Tag Archives: Tuning Fork

Golden Road Pairing Dinner

Last night the wonderful folks at Tuning Fork in Studio City had a beer pairing dinner with Golden Road brews. I was (yet again) lucky enough to be able to help design the pairings and host the event.
am1 Five dishes and five brews. I had to mentally prepare my stomach, and I had boxes ready to pack whatever I couldn’t finish to take home.
am “It’s a Great Time to Be Alive!” – the official title of the evening. And it is. It really is.
AM5 Tuning Fork is a newer restaurant located on Ventura Place with a rustic wood bar and family-style picnic tables. Owners Joseph and Martin man the helm, while Chef Jay works his brilliance in the kitchen. The staff is possibly the friendliest I’ve come across in a long time, and all the customers are instantly welcomed as close friends.
AM3 Six beers on tap and almost 40 bottled beers! The selection there is mind-boggling.
am2 The tables were set, carafes were filled with water, empty dump buckets prepared…
AM4 Golden Road flannel was repped. We were set.
AM7 We started off the evening with a full pour of Cabrillo Kölsch to welcome everyone in.
AM16 It was a full house. They ended up having to close the restaurant completely to accommodate everyone who was calling for seats!
AM8 I stuck with small pours and even smaller sips since I was being all responsible and stuff. The first pairing was the Cabrillo Kölsch with applewood smoked bacon mac ‘n cheese pops.
AM9 Mac ‘n cheese deep fried. Anything deep fried is a win, but these were beyond delicious. Sturdy yet full of creamy cheese and tender pieces of smoky bacon, wrapped in a crust of fried perfection. The clean finish and high carbonation of the Kölsch whisked away the richness as soon as the beer touched the tongue.
AM10 The second course was spicy Veracruz seafood ceviche with Hefeweizen. The sweet citrus in the beer marries perfectly with the acidity of the lemon and lime juice used in the ceviche without overwhelming the delicate fish. The final bite of brutal spice was calmed by the smooth wheat in the brew.
AM11 IPA braised short ribs on quinoa cake and swiss chard paired with Point the Way IPA. Rich and fall-apart tender short ribs covered in thick gravy are balanced with a gently hoppy IPA that slice through that richness while subtle notes of caramel match with the caramelized meat. And quinoa and swiss chard makes it healthy. That’s how this works.
AM12 Chef Jay brought out a palate cleanser immediately after – tangy sweet sorbet to scrub away any lingering hop bitterness or fattiness from the rich cuts of meat.
AM14 Jerk spice mole chicken with coconut rice and plantains paired with Wolf Among Weeds IPA. Tropical notes of pineapple in the beer tie in perfectly with the Caribbean-style dish, while rich mole sauce satisfies all the senses. I only had a few bites of this dish and packed it up with the intention of having it for breakfast this morning. Which I did. It has banana, therefore it is breakfast.
AM15 The finale of the evening was a traditional English trifle with layers of fresh berries, vanilla custard and sweet crumbly goodness, paired with It’s Not Always Sunny In LA black IPA. Intense bitterness with hints of roast tames the sweetness of the trifle and makes each spoonful even more decadent, yet less filling at the same time. I put this picture up and immediately went to the fridge to finish off the leftovers from last night. Consuming it now – true story.
AM13 Rob from Golden Road explained the background of the beers, Chef Jay introduced the dishes and I explained the purpose of why we’d paired which beer with which dish. Education was studded throughout giveaways by the two owners, Joseph and Martin, and the crowds were rowdy and happy.

I have to say, this was the most successful pairing dinner I’ve had to date! I can’t wait for the next one!


Filed under beer pairing

Tuning Fork

Nineteen days ago, something astronomically amazing and delicious opened up in Studio City.
AM2 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.
AM3 Everything I was able to sample last time was mind-blowing…
AM4 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.”
AM You never argue with Chef Marc.
AM5 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…
AM6 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.
AM9 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.
AM7 After the Foie Gras came our palate cleanser – pickled melon and cucumber. So simple, yet so unique and utterly delectable.
AM8 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.
AM10 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.
amm 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!

1 Comment

Filed under Restaurant Review