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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

LA MER

Today (well, by the time I had a chance to post this, it was yesterday) is Pearl's birthday.  I, thus, found my way to La Mer, her most favorite restaurant, to celebrate.  I made a last second decision, caught The Bus to Waikiki, and was surprised to see so many people already there at 6:30 PM.  Yet, I got a perfect table with the following view:
Hula-ing is Konoe Miller, and this is a close-up:

Who is all of .... years old, a former Miss Hawaii.  Nah, I won't give her age, as she is younger than me.  In the close background, the Sheraton Waikiki:
where I stayed a week ago to watch the July 4th fireworks over Magic Island.  You can only barely see Diamond Head through the kiawe (algaroba) tree, but the sunset colors were spectacular.

However, I came for the food, so here is the epicurean report for the Gourmet Philosophers:

La Mer--11July2011 

At the outset, let me say that I thought the meal was way overpriced, for the total bill was near $400 for just three appetizers plus a few drinks... and not a drop of Louis the 13th cognac. 

The evening began with a free Heidsieck Monopole champagne, 12% ethanol.  I also ordered a Santa Barbara 2009 Costa de Oro Pinot Noir (14.5%, Pearl's favorite was this wine) and Cotes de Provence 2010 Chateau d'Esclans Whispering Angel rose (12.5%--lacking in character). One glass each, and these were not served in Riedel, although the sommelier insisted they were.  I think they save the good crystal for expensive bottles.

The three appetizers were:  Caviar from Aquitaine with blinis, creme fraiche and traditional  accompaniments:
As the caviar came from France (and from southern French waters, which surprised me, for I thought that sturgeons only did well in relatively cold environments), I had a shot of chilled Grey Goose vodka, too.

The second appetizer was Spanish Iberico Beliota Ham, supposedly the finest ham in the world, with chive mash potato and petit salad 
with fresh truffle (and I found the ham abominable for the rancidity and price) and the third was a sauteed foie GRAS with green and white asparagus (excellent):
Does the above look like $400 worth of food?  Okay, I was a lot extravagant, but $400?

After all the above I was still not satiated, so with a cappuccino and Chateau Roumieu-Lacoste 2006 Sauternes (14.5%--they did not have Chateau d'Yquem by the glass), I had two blue cheeses:  sheep milk Roquefort and cow milk Fourme D'Ambert.  Then came those assorted sweets, and for the first time in my life in a high end French restaurant, I ate them all.

Okay, the setting was perfect, the service impeccable and experience memorable.  The price?  Much too high, I think.  Ted, if you're reading this, look forward to seeing you here next week.  I splurged and caught a taxi home.

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The Dow Jones Industrials fell another 59 to 12,447, with world markets also almost all down.  As would then be expected, gold jumped $17/toz to $1566, with NYMEX at $97/barrel and Brent Spot at $118/barrel, a $21/barrel difference.

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Latest tracking of Tropical Storm Ma-on shows it is now heading straight for Okinawa as a Category 2 typhoon.


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3 comments:

Guy@NELHA said...

Looks like you had a great celebration for Pearl. I must agree, $400 is a bit steep for what you got, but the ambiance was worth it and I'm sure Pearl is happy.

dqm talking story said...

We don’t consider us Gourmet philosophers, nevertheless we are always in search of fine cuisines to please the palate. La Mer presents an opportunity for our next adventure in search of authentic French dinning. I found your report of a night at La Mer is attractive and rich in may ways. The tender thoughts of remembrance is priceless.

PLANET EARTH AND HUMANITY said...

Thank you Guy and dqm. There are so few comments to my blog that I wonder if those visitor counts:

800+, 400+, 300+ and 300+

the past four days are real. Supposedly I'm now up to 184 countries, so people around the world apparently are clicking on.

Interesting that no one responds to my energy and environment postings. Maybe I'll change this site from Planet Earth and Humanity to Dining, Movie Going and Assorted Gratuitous Amusements.