Restaurant: Meat on Ocean
Location: 1501 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401. (310) 773-3366
Date: September 26, 2017
Rating: Solid fare, good service
Meat on Ocean replaces the old i. Cugini on Ocean Ave. That storied Italian place was around for 20+ years (I even went on an early date there with my wife). It was (and still is) owned by the Watergrill group but has rebooted as a mid/high-end steakhouse. Tonight is a special small informal dinner featuring GIANT and RARE Australian Shiraz.
They have opened up the patio space which is great to see as this is one of the most appealing outside strips in the city, almost reminiscent of Miami’s South Beach.
The build out was extensive and looks great.
And it continues inside.
One of their “things” is that they age their own beef and make the cuts in the morning. To that effect they have this serious aging room.
Check out the old cow.
The festivities begin with our old favorite, courtesy of Ron: NV Krug Champagne Brut Grande Cuvée. VM 94. The NV Grande Cuvée is absolutely stellar. This is one of the very best Grande Cuvées I can remember tasting. The flavors are bright, focused and beautifully delineated throughout, all of which make me think the wine will age well for many, many years. Lemon peel, white flowers, crisp pears, smoke and crushed rocks race across the palate in a vibrant, tense Champagne that epitomizes finesse.
A round of oysters. Meat is owned and operated by the Watergrill group so the seafood comes from there.
From my cellar: 2010 Domaine Henri Boillot Meursault 1er Cru Les Genevrières. VM 94. Knockout perfume of soft citrus fruits, menthol, wet stone and white truffle. Densely packed, saline and seamless; deceptively approachable today owing to its sheer richness and depth of flavor and its very long, sweet aftertaste. But this utterly primary wine has the stuffing for aging. Boillot recommends drinking it in the next year or so or holding it for seven or eight years; he’s convinced the wine will be totally closed in two years.
Maryland Blue Crab Cocktail. Crushed avocado, roasted tomatoes, lemon mayo. The saltines (and very few at that) are in interesting touch. The meat itself was very good, if a bit mayo-infused.
Wild Jump Mexican Shrimp. Good shrimp but pretty much what you expect looking at it.
Duck Rillettes. Fig jam and goat cheese. A great pate, particularly with both the jam and cheese.
From my cellar (I didn’t have big Aussies): 1998 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Musigny Cuvée Vieilles Vignes. VM 95. Bright red-ruby. Brilliant aromas of strawberry, raspberry, cherry and bitter chocolate. Wonderfully intense, sharply delineated flavors of red berries, spices and mint; a wine of great density and verve, not to mention powerful structure for long life. A rare combination of silky texture and lightness of touch. Fabulous back end features utterly suave tannins and resounding, vibrant fruit.
Charcuterie plate with Chorizo soria, mortadella, prosciutto di parma, lomo and speck. Plus various pickles and mustards etc.
Crunchy Iceberg Wedge. Bacon and blue cheese dressing. A decent wedge. Nice strong creamy dressing and a virtual slab bacon.
We asked for and received some bonus blue cheese.
Little gem. Grilled per, avocado, buttermilk dressing. Some might call this overdressed.
Baby romaine caesar. grana padano and house crutons. Ron didn’t like this at all. They aren’t using real Parmagiano, instead a grana (similar type of cheese from a slightly different region).
The parade of super rare Chris Ringland Shiraz begins.
1998 Chris Ringland Shiraz. VM 96+. Saturated purple-ruby to the rim. Perfumed, exotic aromas of darkest berries, graphite, sandalwood, mace, nutmeg and roasted herbs. A wine of incredible verve and spicy intensity; like a fruit essence today, with literally painful concentration. Conveys a saline impression of pure extract. A remarkable combination of sweetness and vibrancy. Palate-staining finish features great persistence and snap. Already brilliant but capable of a long and glorious evolution in bottle. Alas, there are only four barrels of this elixir.
Parker 100. The Chris Ringland (formerly known as Three Rivers Shiraz), which is aged 42 months in 100% new French oak, and is rarely racked until bottling, represents an extraordinary expression of Barossa Shiraz. The perfect 1998, made from a single, 88-year-old vineyard cropped at one ton of fruit per acre, soaked up its wood component as if it is not even present. It boasts a sumptuous texture, great delineation, and a huge fragrance of bacon fat, blackberry liqueur, creme de cassis, toast, espresso roast, and hints of chocolate as well as pepper. Full-bodied yet remarkably well-delineated and fresh, this stunning wine is still a baby, but it promises to evolve for two decades or more.
