La Toque @ 1314 McKinstry Street
A couple days after Morimoto, I ventured back to downtown Napa to one-michelin star La Toque. When I first stepped in, I was pretty overwhelmed by the beauty of the restaurant. I was quickly greeted and seated. My waiter was a nice old man who saw that I was eating alone and kept me company whenever he had a free moment. :)
Chef Ken Frank has a set menu that you can choose 3 or 4 savory dishes of (no including dessert). I decided to go with the 3 dish option since I’m a tiny little girl. The amuse-bouche of the night was a ratatouille, which was good but lacking some pizzazz.
Next I had the Japanese hamachi appetizer. I love sashimi, so I thought this was a good choice. Although the fish and asian pear combo was quite refreshing on the palette, I found that it lacked creativity. Also, there were rice crackers in this dish. If you’ve read my recent posts, you’ll know that I hate rice crackers in my food. ::angry fist::
For my second savory dish, I selected the white asparagus fettuccine with lobster and black truffle sauce. How can I deny myself of an item that has truffle in it? This dish was a bit more inspiring. Instead of using your regular pasta fettuccine, the ribbons you see below are made of white asparagus. It actually was a close enough carb substitute for me, yet it is definitely more healthy. The lobster meat was also cooked perfectly, not one bit rubbery. This was probably my favorite dish of the night.
For my final savory dish, I decided to be more daring. This isn’t monkey brains or bear claw, but I’ve never had antelope before so I decided to try it. I tend to like gamey meat, so I thought, why not. Honestly, I don’t think I’ll be craving antelope meat. It really isn’t different enough for me to go out and seek it. The dish also had bone marrow, which was also my first time eating it. The fresh bone marrow basically tasted like fat to me. Not sure if I understand the craze. The endive was grilled to perfection, I ate every last bite. The potatoes anna were also quite interesting, as I’ve never had potatoes prepared this way. It’s basically diced layered potato (it’s to the left of the meat) cooked in butter. It was quite delicious. As you can tell, I enjoyed the secondary cast more so than the main lead for this dish.
Lastly, I got to pick a dessert. With my limited knowledge of french desserts, I went with something that sounded like it could be a molten chocolate cake. Instead, the concorde turned out to be this heavy mousse cake that I could barely put a dent in. I’m not a huge chocolate fan so I couldn’t really enjoy this. However, I thought the wafers on the side were super delicious. It was too sweet though, made my teeth hurt a bit.
I thought the restaurant was okay. I’m not a huge fan. None of the dishes really struck my fancy. Perhaps, I didn’t order the right things. But from what I can see, that one star was probably award for slightly above average food in terms of quality and impeccable service.
– Charmin Bear T