Restaurant: Carousel Restaurant Glendale
Location: 304 N Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91203. (818) 246-7775
Date: March 25, 2022
Rating: Best Lebanese in the city
The March 2022 Sauvages lunch was at Carousel, a classic (for good reason) Glendale Lebanese banquet restaurant. The wine theme was originally supposed to be Northern Rhone but mysteriously allowed in a bunch of Cabs at some point.
The hall is big and very themed.
2008 Billecart-Salmon Champagne Brut Millésimé. 92 points.
Bonus from me: NV Henriot Champagne Brut Souverain. VM 90. Light gold. Lees-accented orchard and citrus fruit aromas are complicated by sweet butter, iodine and smoky minerals. Dry and expansive on the palate, offering lively pear and melon flavors and a refreshingly bitter touch of orange pith. Ample but lithe brut, with very good finishing punch and repeating smoke and pear qualities.
2001 Château de Fieuzal Blanc. RJ 93. Light medium yellow color; aromatic, deep lemon, lemon peel nose; oily textured, mature, tart lemon, preserved lemon, saffron, mineral palate; medium-plus finish
Our menu today.
1996 M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon. VM 92-94. Saturated ruby. Deep aromas of cassis, blueberry, game, woodsmoke and iron. Thick, powerful and gamey in the mouth; has the texture and thickness not yet shown by Chapoutier’s ’96 Hermitage Méal. Primal dark berry and violet notes. Explosive fruit on the very long aftertaste, which features huge, chewy tannins. Neither particularly <I>sauvage</I> nor especially austere. Should be a beauty with seven or eight years of bottle aging. A great performance for the vintage.
1999 M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon. VM 93+. Full medium ruby. Classic Hermitage aromas of dark berries and gunflint, with a suggestion of bitter chocolate. Concentrated, sweet and expansive, with inky and minerally components suggestive of the granite soil. Finishes with impressively ripe fruit flavor and huge, spreading tannins that take over the palate. From a crop level just under 30 hectoliters per hectare.
2000 M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon. VM 92+. Saturated ruby-red. More reserved aromas of blackberry, cassis, licorice, minerals, cinders and spices. Juicy and tight, with a varietally accurate raw currant character. Fresh, intense and structured for the year. Finishes very long, with firm tannins and strong spice character.
From my cellar: 2001 M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon. VM 95. Saturated red-ruby. Explosive, superripe aromas of black raspberry, boysenberry, black olive tapenade, licorice, coffee and smoked meat. Wonderfully opulent and voluptuous in the mouth, with a texture like liquid silk. Coats your mouth, cheeks and whatever other surfaces it can find. Finishes with extraordinarily fine tannins and great sweetness and persistence. The best bottle of Pavillon I’ve tasted in at least a decade.
Sarma. Fresno grape leaves, stuffed with rice and vegetables. This was hands down some of the best stuffed grape leaves I’ve ever had. They were very soft and very tangy (sumac I think).
Beef Tartare. Filet Mignon with Olive Oil. This Lebanese/Armenian version is blended into a pasty texture and very soft.
Fatayer. Turnovers stuffed with shite cheese and pan fried. These were scrumptious, particularly when used like bread to scoop up other mezze.
Fattoush Salad. Cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, spices, toasted pita bread in a sumac-citrus vinaigrette. Very tangy.
2000 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District.
1999 Merus Cabernet Sauvignon. VM 90+. Deep medium ruby. Sexy nose of roasted black raspberry, cassis, root beer, meat and spicy, toasty oak. Lush, dense, sweet and powerful; an outsized wine with rich flavors of black fruits and spices. Still, I’d like to have found a bit more verve and finesse. Decant this wine well in advance if you plan to try it now.
1998 Dalla Valle Maya. VM 93. One of the biggest revelations in this tasting, the 1998 Maya is drop-dead gorgeous. Expressive aromatics lift from the glass, followed by small red berries, pine, menthol and leather. The 1998 is all about detail. What a wonderful surprise the 1998 Maya has turned out to be. There is also little doubt the 1998, from a poorly regarded vintage, has handled time with far more grace than the 1997. (Drink between 2014-2020)
Muhammarra. Crushed walnuts, red pepper paste and pomegranate. I love this stuff.
