11 Feb Please The Palate Pick of the Week: Meteora LA
The past week has been a busy week of eating and drinking as it has been my birthday week. That means there has been lots of great food and wine, and most importantly, enjoyed with great friends. The week culminated with a dinner at Meteora. And what a dinner! Ambiance, service, flavors, presentation, wine pairings, and my dining companion made dining at Meteora the Please The Palate pick of the week.
One of my final meals in a restaurant prior to lockdown was at Auburn. I had fallen in love with this space, with its neutral-toned walls, light-colored furniture, and indoor greenery. Sadly Auburn did not survive Covid but now Meteora is in the same space on Melrose Avenue, close to Mozza. Meteora is owned by Michelin Star Chef Jordan Kahn. Kahn has had much controversy with his other restaurants but I still wanted to try this new restaurant which is described as “a holistic restaurant experience.”
Meteora is an open space that has a Star Wars-like vibe. Greenery is everywhere and lights are hanging in macrame hangers. New Age music, that at times sounds like a sound bath, will lull you. Overall, the space has a calm, soothing, sustainable vibe. The kitchen is open but a see-through removable wall separates it from one of the two dining areas. The staff is wearing neutral colored clothing and move about the room in a choreographed fashion. For those who have watched “The Menu”, you might find some similarities.
Meteora offers a tasting menu of five courses. For the main course, guests can choose from three options. There are also four supplemental options. And a wine pairing is available for $70. This is five wines that have been hand selected by sommelier James Saidy to pair with each dish. The wine pairing is a very affordable price and James’ wine selections are creative and delicious. And James really works the floor. He moves from table to table, chatting with guests. He is very engaging with his personable approach and accessible descriptions about the wines.
We started with cocktails. My friend ordered a Moro cocktail with pressed blood orange, ancient purple corn, green tomato water, aged agave spirit infused with sweet potato skins, single-distilled desert cane spirit, burnt cinnamon. I ordered a Cosmorus made with ripe kiwi juice, fragrant verbena leaf, pineapple, yuzu, destillado de pulque, roasted agave spirits. I loved the vibrancy of the drink that had a lightly smoky note on the finish.
The first dish was the Stonington Scallop with young coconut, cherimoya, buddha’s hand, macadamia nut milk infused with habanero. I loved every bite of this dish. It was delicate and bright with texture and had a touch of heat on the finish.
The dish was paired with Aphros MV “Phaunus” Pet-Nat from Vinho Verde. The wine was very crisp and linear and paired nicely with the heat of the habanero.
The Burnt Yam with yeast butter emulsion, smoked trout roe, roasted guava, grilled hazelnuts, and lime was delicious decadence.
It was paired with the Matthiasson 2021 Chardonnay, Linda Vista Vineyard, Napa. This beautiful Chardonnay is like a heavier style Chablis. It had the body to stand up to this dish and the acidity to cut through the butter and richness.
The third course was Bigfin Squid with caramelized plantain, black futsu squash cream, aji amarillo, and squash blossom. The caramelized plantain offered a touch of sweetness on the finish and the aji amarillo added a little heat.
This dish was paired with the Clemensbusch 2021 Spatelese Riesling, Marienburg, Mosel. This was the standout pairing of the night. The sweetness of the Riesling toned down the sweetness of the plantain, but it also tempered the heat of the aji amarillo.
We ordered one seasonal dish, the Himalayan Morels with a jam of roasted corn truffle, jungle peanuts, and grilled sourdough flatbread. While this dish might have been one too many, it was worth it!
For the main course, I selected the Pacific Striped Bass with grilled cucumber, praline of smoked chiles, sour orange, and brown butter.
This dish was paired with the Ijalba 2020 Maturana Blanca, Rioja. The chalky acidity of this wine cut through the buttery deliciousness of the fish.
The desert of Roasted Cacao Custard with candy cap mushroom, puffed wild rice, and aged rum caramel was more earthy than sweet.
It was paired with the Paie Passagem MV Tawny Port, Porto. What I liked about this pairing was how they worked in concert. The wine added the perfect finishing touch to this earthy dessert.
I really enjoyed every aspect of this meal, from the ambience to the service and from the food to the wine. It was a perfect meal to culminate a week of birthday celebrations and definitely pleased the palate.
6703 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038