Monday, March 22, 2010

The Six - 02/24/2010

10668 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 837-6662

Kevin was kind enough to invite me to a media dinner at The Six. A "gastrobistro" combining the best elements of a gastropub and bistro, basically good food and beer. The restaurant is run by Chef David Gussin, previously of Petrossian where he worked with Chef Benjamin Bailly. Under Chef Gussin, The Six serves up comfortable New American style food, relying on seasonal ingredients and tailoring dishes to match the freshest and most flavorful produce. The interior has a rough yet inviting feel, utilizing recycled materials scavenged from defunct movie sets and simple functional furniture.

01: Hamachi Ceviche - pancetta / tangerine³ / pickled jalapeno / crispy red onion
Our amuse was a flash marinated yellowtail ceviche, leaving the natural flavor of the fish intact although tinged with a slight tang. The fish itself was flabby and one dimensional but the compliments included an array of sweet and sour flavor as well as tangerine 3 ways (fruit, juice, and zest) which covered both ends of the spectrum. The crisp savory pancetta proved to be the best part of this dish, drawing appreciative murmurs and comments from the entire table.

02: Beet Panzanella - mission figs / ricotta superfina / bacon / wild rocket / sherry almond vinaigrette
Panzanella is an Italian bread salad that combines staple ingredients of bread, tomato, olive oil and vinegar with whatever leftovers happen to be handy. Chef Gussin used beets instead of tomatoes to give the dish a wintery feel. Though I am fairly ambivalent about beets, the rocket and vinaigrette helped dull their flavor while the ricotta added a smooth creaminess to the dish.

03: Wild Mushrooms - chanterelles / black trumpet / hedgehog / maitake / shitake / oyster / poached egg
Chef Gussin mentioned that he gets his mushrooms fresh from a local forager. The subtle textural interplay between the mushrooms is tied together by an overarching earthiness. The lush coating of liquid egg yolk was unnecessary but still most welcome.

04: Crispy Jidori Chicken Thigh - butternut squash apple hash / sage / pomegranate gastrique
Sometimes the simplest dishes are the most impressive. The thigh was cooked beautifully; the golden and crisp skin covering a layer of juicy supple meat.

05: Prince Edward Island Mussels - spanish chorizo fumet / confit garlic / grilled ciabatta
I am always intrigued by mussels, they can be hit or miss. These proved to be quite good, the natural sweetness of the mussels coming to the fore along with a rich lingering smokiness from the chorizo.

06: BBT - applewood smoked bacon / basil / oven dried tomato
The Six places an extraordinary emphasis on sourcing the ingredients and the importance was especially apparent with this course. The bacon comes from a small producer in Louisiana and exhibited a wonderful flavor, salty and rich but not overly heavy, just the thing to add weight to the fragrant basil and lush tomato.

07: Six Burger Slider - red onion rings / maytag blue / thousand island / butter lettuce / tomato
The next two courses are miniaturized versions of two of the restaurants burgers. First up a classic burger with all the fixings; enjoyable but lacking the creativity of the other courses

08: Banh Mi Slider - roasted pork belly / jalapeno jam / cilantro aioli / sweet pickled carrots / cucumber
The next burger was an interesting transformation of the classic Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich. The pork patty and roasted pork belly were too heavy on their own but the addition of fresh and pickled vegetables lightened the burger considerably.

09: Scallop - "scalloped" kennebec potato / chive jus
I recently had a similar combination of potato and scallop. Unexpectedly the two mix quite well, scallop's luxuriousness contrasting nicely with the rustic bite of the potato.

10: Local Halibut - truffled artichoke heart puree / topanga mountain chanterelles in natural jus
ext up we had some more of Chef Gussin's secret locally sourced mushrooms. The fish itself was incredibly soft, with a subtle char and salinity, clean and fresh the way halibut should be. Delicious with the mushrooms which imparted a pronounced earthiness and finished with subtle hint of fresh herb.

11: Broccoli Rabe Bisque - cheddar tuile / framboise head
I never expect soup to be the most aggressively flavorful dish but this proved to be both the most intense and most talked about course of the night. The broccoli rabe coated the tongue with a powerful bitterness that coated the tongue and lingered on the palate. Interestingly some diners felt the cheese undercut the pungency while others felt that it heightened the bitterness.

12: Grant Achatz Hot Potato - cold potato / truffle / butter
The second soup was Chef Gussin's take on an old favorite from Alinea. The dish combines a trio of ingredients inc a classic flavor profiles which shifts focus to the interplay between the hot/cold temperatures.

13: Pastrami Spiced Prime NY - caraway spaetzle / "fresh" sauerkraut / roasted veal jus
The savories ended on a high note. The tender New York steak was shot through with flavors of pepper, smoke, and classic pastrami brine. The accouterments turned this from a merely a delicious piece of meat to an elegant Reuben sandwich, a childhood favorite of the chef.

14: Peanut Butter Cookie - bananas foster ice cream / candied pecans
The peanut butter cookie was somewhat bland but the intensity of the bananas foster ice cream more than made up for it.

15: Beignets - powdered sugar / fig jam
The beignets themselves almost had a savoriness to them which contrasted with the light dusting of powdered sugar and sticky sweet jam.

16: Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich - strawberry-smoked black pepper ice cream
This dessert was definitely not designed for sharing. Trying to cut the rock-hard cookie only served to squeeze the ice cream onto the plate. Forgetting the cookie the ice cream drew raves from the table, easily the best part of dessert.

Not a bad place to grab a drink and a quick bit or have a casual dinner with friends The food proved to be quite enjoyable offering a mix of very approachable dishes as well as a few courses that wouldn't be out of place at a more upscale restaurant with enough flair to intrigue even a palate as jaded as mine


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dwcusc said...

The "07: Six Burger Slider" looks awesome!!

Epicuryan said...

Haha you should go try it. The restaurant actually serves it as a full size burger normally but they made sliders since we were having a tasting menu.