Monday, June 28, 2010

A Pilgrimage Westward For Petrossian and Bourdain: We're Not Worthy, Part 1

On Wayne's World, Wayne and Garth drove all the way from Aurora, IL, to Milwaukee, WI, in Garth's blue pinto to see Alice Cooper live.

Like Wayne and Garth, I scheduled my entire day around being able to see someone who I would bow down and chant "We're not worthy" to in a heartbeat. I made the journey all the way from the San Gabriel Valley to Westwood to see my food hero-slash-heartthrob, Anthony Bourdain, perform live. Not much of a pilgrimage, you say? Hey, whatever. Crossing downtown LA at 4:30 pm on the 10 freeway is no easy task and took me almost two hours total driving time. About the same time that, according to Google Maps, it would have taken Wayne and Garth to drive from Aurora to Milwaukee. How's that for dedication?

My friend J and I had planned to have a late lunch/early dinner at the much lauded Petrossian in West Hollywood before Bourdain's show because after all, no trip to see a virtual food god speak would be complete without a stop for good food. We cursed the bumper to bumper, stop and go traffic for an hour and a half, worried that we wouldn't have time to stop and have a nice, sit down meal.

"We might have to think of a Plan B," I said to my friend as we sat stopped on the freeway. "Maybe In-n-Out?"

Fortunately, the traffic gods spared us and we arrived at Petrossian with enough time for a quick yet unhurried meal off the restaurant's lunch menu. But funny enough, In-N-Out Burger was where Bourdain said he ate the night of the show.

A wild mushroom "cappuccino" soup was a lovely start to our meal.

Split into two espresso cups for me and my friend to share, the soup was smooth, frothy (as any cappuccino should be!) and full of woodsy mushroom flavor.

It is perhaps a bit cliché, but I love having my caviar and fish roe with blinis.

Petrossian's combinations of salmon, trout and sturgeon roe atop creme fraiche and pillowy blinis were simple and showed off the shiny briny dots of fish roe just perfectly.

I loved Petrossian's green bean salad with buratta, slivered almonds and caviar for its simple, clean flavors and contrasting textures. My inner Wayne & Garth/Beavis & Butthead couldn't help but snicker at the fact that this plating looked a little pervertedly femme, however. Schwing!

(See what I mean?)

Truffle Mac & Cheese was every dieter's nightmare in all its truffle-flecked, bacon-studded, parmesan cheese coated orrecchiette glory.

Wonderfully rich and earthy but I could only stand about two bites lest I instantaneously gain back all that weight I lost.

A burger would have been the last thing we would have thought of ordering in a place known for caviar, but we were pleasantly surprised by this hunk o' beef topped with gruyere, caramelized onions and a fried egg on a brioche bun.

Surrounded by a monstrous mound of perfectly fried pommes frites, the nicely charred burger itself was massive. Fortunately, my friend and I split it in half, else there for sure would have been some major burger juice-to-bun seepage.

The steak frites was a juicy strip of prime hangar steak that I wish had been covered in a little less pepper sauce but was nicely done nevertheless. A big pile of pommes frites came with this one too.

No, we did not eat the whole thing and yes, the steak and fries made a lovely breakfast the next day.

According to our extremely hospitable and knowedgeable server, we weren't the only diners that day making a pitstop at Petrossian before heading westward to bow down to Bourdain. If their experiences were anything like ours, they're probably more than grateful to Chef Ben Bailly and team for a memorable meal that preceded a most memorable evening. I'd love to come back soon on a day where I can come and perhaps talk about Bourdain during my meal and not be rushing off to see him.

To Be Continued...

321 N. Robertston Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA


Diana said...

Ugh, I did the SaMo to SGV drive a couple weeks ago to go to Kingburg Kitchen. Sadly, Anthony was not waiting for me on the other side. But I did get some delicious dumplings for the effort!

Glad you enjoyed your dinner at Petrossian!

SinoSoul said...

Apparently everyone was smart enough to not order the shrimp wontons except yours truly... the Mrs. enjoyed the burrata haricot vert as well.

So you going to Cerritos for AB round 2?

weezermonkey said...

I love this space so much. I also love that they split your soup for you! Too perfect!

I'm going through my own Petrossian and cursing that our burger did not have an egg on it.

But at least I didn't eat the infamous and controversial shrimp wonton. Tee hee hee!

yutjangsah said...

Party on Wayne! Looks like a 'totally eggsellent adventure'-oh wait, that's Bill and Ted hmm. Well, I gotta get my ass on over to Petrossian for some anatomy lessons stat cuz this all looka good.

Kung Food Panda said...

One of my favorite places. Glad you were able to try it out!

Food, she thought. said...

Your snaps are GORGEOUS!!!! Love the beam salad, it was not so vaginally composed last time I tried it. The truffled mac n' cheese is delicious, but both times I have ordered as part of a party of four we haven't finished it. It's rich. Also glad you avoided the infamous shrimp en papillote.

Banana Wonder said...

Your pics are beautiful! That's cool they split the shroom cap for you - we should have asked for that! Good stuff and I totally agree with you Blogger #199, about that pepper (ahhhaaack) steak.

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