Restaurant: Dà Lat Rose
Location: 468 N Bedford Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. (310) 205-8990
Date: November 5, 2019
Cuisine: Vietnamese Modern
Rating: Really interesting, more traditional, but still modern
This year our group has struck up a friendship with Elisabeth and Catherine An of Crustacean and we’ve not only visited the main Crustacean — Hedonist style — but they have now invited us to come back just before launch to their new high end place, Dà Lat Rose.
The main entrance.
Da Lat Rose is a passion project between Chef Helene An, founder of House of AN / Crustacean Beverly Hills and Chef Tony Nguyen.
Located above the iconic Crustacean restaurant in Beverly Hills, Da Lat Rose is not just another restaurant – it is a culinary biography of Heleneʼs dramatic life events. Beginning with her birth as the daughter of a Mandarin Scholar in 1944, the 12 course tasting menu shares course-by-course of Helene’s journey from her life in Vietnam to being a refugee in America. Toward the end of the menu, Chef Helene focuses on the future of culinary advancements and transition of the kitchen at Da Lat Rose to Chef Tony Nguyen, who also celebrates his own Vietnamese American heritage as the menu concludes in the final courses.
As with most dining experiences in Vietnam, the evening will begin in the Bia Hoi, where guests can enjoy a fun street-style food experience, before they journey “down The Street” into the main dining room.
The build out is gorgeous and elaborate — this is just one corner of the bar.
The gather in the bar to begin our meal. It should be noted that this meal was a bit crazy. It was supposed to be about 10-12 but since the restaurant was only soft opening, they asked Yarom to add more people and he ran it up to 18 or 19 and that created a crazy wine situation with a tremendous number of wines but a challenge in pouring them around. It worked passably given that fact, but barely.
The tables are custom and inspired by the barrels that Vietnamese eat on street-side.
Custom-made Vietnamese fruit beer.
Elisabeth An is our hostess tonight.
The mini menu for the bar.
NV Krug Champagne Brut Grande Cuvée Edition 167eme. JG 96. The new release of Krug Grande Cuvée “167eme Édition” is stellar. The wine is from the base year of 2011 and utterly transcends that vintage, but, of course, it includes nearly two hundred different wines in the blend, with the oldest reserves dating all the way back to the 1995 vintage. Fully forty-two percent of the cuvée this year is made up of reserve wines. The cépages for the 167eme Édition is forty-seven percent pinot noir, thirty-six percent chardonnay and seventeen percent pinot meunier. The wine shows its lovely preponderance of pinot noir on the nose, wafting from the glass in a beautifully complex blend of apple, white peach, a touch of patissière, very complex soil tones, caraway seed and a gently floral contribution in the upper register from the pinot meunier in the blend. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, complex and nicely broad-shouldered, with great depth at the core, refined mousse, bright, seamless acids and outstanding focus and grip on the very long, complex and beautifully balanced finish. This is simply outstanding and should age effortlessly for fifty to seventy-five years! (Drink between 2019-2090)
A Tumultuous Time. Grilled Razor Clams, grilled over white coals, Vietnamese balm.
Once removed, and doused with a bit of lime this is a delicious clam with nice chew and bright flavors.
2002 Louis Roederer Champagne Cristal Brut. JG 97+. I last tasted the 2002 Cristal back in the autumn of 2013, when the wine was still a bit on the young side, but it has now started to really blossom beautifully and is really entering its plateau of maturity in 2018. The 2002 Cristal is composed of a blend of fifty-five percent pinot noir and forty-five percent chardonnay, with none of the vins clairs having gone through malo and the finishing dosage ten grams per liter in this vintage. This has been a brilliant vintage of Cristal since its inception and at age sixteen, the wine is just beginning to properly blossom and show some of its secondary layers of complexity, The nose jumps from the glass in a refined blend of pear, apple, fresh almond, gentle smokiness, a touch of the tangerine to come, chalky soil tones and brioche in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and a powerfully-built vintage of Cristal, with a great core, elegant mousse, bright, racy and well-integrated acids and stunning mineral drive on the very long, complex and perfectly balanced finish. This is a great vintage of Cristal, and though it is now beginning to show some lovely generosity and secondary layering, a bit more cellaring would still be richly rewarded. (Drink between 2018-2075)
In Hiding 1948. Bamboo Rice, toasted turmeric, lime leaf chicken oyster, roasted quail jus, garlic chive. Another tasty bit: chicken fried rice Vietnamese style.
