Furniture warlord Joseph Ngo came into town this week for work so the Chinese Triad (Dr. Wu and I) got together with him at the Bazaar in Beverly Hills. Tucked away in the back hallway of the Bazaar is a little room with ~10 tables that serve their 22 course tasting menu, called Saam. A far more intimate environment than the hip/young/dressed to wow atmosphere separated from us by a wooden door in the main restaurant/lounge area. We added on 4 more supplements for a total of 26 dishes cause we’re fat like that.
The food here is about as “exciting” as molecular gastronomy gets in Los Angeles. Foams, air, food on sticks, and liquid nitrogen, the dinner lasted a good 4.5 hours before we retreated outside to the lounge. Gotta thank the furniture king (remember the table where Ricky Bobby prayed to Baby Jesus? That’s his table!) for providing for the check and to Dr. Wu for the long conversations about leggy hotties in Beverly Hills (not for me, I LOVE YOU GIRLFRIEND IF YOU READ THIS) and moms.
On to the wines (I had a slight sore throat in the beginning of the night, which got progressively wose so my notes are sparse toward the end)
Champagne and drink starters for courses
Initially we started off with a few cocktails. Dr. Wu had the Old School Manhattan with a sphere of cherry gel on the bottom and I had the Adult Grape Soda with tonic water, grape juice, vodka and grape foam. Before our appertif they served a shot of bitters, yuzu juice and cava to wet out appetites. We then proceeded to popping the two champagnes. Initially we were only going to open the Krug but I wanted to see how the Beaufort compared since I’ve never had it. I’ve seen the Beaufort 96 for almost $200 so it’s gotta be kinda good right? But the two wines were such a sharp contrast in style. You had the big boldness of Krug trying to compare itself to the light elegance of the Beaufort. Both good wines, but the Krug was definitely a step above… especially on the finish.
1995 Krug Champagne Brut - France, Champagne (6/26/2010)
The first thing you notice from this champagne is the fullness and expansion of flavors on the palate. The fruit of sweet apple and lemon custard just envelops your mouth so with its already impressive finish on the back end, it tends to linger all around… which is great cause the fruit is so rich and deep. Then you accompany that with loads of minerality and a hint of ginger.
This wasn’t as open and ready as the first bottle I had almost two years ago (same store/purchase) which had a bunch of caramel and sweetness to go with the wine but this was in a damn good place and will only hold for significantly longer.
2000 Andre Beaufort Champagne Brut Millésimé - France, Champagne, Ambonnay, Champagne (6/26/2010)
There was a remarkable difference between this wine and the 95 Krug. First it’s 5 years younger but it’s much more focused, lean, elegant, not the big ‘brut’ (ha) that the knock out punch flavors of the Krug are. The flavor profile is a chalky floral lemon but it’s still relatively subdued due to its age. There is a little bit of yeast that builds up along the mid palate but it was hard to drink side by side to the Krug as the flavors were overwhelmed. I think it needs a significant amount of time before it comes out of its shell
Wines for courses 8-15, the lighter side of things
We realized the food was moving quickly and we were drinking slowly so we hopped on to the next wines. The Leroy paired GREAT with a foie gras creme soup with sweet corn foam. DROOOOL
2004 Aubert Chardonnay Lauren Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (6/26/2010)
With every Aubert I drink, i just get loads and loads of pineapple and other indescribable tropical fruits, this was no exception. But for me, more often than not, Aubert is too big , too round and too oily. It’s not flabby but it’s certainly fat with noticeable alcohol and oak on it. Some 05’s I’ve had didn’t have the alcohol/oak so the fattiness of the wine didn’t deter from the wine but this was just too much of that harsh oak on the back end.
1996 Domaine Leroy Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Charmes - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru (6/26/2010)
BEAUTIFUL nose on the pop and pour. Damp forest floor of leaves with a sniff of earth but joined by an elegant sweet red fruit. The Leroy’s have such a distinctive nose, I can’t figure out exactly what it is all the time, but it just reminds me of sweetened ice tea, sounds weird but I really like it… it’s pretty intoxicating.
At this point of the dinner, my throat was killing me so I didn’t really take proper notes on the palate. All i know is about 4 hours into dinner, the palate shut down hard. The fruit disappeared and it became more of just dirt and spice. This puppy has ways to go.
Final wines of the night, the big and the bold.
The Furniture King loves his SQN so we had some aged SQN. The midnight oil was in a very good place and I wish my throat wasn’t sore so I could have enjoyed it more!
2001 Sine Qua Non Midnight Oil - USA, California, Central Coast (6/26/2010)
This is unlike most current SQN which are big and ripe, it’s silky smooth with concentrated but soft fruit. At this point it’s well integrated and there are fine tannins mixed in with some asian style spices that really surprised me. The finish of dark berries lingered on the tongue. Where’s the oak, chocolate, coffee, and big gobs of fruit!? Who took over the winery in 2001!? .
Drink now, I can’t imagine it getting any better, the fruit is already starting to recede a bit.
2000 Sine Qua Non Syrah In Flagrante - USA, California (6/26/2010)
Big ol massive wine. Tons of dark sweet fruit but still a some oak presence on the back end. The fruit weighed heavily on the palate. Wish I could go more in depth but something about this wine made my (slightly) sore throat feel worse so I only had a few sips.
Posted from CellarTracker