It’s been a couple years since Frankie and I visited Ko, a 2 Star Michelin restaurant and they are still a place worth a visit if you’re in town. A few cosmetic changes include the entry now being a different door so that you enter into a segregated bar area and then walk through to the dining room. Still a large U-shaped bar around an open kitchen. The glassed in cabinets on one side seemed fuller, holding lots of aging meats and vegetables. Fairly loud rock music plays in the background and service is friendly and helpful, but there is limited interaction with the cooking staff. No menu is given for the surprise tasting that all guests have, but one is presented at the end of the meal. They nicely offer a warm wet cloth before you start your meal which is thoughtful as several first bites are finger food.
A pomme soufflé with chive powder is really crisp and filled with a creamy substance that was tasty.
Lobster poloise was a crispy roll with Thai basil and filled with juicy flavor.
A chicken oyster was fried with honey mustard and was light, juicy and crisp with a touch of sweetness. A yum here.
Fluke with shiso and tomato bonji was thin sliced raw fluke that was nicely seasoned and served with herbs and tomato sauce. It was okay.
California spot prawns were dusted with corn meal and fried. The whole thing was edible, like a soft shell crab. It was served with raw bits of body meat and when you ate them together it was like the juiciest fried shrimp ever.
Ko egg with White Sturgeon caviar was a soft boiled and then smoked egg served alongside caviar, potato chips and onions. It was a lick the plate dish even though I didn’t detect the smoke flavor. The bread was served with it and was perfect for mopping up any last bits. Bread was a house made sour dough served with a cultured butter, almost like cheese.
Beef au poivre was made with Pennsylvania dry aged strip loin with a sauce of green peppers. It was really thin pieces that were lightly grilled so they still had some rareness and juiciness. It was quite good and very tender.
Razor clams with pineapple and basil were in soup form. The clams had been lightly charred and had absolutely no grit. They were sweet and tender and went really well with the sweet dashi pineapple sauce. Really tasty.
Halibut was served with soybean and chili. A little spice was perfect to mix with this terrifically moist fish. It was a different combination of ingredients and it turned out to be an amazing dish.
Duck with cabbage and blood orange combined dry aged duck with Savoy cabbage cooked in browned butter. It was nicely grilled with only a small bit of the fat cap remaining. The cabbage was really buttery and kind of out showed the duck. The thicker portions were tasty but it got livery on the thin end. The grilling of the pieces was an involved process with single diners getting a whole one whereas couple had to share one. It was plenty for two.
A grapefruit sorbet was a transition to the dessert courses. It was accented with Earl Grey tea. The sorbet was strongly flavored and it seemed like the bits of texture in it might have been tea leaves. It was nice.
Foie gras, lychee, pine nut and Riesling was a pine nut tart topped with shaved frozen foie gras with Riesling jelly. It was really good with the pine nuts adding a good bit of flavor.
Wild rice-Kombu was wild rice ice cream topped with puffed rice and other crispy stuff. The ice cream didn’t have a strong flavor but it was a great texture to mix with the topping.
Mandarin torte tatin with cheese was wonderful. There was a choice of cheese to grate on it – Danish Gouda aged 12 months or 8 month old Comte. I liked the Gouda better. The crust was intensely buttery and delicious. The interior was soft and gooey. A high note to end this great meal on.
With the presentation of the menu was a gift of a Ko Hozon Blondie bar which was nice.