2009 Dom Pérignon Champagne Luminous. It’s the same I think as the normal 2009 — some people think maybe a bit more sugar.
Raft to Refuge. Spot Prawn, lemongrass garlic butter, bird eye chili salt. This was dipped in a candle filled with melted garlic olive oil.
We then cross over the “bridge” and literally over Crustacean to the main dining room.
Large, and with more elaborate build out.
Look at these funky chairs.
Every table has custom “cones” of bronze with the house story on them.
And they offer you a selection of antique chopsticks.
And tonight’s menu.
2012 Louis Jadot Bâtard-Montrachet. BH 93. There is a hint of menthol sitting atop pretty aromas of acacia blossom, spiced pear and white peach scents. The delicious, muscular and pure broad-shouldered and powerful flavors possess fine size and weight that continues onto the concentrated and impressively persistent if presently compact finish. Those who enjoy their white burgs young should note that while this is very promising there isn’t great complexity at this early stage so I would very much be inclined to allow this to age for at least 8 to 10 years first. (Drink starting 2020)
2014 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Abbaye de Morgeot Cuvée Clement Emma. 88 points. Very clean and precise, crisp, light mouthfeel with long finish. Intensely stony. Somewhat surprised how very accessible this is as a pop and pour.
agavin: someone slipped in here (as Yarom padded the dinner) with a much cheaper wine. It’s not a bad wine, but it’s below the official dinner standard.
Welcome Banh Mi Bread Service. It’s a deconstructed Banh Mi, here are the pickles.
And the meats — various cured head cheeses and pates etc.
And the bread.
Along with special honey butter and pate. All of the above was to be assembled onto the bread.
2010 Domaine Jacques Prieur Montrachet. BH 94-96. This is ever-so-slightly riper than the Chevalier and a bit more aromatically complex as well if not more elegant. There is outstanding richness, volume, muscle and unconcealed power to the large-scaled heavy-weight flavors that somehow manage to avoid any sense of undue ponderousness before culminating in a massively long finish that is almost chewy and tannic. This will require plenty of bottle age but it should be great in time.
2013 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatières. BH 91-93. This too is gorgeously pure with its airy, cool and complex nose that is composed by notes of white flower and freshly cut citrus fruit that are trimmed in just a hint of pain grillé. The highly energetic and intensely mineral-inflected middle weight flavors possess good richness but also terrific delineation on the firm finish that is dry, long and moderately austere. (Drink starting 2023)
Duo of Banh Xeo. Da Lat Style: A5 Tallow, rau ram, melted bean sprout, wood ear & shiitake mushroom, cucumber & garlic lime cloud. This version interprets the flavors from the traditional version (below). It has a more sophisticated and subtle flavor profile.
Traditional Style Banh Xeo: shrimp, chicken, bean sprouts, mushroom, onion, snap peas, endive, herbs. This is basically an omelet with various stuff inside eaten with herbs and the sauce. Delicious and fairly simple.
2008 Mongeard-Mugneret Grands-Echezeaux. JG 95+. For as long as I can remember, Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret has produced one of the greatest examples of Grands Echézeaux in all of Burgundy, so it comes as no surprise that their 2008 is stupendous. The absolutely beautiful, youthful nose soars from the glass in an inspired mélange of dark berries, plums, espresso, woodsmoke, incipient notes of gamebird, a kaleidoscopically complex base of soil and a judicious base of cedary oak. On the palate the wine is deep, pure and very primary, with a rock solid core of fruit, laser-like focus, beautiful, nascent complexity, ripe, seamless tannins and tangy acidity lifting all these elements in a peacock’s tail of transparency and purity on the very long finish. This will be an absolutely brilliant example of the vintage, and a decade down the road, it may well prove that I have slightly underrated this beautiful wine. (Drink between 2018-2060)
2011 Domaine Denis Mortet Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Lavaux St. Jacques. VM 96. Layers of blue and purple fruit, smoke, licorice, violets and cloves all flesh out in the 2011 Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaux St- Jacques. Layered, silky and expressive to the core, the 2011 shimmers across the palate with gorgeous intensity. The 2011 is naturally not quite as rich as the 2012, but it is compelling for its combination of intense fruit and floral/savory overtones. (Drink between 2019-2021)
agavin: another nice wine way under the target. or maybe it was a bonus
Avocado to top below.
