La Poubelle

June 27, 2014

in restaurant, vegetarian

I walk by La Poubelle every time I see a show at UCB; it’s always packed, but I haven’t been inside – other than one quick brunch, years ago.

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Things have changed since then – not necessarily with the decor…

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…but in the kitchen.

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“La Poubelle” literally means “garbage can” in French – the place began as a creperie in 1969, evolving into a culinary destination. Chef Johnny Zone took us on a (mostly) vegetarian adventure – starting with this amuse buche, tomatoes/watercress picked from their rooftop garden.

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Vine-smelling may or may not have occurred.

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For the most part, we were treated to an impromptu, small plate tasting, mixed with things you’ll find on their menu + seasonal specials.

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This is their Beet Salad, with Pea Tendrils, Hazelnuts, Goat Cheese, Caraway Seeds, Roasted Olive Oil, and Beet Juice with Basil poured over.

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Baby corn, served in their adorable baby husks…

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…Mexican “Street Style” – cotija cheese, red pepper flakes, aioli, and fresh lime juice.

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Fries “Animal Style” – a nod to In-N-Out’s – updated with Gruyere and Caramelized Onions.

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A special ingredient from David Chang’s Momofuku lab – Bonji

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…incorporated into Asparagus Tops with Red Miso…

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…and cured Aji.

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Mini bites of some of their most popular dishes – Flash-fried Brussels Sprouts Leaves with Blistered Capers/Truffle Oil…

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…Red Quinoa and Haricots Verts, Fennel, Fresh Herbs, Lemon Vinaigrette…

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…Smoked Trout Bruschetta, Crushed Avocado, Tomato, Lemon…

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…and a Vegan Carrot Soup. Fancied up for us with Carrot “Noodles” and Shaved Black Carrots.

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(Carrots upon Carrots upon Carrots.)

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Finally, the dish I’ve been most curious about since seeing it on The Best Thing I Ever Ate

…Coq au Vin. Curtis Stone is correct – it’s incredible and tastes even better leftover.

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For dessert – we had to order the treat seen (and smelled) at surrounding tables…

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…Double Crusted Lavender Creme Brûlée.

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Do you really need two layers of sugar? Oui. Et oui.

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Well, that was certainly NOT what I was expecting walking into “The Garbage Can” Wednesday evening. The service/ambiance/food make it a special enough place for big occasions, but also casual enough for fries/beer with friends. This small plate tasting isn’t on the menu, but maybe if people ask, they’ll make it an option?

La Poubelle on Urbanspoon

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