Monday, August 24, 2009


My friends took care of the reservations for the main birthday dinner. I know for a fact that Paul researched restaurants before narrowing down the one he wanted to dine in the most. MMSF was the second choice because noone[Gabe and Myself] liked the idea of shelling out for a $300 lunch at the French Laundry. We were hungover from friday night; so, I do not think that would have been a wise choice. Sorry Paul.

Michael Mina was a pleasant surprise. The restaurant was dimly lit with soft music playing. The place was ideal for a romantic date but looking at Gabe's pretty mug was good too. The experience was amazing from beginning to end. I can say that the service matched the excellence of the food.

We started with dinner rolls and a special type of butter. Michael Mina introduced something in the process that made the butter taste a hint of cheese. Paul explained this process in detail. He is a true foodie.

Amuse Bouche

From looking at the first plate, I twitter'd in the restaurant that I may still be hungry after I left. The portions were small, delicate morsels. Fast forward to the dessert and mignardises, I was stuffed. Drinking martinis with bleu cheese stuffed olives added to the full experience of the meal since I did not go the wine route.

Ahi Tuna Tartare
-Scotch Bonnet Pepper, Bosc Pear, Sesame Oil

Marinated Japanese Fish ~ Seaweed
-Kombu-Cured Hirame, Uni Aïoli, Honshemeji Mushroom
-Hon Hamachi, Hijiki, Salted Cherry Blossom
-Sawara, Mizuna, Chili-Ginger Vinaigrette

First Course~Pasta
-Fettucine, Rabbit, English Peas
-Orecchiette, Pork Short Rib, and Fava Beans
-Ravioli, Duck Leg, Radicchio

This duck ravioli was the highlight of the pasta course. The flavor of the duck was enough but the demiglace brought the dish together.

Second Course ~ California Squab ~ “Peking” and Cherries
-Smoked Breast, Brooks Cherries, Pea Leaves
-Consommé, Poached Breast, Shiitake Dumpling
-Foie Gras, Steamed Bun, Pickled Tokyo Turnips

What can I say about the second course? The squab was a perfect, tender medium rare. The consomme was delightful. The steamed bun was great. The highlight of the course was the buttery foie gras that made my tastes buds sing and grunt 'YEEEAAAAAAAH!' at the same time. There is no other way to explain it.

Brandt Farm Beef ~ Onions à la Christophe
-Filet Mignon, Oven Roasted Tomato, Sauce Choron
-Dry Aged Rib Eye, Nightshade Vegetables, Smoked Onion Jus
-Braised Short Rib, Pomme Boulangère, Horseradish Panade

Wild Fish ~ East and West Coast
-Halibut, Fennel Pollen, Preserved Lemon
-Crispy Skin, Calamari, Piperade Vinaigrette
-Saffron Consommé, Shellfish, Garlic Aïoli

Cheeses ~ Goat, Sheep, Cow
-Minuet, Beet Purée, Fennel Frond
-Beppino Occelli Foglie d’Tobacco, Port Cherries, Juniper Balsamic
-Pianoforte, Apricot Jam, Marcona Almonds

Caramelized Jasmine Olive Oil Cake
-Soft Yogurt Bavarois, Rooibos Tea, Pistachio Purée

Bill Corbett’s Dessert Trio
-Raspberry Custard, Lemon Verbena, Almond Crumble
-German Chocolate, Coconut Espuma, Candied Pecans
-Strawberry Pavlova, Chocolate Curd, Anise Hyssop

The highlight of the dessert plate was the panna cotta. It was light and creamy without an overpowering sweetness. The meal was $105 but I would have paid much more than that. The next trip to SF and Michael Mina, we will partake in their 7 course tasting menu.

-Lyche P√Ęte de fruit
-Espresso S’mores

Micheal Mina brought a white child's favorite campfire treat and made a filipino guy relate to it. I must commend him for that.

They kept asking if they can take the dessert plate away. I kept saying that I was still working on it. The servers came to the table at least three more times before they gave up.

Michael Mina was the best meal I've had in the month of August.



Dm said...

Well, I can't knock ya for eating there. I spent this past week at the Westin St Francis and walked past Michael Mina everyday. I couldn't see eating there even though the Govt was paying. I just couldn't see it solo. None of my team wanted to eat there so we walked over to the Jazz Bistro on O'Farrel for dinner nightly.
Their Filet Mignon is off the hook!!



best meal of august hands down.

best $100 i ever spent!