Master & Monastery. Goi Da Lat. Banana blossom, kohlrabi, red water radish, crispy rau muong, white fungus, avocado. Basically a Vietnamese salad.
1995 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Bonnes Mares. JG 94. I was highly critical of the 1995 vintage at Domaine de Comte de Vogüé when the wines were young, but the wines have aged far better than I ever imagined possible out of the blocks and I seriously underestimated these wines. The 1995 Bonnes-Mares offers up a lovely, musky bouquet of red and black cherries, vinesmoke, a complex base of soil tones, mustard seed, gamebirds and a discreet base of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and very elegant in profile, with superb complexity, a lovely core of fruit, melting tannin and lovely length and grip on the poised and classy finish. A really lovely 1995 red Burgundy! (Drink between 2015-2050)
2006 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Bonnes Mares. BH 94. This too is quite restrained with almost exclusively red berry fruit and intense floral aromas that are high-toned and pure while complementing the supple, textured, dusty and extremely precise flavors that exude a quiet power on the brooding and linear finish that delivers outstanding length. This will require every bit of a decade to resolve the very firm structure. This is less elegant than the 1er but more powerful and the distinguishing character of the ’06 Bonnes Mares is the serenity that it projects. I thought that it would be good but this knocks on the door of being genuinely great. (Drink starting 2018)
The presentation for the next dish.
The Union. King Crab Banh Khot. Coconut béchamel, royal keluga caviar. Delicious little bite.
2002 Domaine Xavier Liger-Belair Richebourg. 95 points.
From my cellar: 1999 Louis Jadot Romanée St. Vivant. BH 93. Deep ruby. The nose here is an elegant and very pure combination of floral and spice notes sitting atop ripe black pinot fruit that is still entirely primary with plum and violet-infused flavors that possess excellent density and terrific length. The intensity builds from the mid-palate and explodes onto the firmly tannic finish. This is built to age. (Drink starting 2016)
Some herby toppings for the next dish.
1975 Bodegas Vega-Sicilia Ribera del Duero Único. VM 94. The 1975 Unico (magnum) is a bit forward, especially in its aromatics, but not at all unpleasant in this context, given how youthful the 1982 and 1990 are! Still holding on to considerable depth in its fruit, the 1975 offers up an intriguing array of black cherry, plum, smoke and molasses.
2003 Bodegas Vega-Sicilia Ribera del Duero Único. VM 95. Inky ruby. Highly aromatic scents of ripe cherry and dark berries, singed plum, cured tobacco and succulent herbs, with a vanilla undertone. Sweet, expansive and powerful, offering intense black and blue fruit flavors with smoke and floral accents. Rich and full but surprisingly lively, with excellent finishing thrust and sweet, harmonious tannins adding grip. Shows the ripeness of the vintage to good effect; this is a somewhat approachable and exotic Unico, especially with some air, but it has the concentration to age slowly.
Finding Hope in Guam. Bun Rieu. Traditional style: Dungeness crab, tiger prawn, stewed heirloom tomatoes, egg roe, rice noodle, red fish paste in light lemon leaf broth.
With the toppings.
2003 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie La Mouline. VM 96-97. Saturated ruby. Superripe dark berry and cherry aromas, with an intense violet accent and a hint of minerals. Remarkably dense and packed with cherry and dark berry flavors, but with an energetic lift of acidity arriving on the back. Gets sweeter with air, taking on wild strawberry and raspberry qualities. Finishes with fine, dusty tannins and a fresh kick of raspberry. These 2003s are slated to be bottled in February of 2007.
2003 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie La Landonne. VM 95-96. Ruby-red. Powerful, brooding blackberry and creme de cassis aromas are further deepened by suggestions of dark chocolate, espresso and tar. Huge, mouthfilling and sweet, with an amazingly dense texture and superconcentrated kirsch and blackcurrant flavors complemented by baking spices and smoked meat. The impressively long finish shows great depth and powerful tannic spine. Hands off this monster for a long, long time.
2011 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie La Landonne. VM 95. Glass-staining ruby. Powerful, expansive aromas of black and blue fruit liqueur, smoky Indian spices, sandalwood and olive, and an exotic floral nuance that gains strength with air. Deeply concentrated but surprisingly lively, offering palate-staining dark fruit and violet pastille flavors and a strong, building spicy quality. Velvety tannins add grip to a strikingly long, sappy and penetrating finish, which clings with noteworthy tenacity. (Drink between 2020-2030)
In Collaboration. Duo of Thit Kho. Da Lat Style: Pork cheek, braised quail egg, Vietnamese caramel, activated charcoal rice, fermented mustard greens.
