Best Bites of 2012

by Rodzilla on December 31, 2012 · 4 comments

I was about to make a list of best meals just like last year, but when I started thinking about the best things I ate this year, I realized many of them came from otherwise pleasant but average meals, or weren’t complete meals at all. So here were my 12 best bites of 2012.

12. KirbieCravings Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
Just look at them.

11. Yokohama Yakitori Koubou 3rd from the left – chicken cartilage
Foodieflirt and I had this month’s ago…we still routinely bring it up.

10. Georges California Modern TBL3 – Peas, lettuce, lemon
Want your kids to love vegetables? Introduce them to Trey Foshee

9. Century Eggs 
My favorite find from 99 Ranch. I have trouble keeping these in the house.

8. Akinori Sushi -Fried Amaebi Heads
Real Deal shrimp chips…and they’re entertaining.

7. Ariccia Market - Roasted Beet Agnolotti – Blue cheese, Beet Leaves, Pancetta, Pecorino
Bobby Pascucci make’s the best fresh pasta anywhere, and I’ve been lucky enough to have his complete dishes. 

6. Ariccia Market - Foie Torchon – Caramelized Apples, Grilled Green Onion, Cider Reduction. 
Not all torchon are created equal, this was the best I’ve had. It was as dense as rillettes but smooth as butter. I miss it.

5. Sky Room at La Valencia – Gourd - Chocolate, spice, streusel, chestnuts
Spongy Macaroons and a chocolate “no bake” cookie that reminded me of the fudge crunch layer from a DQ ice cream cake.  I’m upset to see Sky Room close, but very happy to know Chef Luke Johnson is hoping to stay in San Diego.

4. Urban Solace 5th year reunion party - Braised beef cheeks on cheddar biscuits.
The visual definition of comfort food.

3. *FoodieFlirts wedding reception at Georges Modern – Maine Lobster – vanilla poached apples, turnips, truffles, lobster emulsion.  
As great as this was, I I think my favorite course was the Chanterelle Stew, it’s just not nearly as photogenic.
*Best meal of the year

2. Spoon – Seared Foie + Short Rib – celery root puree, foie butter
From way back in January when I was still around Pittsbrugh. I ate some pretty great stuff, this remained one of the best. 

1. Jeff Bonilla’s - Watermelon, Prosciutto, Basil, Love & Break Dancing
Pastry chefs never get the recognition they deserve.  I’ve never had anything from Jeff Bonilla that hasn’t been outstanding. He’s one of the only chefs that I completely trust to make any combination of ingredients taste amazing. He’s another guy on the hunt for a new position in 2013, I’ll be making the trip to wherever he lands.

… and one to grow on. Oscar’s Mexican Seafood – all of it.
2012 started my relationship with Oscar’s. Yes, relationship. Amazing food and amazing people. Few things make me as happy as biting into a taco especial, except maybe alternating with a spoonful of fish stew. Of all the places I’ve mentioned, I guarantee Oscar’s will be the frequented of 2013.

Wishing everyone a safe and Happy New Year.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kirbie

Aw, thanks for including the cookie I baked for you. Debating between giving you more next time I see you or just letting your memory of them remain. Not sure if they will live up the hype the second time around. Also #3 looks and sounds so so so amazing.

2 Vince

Thx for the rec for Oscar’s – definitely enjoyed the massive tacos there. And I also really enjoy Koubou quite a bit!

3 The Squishy Monster

Fabulous round up..which to choose? (all of them) Happy New Year ^.~

4 Chefprotoss

Hmm… I look at all that food, and the only thing I want to eat is the tacos. The other dishes make me think about being competitive. I try to imagine how the dishes taste and I ask myself if I would go the same route. I become super critical about a picture of something I’ve never eaten. Some I give a nod to, and others I wonder about. I’m not saying this is good or bad, but what does this mean? The tacos remind me of living in socal, and as an adult trying to reproduce them and finding good joints that stack up. The other food makes me feel like I’m at work, mind you I love what I do, but I don’t get that same feeling of happiness. I just disect and turn it into a game in my head. I’m rambling and if this comment doesn’t make sense to you, that’s fine considering it barely makes sense to me. I have a lot of great food memories, but was the setting just as, or more important than the food? If so, how do I translate that into my own food? How do I give people that feeling? Maybe I should focus less on trying to take French cuisine to new levels, and focus more on creating new memories for people to hold on to. Maybe I have been looking at this from the wrong perspective. Either way, I’m done rambling now. Happy new year.

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