Craig Thornton (wolvesmouth) is a technically ferocious chef, as adept at combining flavors as he is at executing visually explosive plates. Serving food from his own kitchen in the Hollywood hills to a limited number of lucky diners, Craig creates a dining experience that renders most of LA’s restaurants obsolete. Yes, this hyperbole filled description may be a bit much, but I don’t care. I loved last night’s dinner- the food (listed below in detail), the house (built for entertaining), the music (Ride the Lightning-era Metallica), the company…
First course: corn. zucchini. cotija. poblano. white onion.
Very well-balanced. On the lighter side. When a meal starts this strong you know you’re in good hands.
Second course: beet. saba. feta. rhubarb roll up. rhubarb campari puree. wild greens. beet meringue.
As crazy as it sounds. The meringue melted and the roll up stretched. Very playful and light.
Third course: “fuck bp”: uni “polenta”. squid. uni. oyster. fluke. mussel. clam. squid ink dashi “sludge”. parsley oil. clam mussel juice reduction.
Insane. Seafood as flavorful as BP is careless. The uni “polenta” actually was made with rice.
Fourth course: tomato. chorizo piquillo goat cheese torta. tomato water. sherry gastrique. chive oil.
The torta left us wanting more. The tomato water was very sweet and subtle in the face of the rich torta.
Fifth course: “wandering the forest”: braised rabbit. juniper. doug fir brandy. onion. doug fir gelee. glazed carrot. brioche black truffle soil. chive. chanterelle. bluefoot. hen of the woods.
The most cohesive dish of the night, despite the large number of ingredients. Earthy goodness.
Sixth course: monkfish. chicken skin. chicken tail. leek. onion. fennel chew. fennel pollen. sourdough. hazelnut.
One of the few misses in my book.
Seventh course: milk braised pork shoulder. maple french toast. blis maple. coffee sorghum poached prunes. coffee sorghum sauce. glazed rutabaga. dehydrated milk flakes.
Every meat dish should be served on french toast.
Eighth course: compressed plum pluot. elderflower. frozen gooseberry.
Ninth course: lamb. eggplant sheep yogurt puree. radish. compressed cucumber. purslane.
Very well cooked lamb this late in the meal. The puree had an enjoyable sweetness.
Tenth course: wisconsin cheddar potato puree. bacon. scallion.
A dish so flavorful it could be spread on cardboard and still taste amazing. It was the eight minute guitar solo of the meal.
Eleventh course: anana melon. lemon verbena ice.
Its placement after the potato puree was the equivalent of a slow ballad after the shredding guitar solo. For balance.
Twelfth course: compressed peach. warm. cold. brown butter fleur de sel shortbread. creme fraiche fleur de sel ice cream. peach juice. hazelnut oil powder.
I was so full by this point I may have missed some of the subtleties in this dish.
The craziest part about the meal was that you could choose three of the courses and combine them to make an amazing meal. To have all twleve was an exercise in gluttonous decadence. And I can’t wait to do it again.