Pickles to optionally add on top.
Traditional style: caramelized pork, coconut water, shallots. Very simple pork stew. You jazz it up with the pickles.
The traditional style served over rice with pickles.
2005 Colgin IX Estate. VM 95. The 2005 IX Estate comes across as a bit clenched and tightly wound. Still, two recent tastings both suggest it doesn’t quite have the depth, intensity and potential as the best wines in this flight. Ultimately, the 2005 IX Estate is a wine of two very beautiful dimensions, but not three. Iron, smoke, lavender and a host of ferrous notes are quite expressive, while the fruit remains pushed to the background. (Drink between 2015-2025)
1974 Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello. VM 100. I have been fortunate to drink the 1974 Monte Bello three times in the last year. I served this bottle, from my cellar, blind to a group of hard-core Francophiles at the end of a dinner that showcased the best of Burgundy and Bordeaux. Every person in the room thought the wine was Bordeaux. No one came close to guessing California, much less identifying the age of the wine or the vintage. When the 1974 Monte Bello was revealed, there was only silence at the table. Tasted from a perfect bottle, the 1974 remains almost unnaturally deep, powerful and intense. It is an eternal wine whose life will only be determined by how well corks hold up. Put simply, the 1974 Monte Bello is one of the greatest and most singular wines I have ever tasted from any region in the world. (Drink between 2016-2036)
The Legacy Lives On. Wagyu Bo Kho. Snake river farms wagyu, su su “Buddha’s palm”, heirloom carrots. A Vietnamese modern beef stew.
1989 Trimbach Riesling Clos Ste. Hune. 95 points. Perfectly mature CSH with just incredibly unique flavors of petrol, old honey and distinct minerals. Tangy still with great acidity and an oily texture which leads to a complex finish of spices and minerals. This shows this magnificent terroir perfectly.
Another bottle of same.
Celebration. Coconut Tapioca Che. Jackfruit, pandan, lychee, ranbutan, lognan. Quite yummy, if very Southeast Asian in flavor with that soupy and chewy texture.
Sweet Lingers. Little Bites. Vietnamese yogurt gin fizz.
Chrysanthemum tea almond tofu.
Black sesame ball.
Ruby Chocolate Gelato — base made with Callebaut Ruby Couverture Chocolate and a Stracciatella of ruby chocolate mixed with berriy puree — this isn’t a flavored chocolate but a special “ruby” cocoa bean Callebaut has bred with a natural pink color and fruity finish — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — #SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #Callebaut #chocolate #RubyChocolate #ruby #berry
Cran-Cherry Cassis Sorbetto — French Cranberries and Amareno Cherries with a bit of Crème de Cassis — tart! — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — Currents from Avignon, blended with Creme de Cassis –#SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #sorbetto #cranberry #cherry #current #cassis
The wine lineup.
Spectacular hosts, Elisabeth and Helen An on the left with Erick and I.
Overall, this was a kingly evening. Boy did the Ans treat us right and we had an incredible menu, amazing service, and great wines.
The experience and the food both upstairs is more Vietnamese than at Crustacean below. Sure, a very high end Vietnamese, and still quite fusion, but more Vietnamese. The traditional style variants on our menu aren’t on the normal menu — they were special for us — but they also threw the “Da Lat Style” dishes into more relief in a very intriguing way. I do have to say that I enjoyed the newer style a bit better, as it was similar flavors but a bit more polished — despite the fact that I love pretty traditional Vietnamese food. Anywhichway it was delicious.
Wines were “interesting” tonight. Most were quite nice bottles, but the format of 18-19 people just doesn’t work well. Pours were small but surprisingly got around. Still, it’s too many different wines for this many dishes. Leading to a dizzying assault in the second half of the meal. And pairings were a bit awkward because this food really wants mostly whites and Champagne and there were lots of big red wines — and all of 1-2 dishes that were actually red friendly. Some people care a whole lot less about wine pairing than I do. After a bit of a confusing start (mostly because we handed them a confusing task) the somms managed to really get the wines down in the second half of the meal. I was impressed. But it was still too many small pours and no time to savor. In the end doing it this way I can’t remember the individual wines at all.