, 2012 @ 11:31 am

      I hope wherever you end up going, you enjoy!

  6. 6

    Rodzilla — September 14, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

    Michael – I think it’s a bit different when it’s a place that the writer likely wanted to visit anyway.

    You don’t hear much about Chef Redzikowski, but he’s got a damned impressive background – he worked at Nobu Matsuhisa in Aspen (quite a few steps above the Nobu Chains) and was Sous at Joel Robuchon’s Mansion in LV.

    I’ve been meaning to get back in for a tasting.

    • Kirbie replied: — September 14th, 2012 @ 1:19 pm

      I didn’t know about the Chef’s background. Thanks for providing that info.

  7. 7

    Rodzilla — September 14, 2012 @ 10:34 pm

    No prob, I’m really surprised they don’t make much mention of it, it’s quite the pedigree and I knew you would be interested having eaten at the Mansion and being such a fan of Sushi. Matsuhisa in Aspen is supposed to be one of the best along with the LA outpost – hence the last name rather than just Nobu. There’s a sashimi dish I’ve seen on the tasting menu that looks killer.

  8. 8

    Faye — September 17, 2012 @ 9:40 am

    He was the chef at AIRR downtown and I fell in love with the food there. When AIRR closed, I was distraught b/c I had no idea where to find the chef. So finding him at Flavor (I think last year) blew my mind. I love his food. Esp the spicy shrimp and the scallop ceviche.

    On a side note, I understand where Michael is coming from BUT I think YOUR blog is beyond fair. I’ve been following you and Kirk since I first got into all this food blogging. And your posts have always been relatable. I really admire how you and Kirk take the time to respond to each person that respond to you. And your posts are a great combination of everything (free meals or not). And besides….It’s YOUR blog.

    • Kirbie replied: — September 17th, 2012 @ 10:11 am

      I really want to go back to Flavor. Loved what we had so far; want to go back for more. Thanks for the kind words about the blog. I like responding to everyone’s comments and I love that Kirk does that. He’s definitely been my role model since starting the blog.

  9. 9

    Ann P. — September 18, 2012 @ 12:46 pm

    Holy moly, I have to go there!!! I need to eat that broccolini salad!

    • Kirbie replied: — September 18th, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

      Yes, go! Try the salad. and the shrimp. Haha. I’m trying to convince my husband we should get a sous vide machine.

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