Skip to main content

Lokal Supper Club

Tonight my adventure was not something that I cooked. I just got to be the culinary paparazi, well-fed culinary paparazi. Jake and I went to a pop-up supper club, Edible Monterey Bay magazine's inaugural, for a slightly belated anniversary dinner; Brian and Pia joined us for the fun and food.

Lokal, in the heart of Carmel Valley village, is the soon-to-be-opened brainchild of local boy Chef Brendan Jones. Click here to read the article that appeared in Edible Bay Monterey last August about the hip, elegant, but unfussy new restaurant. Did I mention "soon-to-be-opened"?!? We are the first people to eat in this restaurant that, for sure, will be a hit.

This prix-fixe menu consisted of six surprising courses. By "surprising" I mean innovative and delightful. Surprising.

The first course: Hot and Cold Gin Fizz - lemon, gin, and warmed egg whites. Herby and zesty topped with a frothy mouthful of soft meringue. Wow. I have never had anything like this. The two things that stopped me from downing this apertif in two gulps - I wanted to savor every sip and I was drinking on an empty stomach.

The second course was a nod to Brendan and Matthew Zolan's other business, a bar in Praque. They served a Zelinacka Czech Cabbage Soup next. Cabbage soup topped with a mustard ice cream continued the hot-cold thing. Delicious and surprising. I need a new word. But, truly, cabbage cooked in a savory broth topped with a mustard seed-flecked scoop of ice cream is surprising, isn't it?!? They paired this with a pinot noir from the Chock Rock Vineyards.

From soup to salad...the third course was a Pear Salad, local artisan greens topped with fresh pears, crisped parsnips, dressed with a sweet Yuzu dressing, and accompanied by a bleu cheese foam. I had to look up yuzu; it's a Japanese citrus fruit. I love learning new things...and discovering new flavors. So fun. This was served with a chardonnay by Chock Rock.

The fourth course was a Snapper Ceviche served with fresh avocados, kumquats, cilantro and crisp mole chips. Tangy and light, this was matched with a vermentino by Chesebro Wines. Though everything was over-the-top amazing, this was my personal favorite.

The fifth course, and Pia's favorite, was a melt-in-your mouth short rib with turnips, asparagus, carrots, and fennel served over a pepper fettucine.

And the final course, dessert, was an Ice Cream Sandwich - two crisp, buttery chocolate chip cookies hugging a scoop of bay leaf ice cream.

We laughed, we feasted, and we toasted - "to a 'shawl-free' 2012" (that was Brian); "to giggles" (Pia); "to adventure and passion" (me); I can't remember what Jake added before the group clink. Whoops. My brain was addled by too many glasses of wine.

*Morning update: I remember, now. Jake toasted "to change." Here, here.*

You know it's a great dinner when your friends take your camera while you're in the bathroom and take silly out-of-focus photos. We definitely were heavy on the giggles!


What an amazing culinary adventure! Congratulations to Brendan and Michael. Lokal is a winner!


Popular posts from this blog

Quick Pickled Red Onions and Radishes

If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you probably know how much I love to pickle things. I was just telling a friend you can pickle - with vinegar - or you can ferment - with salt - for similar delicious effect. The latter has digestive benefits and I love to do that, but when I need that pop of sour flavor quickly, I whip up quick pickles that are ready in as little as a day or two. I've Pickled Blueberries , Pickled Asparagus , Pickled Cranberries , Pickled Pumpkin , and even Pickled Chard Stems ! This I did last night for an upcoming recipe challenge that requires I include radishes. Ummmm...of course I'm pickling them! Ingredients  makes 1 quart jar radishes, trimmed and sliced organic red onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer) 3/4 C vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar) 3/4 C water 3 T organic granulated sugar 1 T salt (I used some grey sea salt) 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper Proce

Aloo Tiki {Pakistan}

To start off our Pakistani culinary adventure, I started us off with aloo tiki - potato cutlets. I'm always game for tasty street food. I found a couple of different recipes and incorporated those together for this version. Ingredients 6-8 small red potatoes, scrubbed 1 T cumin seeds 1 T fresh chopped parsley 1/2 t ground coriander 1 t minced garlic Procedure Boil the potatoes until they are tender. Drain and let cool. Mash the potatoes. Traditionally they are mashed without their skins. I left the skins on. In a small pan, toast the cumin seeds on high heat until the begin to give off an aroma and begin to darken. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate to keep them from cooking any more. Blend all of the spices into the mashed potatoes, then shape into small patties. If you wet your hands, the potato mixture won't stick to them. Heat a splash of oil in a large, flat-bottom pan. Dip each patty into beaten egg and carefully place in the oil. P

Meyer Lemon Custard-Filled Matcha Turtles #BreadBakers

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our  Pinterest board  right here. Links are also updated after each event on the  Bread Bakers home page .  We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. This month Stacy of Food Lust People Love  is hosting and she wrote: "Your bread can be large, as in one big animal, or small - animal-shaped rolls. Use your imagination! Points for flavor and shape!" If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to Stacy at Here's the animal-shaped bread basket from the #BreadBakers... Beef and Sweet Onion Dim Sum Pandas from Karen's Kitchen Stories Bird Bread Rolls from Ambrosia Easter Bunny Buns from Cook with Renu Ham and Cheese Elephant Rolls from Food Lust People Love Hedgehog Bread from Making Mir