Nineteen days ago, something astronomically amazing and delicious opened up in Studio City.
Tuning Fork is a brand new gastropub located off of Laurel Canyon Blvd and Ventura Place. I was blessed with the opportunity to get in there about a month ago to give a beer education and pairing class to the staff, and was able to make it in to try even more off the menu.
Everything I was able to sample last time was mind-blowing…
Unfortunately Fortunately, I wasn’t allowed to order off the menu. Chef Marc, who is absolutely insane and a complete genius, saw me come in, ran over to me and said, “Don’t touch that menu. I’m making your meal.”
You never argue with Chef Marc.
First out came the Water – flatbread with salmon, housemade horseradish creme fraiche, spiraled cucumber and red onion. I’m not a fan of raw salmon, lox or any other name you can give it, but I could not stop eating this. I can actually say that I am now a fan of raw salmon…on this flatbread…
Duck and goose Foie Gras served with crispy fried onions, cranberry bread, candied almonds, dried grapes, pickled red onion and sour cream and bacon ice cream. Seriously. Combine a piece of everything and prepare to be sent off to another world. Again, I’m not a fan of liver at all, but this dish was mind-boggling and so beautifully presented. At this point, I was getting quite overstuffed… Luckily, I had a friend join me to help finish of the rest that was yet to come.
Our producer from Summer Campbell, Jenny! Luckily, like me, she’s willing to try anything and be told what to eat by a mad/genius chef.
After the Foie Gras came our palate cleanser – pickled melon and cucumber. So simple, yet so unique and utterly delectable.
This was followed by the Lost Sailor – beer battered whitefish, fresh tartar sauce, pickles and pepperoncini all wrapped up in a soft brioche roll. Crisp, light and flaky with nice acidity from the pickles cutting through the creamy tartar sauce. All of this was balanced by a Lagunitas Hop Stoopid thanks to a wonderful pairing suggestion by our waitress.
At this point, I couldn’t fit anymore in.
So Chef Marc brought out the big guns – Death by Chocolate. Rich pieces of fudge studded with raisins and splattered with housemade raspberry sauce, artistically served with a huge steak knife piercing through. This dish is rich and filling without being overly sweet, but the presentation alone makes it worth the order.
Our meal was capped with a blend of raspberry syrup and The Bruery’s Mischief Belgian strong pale ale. High carbonation and a dry finish scrubs the palate clean while the light sweetness of the raspberry syrup helps you reminisce the last breath of the Death by Chocolate.
I’ll be back for another forced order by Chef Marc as soon as I possibly can! As for now, Happy Easter to you all! I’m headed to Boston on Monday for training at the Samuel Adams Brewery! Plenty of pictures to come!
This post is part of a series I’m doing called “Breaking the Chain”. Check out previous broken chains like White Elephant, Rúla Búla, Park View Cafe and The Old Place Cornell.
I spent last weekend down in San Diego working at the ArtWalk, and while I only got one chance to blog, I got PLENTY of chances to eat. Mainly, they were all here:
Craft & Commerce: The most amazing gastropub I’ve ever been to. This little place has exposed brick, literary genius written all over the walls, and when you use their bathroom, you’re treated to MORE literary genius via books on tape. I happened to stop in whilst Pride and Prejudice was being read by some lovely British voice-over.
Also, this place is kind of popular. It was JAM PACKED the entire time we were working the booth across the street. Girls come to flirt, boys show up to pretend that they’re more mature than they really are… “I’m twenty-sssss….. thirty-eight…” (and yes, I actually witnessed a boy attempting that one while he was chatting up a cougar), and superheroes come to box, like the man in red and blue above.
They serve incredibly unique food, such as the pickled cucumber slices, watermelon and jicama. I do not like jicama yet, but I only have twelve more tries until I do, according to scientific research. (Scientific research WAS conducted! I recall reading it, I just can’t find where I read it. You’ll have to trust me on this one…)
The mixologists (Do NOT call them bartenders! They are trained professionals! Also, EXCELLENT at what they do!) all wear suspenders, and thick books rest upon each table. My genius friend Kim, who recently got accepted into UCLA for her graduate program (Congrats, Khimniney!) partook in the true enjoyment of Craft & Commerce, suspenders included.
I also partook with my AleSmith Speedway Stout – (which was DELICIOUS and INTENSE!). We’re smart like that.
That’s such a lie. We’re actually complete fools when we hang out. I adore her precisely for that reason.
Some history: Kim and I were in the TAG (talented and gifted) group in middle school together. We rode my bike to the high school for our super-genius-awesome-girl-algebra class in eighth grade. I peddled, she balanced on the seat. We coasted down a steep hill every Wednesday and Thursday, praying that the garbage trucks had already crossed our intersections – there were a few close calls since I couldn’t control the brakes… I recall plenty of screaming from both of us…
After Kim left, I decided to order dinner before I headed back to the booth. Pickles = good. Fried stuff = good. Fried pickles = ????
From this place, they equal “meh”. I had fried pickles ONCE before, and they were AMAZING! Unfortunately, these did not live up to par.
The GOOD news is that I will be having said AMAZING fried pickles later this month – in Colorado! We’re taking a family trip to visit my bro and his wife (The Vegans), have fried pickles and drink good beers. I suppose I’ll find a way to suffer through…
Off to Vegas this weekend! For work, thank you very much, but it will be the first time I gamble. Legally… Gotta try it once! Legally…
My first time gambling…
I won. I cashed out. I fled.