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Eating at Red Medicine LA
02/01/2014 by
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I remember Andrew Zimmern from Bizarre Foods visiting this restaurant.  And since I’m a huge fan of him and his experiences, I wanted to give this a try as well.  Red Medicine from my understanding is Vietnamese-cuisine-inspired but not necessarily Vietnamese by any means.  Don’t go there expecting traditional Vietnamese dishes fused with new American elements.  DO go here expecting to get interesting concoctions where everything is not only pretty looking but also very edible.

This is restaurant #4 on my 2014 LA food expedition.

Instead of the tasting menu, my party opted for ordering individual dishes.  We also ordered a lot of their mixed cocktails, and for the most part they were all extremely good.  You really can’t go wrong with any of them.  Some of the drinks came out in a jar or in a bottle and required you to do some of your own mixing.  Fun times.


Biodynamic Leeks with yuzu and buttermilk.  The leek was pretty good although in general I didn’t find anything special.  I’m not exactly sure what is meant by “biodynamic”.  Regardless, the sauce poured on top was pretty tart, and everything on the plate was edible.  It was fun munching on the herbs.


Wild Yellowfin Tuna with roasted kale oil and quince.  I don’t remember what the blocks were, but this is pretty much yellowfin tuna tartare.  The cream in the middle has some smokiness to it too.  I thought this was pretty good too.


Hen Rillete with elderberry and stambler’s rye.  It’s basically chicken pate underneath the leaves.  The little dish has some crunchy textures.  It reminds me of eating lettuce wrap bread crumbs.  Honestly, the pate was good by itself and didn’t really need the bread on the side.


Duck Liver with meadosweet and pear.  The liver was salty but tasty by itself.  I did not particularly like it paired with the radish though.  I felt the bread from the rillete would have helped here.


Chicken Dumplings with caramelized sugars and confitures.  This was very good.  The hot sauce on the top left is basically home-made Sriracha and is next to hoysin sauce.  The pickles are very similar to Japanese sunomono.  On the side, you have mint leaves, butter lettuce (for wrapping), and some crispy onions.  The dumplings taste very similar to Taiwanese “Lion Head” meatballs but with a little more tang to them.


Dungeness Crab with charred lettuce and black garlic.  This was kind of interesting.  Looking into the bowl, you wonder where is the crab.  The crab is actually at the very bottom and is very sweet almost as if it was coated with sugar.  I’m not sure if there was anything done to it, but paired with the garnish, lettuce, and black garlic, it was good.


Pheasant with weeping plum and fall leaves.  This was good but not great.  The pheasant was underneath all the leaves and was a little chewy for me.  The fall leaves definitely was interesting as it added a little bitterness to the plate.


Mugifuji Pork with alliums and rhubarb.  This was basically braised pork belly.  The meat was very soft and sweet.  By this time, I was already stuffed with liquor and food, so it was a little difficult for us to finish this plate.  Now onto the desserts …


Redwood Ice with almond praline, red currant, verbena, and violet.  This was pretty tasty.  The lid reminded me of eating almond tofu but with a white chocolate type texture.  The waitress said this was a palette cleanser and is the most popular.  The red currant reminded me of cherry gel tabs.


Coconut Bavarois with coffee, condensed milk, thai basil, and peanut croquant.  This was plain out weird.  It has some coffee flavors which is quickly triumphed by the peanut croquant.  After you get a mix of sweet and salty sensations that don’t really like each other.  It’s almost like eating an argument.  Pretty interesting.


Green Strawberry with shortbread, sorrel curd, oak moss, and sweet clover.  For the most part, this was a little sour, which was fine by me.  The green strawberries are basically unriped strawberries.  I felt this was a better palette cleanser than the Redwood Ice though.

Overall, it was very difficult to describe what I was eating the entire night.  The ingredients for the most part were very foreign to me, but I like these types of experiences.  I like how everything was edible.  Some of the floral decorations definitely had some interesting flavors.

Based on reading some of the Yelp reviews, people have some strange expectations.  Don’t go to Red Medicine expecting a normal flavored experience.  If you want to challenge your taste buds and are open to new things (prices aside), I think you will have a great time.

As always, if you have any ideas of restaurants to try, please suggest in the comments below.

Visit: Red Medicine, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles
#4 of 52 2014 LA food expedition