1999 Chris Ringland Shiraz. Parker 98. The Chris Ringland (formerly known as Three Rivers Shiraz), is aged 42 months in 100% new French oak, and is rarely racked until bottling, represents an extraordinary expression of Barossa Shiraz. The intense 1999, released in 2004, demonstrates that this vintage is somewhat underrated after all the hype over 1998. From a vineyard planted in 1910, its inky/purple color is accompanied by aromas of lavender, lard, smoke, licorice, blackberries, cassis, espresso roast, chocolate, and pepper. Full-bodied, slightly less voluminous than the perfect 1998, with an unctuous texture, sweet tannin, and a 70+ second finish, this magnificent, still young Shiraz should be accessible in 3-5 years, and last for two decades.
2000 Chris Ringland (formerly Three Rivers) Shiraz. Parker 97. It is clearly the Barossa wine of the vintage, and has put on considerable weight since it was bottled. This stunning cuvee, which used to be known as the Three Rivers Shiraz, was aged 33 months in new French 300 liter hogsheads. A beautiful bouquet of crushed rocks, white flowers, blueberries, blackberries, incense, and subtle pain grille is followed by a rich, full-bodied red revealing supple tannin as well as tremendous texture and richness, and more depth and intensity than it did last year. By Chris Ringland’s standards, it is quite approachable, and should age beautifully for 10-15 years.
2001 Chris Ringland (formerly Three Rivers) Shiraz. Parker 100. The monumental 2001 Shiraz, from a 91-year old vineyard, spent 43 months in new French 300-liter hogsheads. The result is a compelling wine of great richness, flavor breadth, and length. An inky/blue/purple color is accompanied by extraordinary scents of flowers, blackberries, blueberries, and cassis as well as hints of espresso roast, truffles, roasted meats, and incense. This sexy, beautifully balanced, loaded Shiraz should keep for three decades or more.
agavin: an absolute monster, so big that a WEEK LATER we tried a bit of it left over (and in Yarom’s fridge) and it was still great! (although not as integrated). The alcohol is almost 17%.
Larry brought: 2006 Torbreck The Laird. Parker 99. Deep garnet colored, the 2006 The Laird offers a multi-faceted nose of ripe black berries, blueberry preserves and kirsch aromas with an underlying perfume of baking spices, lavender, cinnamon stick and cloves plus some savory / earthy nuances, including bacon, black tea, tobacco and forest floor. The palate is full bodied and densely packed with fruit, savory and earth flavors while supported by a firm level of very fine-grained tannins and refreshing acidity. It finishes very long and while already incredibly complex, promises a lot more to come. Consider drinking it 2014 to 2026+.
Specially selected cut of aged (30 or 45 day, not sure) Bone-in Ribeye.
Full rack of sugar cured Baby Back Pork Ribs. Great ribs actually.
Grilled Maitake Mushroom. Balsamic soy glaze and shaved parmesan. To help mobilize things.
Colorado rack of lamb. Very salty and seasoned but absolutely delicious.
2000 Árvay János Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos. 93 points. Wow! This is (finally) really coming into its own. Big juicy apricot & marmelade notes supported by strong acidity that manages to balance the sweetness Outstanding dessert wine!
1998 Müller-Catoir Mußbacher Eselshaut Riesling Eiswein. 92 points. I had expected just a touch more from this Müller-Catoir Eiswein, but the wine’s more powerfully built personality seems to have taken just a bit of elegance and vibrancy out of the customary Eiswein equation. This is still a very good bottle by any stretch of the imagination, but I simply was hoping for a bit more. The bouquet is a powerful blend of pineapple, sweet grapefruit, papaya, Pfalz soil tones and a bit of straw in the upper register. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, deep and impeccably balanced in its muscular style, with brisk acids and fine length and grip on the finish. The wine at age eleven is complex, well-balanced and drinking well, and others may find this a hair better than I did, but for my palate, a bit more elegance and refinement would have been nice additions.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Sundae. Peanut butter ice cream. Fresh raspberries. Good stuff. Reminds me of my even better peanut butter and jelly gelato.
Pistachio Creme Brulee. Bitter chocolate, candied pistachios.
Rotisserie Pineapple. Vanilla and red chili caramel, sweet cream ice cream.
Overall, a very nice dinner. Food was very solid. Not super innovative for a steakhouse like Alexander’s or anything, but quite good. Wines were AMAZING and I don’t even like giant extracted wines (but these were just over the top good). Service was fabulous. No corkage at Meat and they really took great care of us.
Yarom with the manager, Veronica!
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