Kbbeh. Spheres (bullets) of beef and cracked wheat, stuffed with minced beef, onion and pine nuts. Also awesome.
Soujuk Flambe. House-made Armenian beef sausage flame broiled at the table.
Frog Legs Provencal. Pan-fried frog legs with lemon juice, garlic, and cilantro. So addictive!
Lamb Kastaleta. Prime Australian lamb chops, seasoned and charbroiled. Nice char and well cooked.
Mantee (Shish Barak). Mini meat pies, oven baked and topped with a tomato yogurt sauce. I love these. This has derived both in name and style from dumplings brought west by the Mongols. It’s clearly closely related to the Afghan version.
1997 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve. VM 93. Bright medium ruby. Sexy aromas of dark berries and earth complemented by mellow mocha and coffee tones; inviting and mature but not at all old. Wonderfully suave, silky dark berry, spice and floral flavors are framed and extended by harmonious acidity. The tannins are serious but less dusty than those of the special Anniversary bottling and the juicy, subtle, rising finish avoids tartness. Showing beautifully today–and more refined than a bottle, rated 92 points, that was part of my big Beringer vertical tasting in 2015. (Drink between 2017-2028)
1993 Bryant Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Proprietor Grown Pritchard Hill. VM 92. One of the most surprising wines of the night is Don Bryant’s 1993 Cabernet Sauvignon. The 1993 won’t last forever, but it is in a gorgeous place right now. The brightness and purity of the fruit remain alluring. This is one of the all-around favorites at the table, and it is easy to see why.
1995 Philip Togni Cabernet Sauvignon. VM 96+. Togni’s 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is simply dazzling. Deep, unctuous and explosive, this Cabernet Sauvignon screams with the essence of exotic spices, iron, graphite, leather, smoke, game and dark fruit. The 1995 gets better and better with time in the glass, revealing myriad shades of dimension and extraordinary balance. Although stunning today, the 1995 has at least another decade ahead of it. The 1995 was made from the original vines that were ten years old at the time. (Drink between 2015-2025)
1992 Dalla Valle Cabernet Sauvignon. 93 points. Another superb bottle of this. Popped and poured. The nose is just gorgoeous. Cherry, flowers, herbs and truffles. The wine is beautifully integrated with black currant, cherry, earth and lead pencil. Well balanced and long on the finish. Excellent. Too bad this is my last bottle of this.
Chicken Breast Kebab (Shish Tawook). Boneless and skinless chicken breast, marinated and charbroiled.
Beef Shish Kebab (Lahem Meshwey). Cubed beef filet mignon, marinated and charbroiled.
Lula Kebab (Beef Kafta). Minced lean beef mixed with fine chopped onions, parsley, seasoning and spices.
Frri (quail). Pan-fried quail sautéed with sumac pepper and citrus sauce. Sauce was very tangy with a hint of spice and delicious.
Veal Liver Kebab. Fresh veal liver cubed and marinated with special spices, broiled tomatoes topped with cumin.
Toum (garlic aioli).
2004 Dolce Winery Late Harvest. 92 points. Extra sticky, mostly honey flavored, good dessert wine if you like this style of late harvest.
Passion for Pistachio Gelato — Sicilian Pistacchio di Bronte DOP custard gelato base with just a touch of Grand Mariner, ribboned with bits of Valrhona Dark Chocolate Passionfruit Ganache — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #pistacchio #bronte #Sicily #Valrhona #Chocolate #Passionfruit #GrandMariner #Ganache
Peach Rose Sorbetto — A blend of White and Blood Peaches from Avignon with a bit of Persian Rosewater! — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — I’ve tried variants of this flavor several times and am at 1/8 the rosewater I started with, still titrating down! — #SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #sorbetto #BloodPeach #rose #rosewater #peach
Plated (by me).
Ashta B’aasal. Authentically prepared ashta (condensed milk) layered over french banana with honey and pistachio. This was awesome… except for the banana (which I had to pick around).
Lebanese coffee. Good for knocking all the alcohol out of one’s system.
Food was amazing. So much of it and nearly every dish was incredible. Really really tasty. Much fresher, better cooked, and zestier than almost any other Lebanese/Armenian place I’ve been too. For sure the best I’ve had in LA.
Hermitages were nice, but the new world wines were… well new world. At least they had some age on them.