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carly steiner

Monday night supper club debuts at Himitsu

Everyone who knows me (or follows me on Instagram) knows that I love Himitsu. Chef Kevin Tien’s food is so good that after I eat there I don’t want to eat anywhere else – which is a problem because I can’t only eat at one restaurant for the rest of my life. I try to convince everyone I know to eat there, but for some, the no reservations rule is a barrier. To appease these diners, Himistu has actually changed its no reservation policy slightly and is offering reservations on Monday nights only. Monday nights will be supper club nights, which means there will only a prix fixe dinner menu available. The $150 price tag for the meal includes multiple courses of food with a beverage pairing that includes wine and cocktails.  Is it worth it? You bet it is.

I have already been to supper club twice in the month since it debuted. You may call me obsessed. I cannot disagree. Let me give you a play by play of what I ate at the last supper club, keeping in mind that the kitchen changes up the menu often, so you may not find some or all of these dishes when you visit. And that’s a “when” not an “if” because this is one supper club you need to partake in.

When you buy your tickets in advance you can list all dietary considerations, so of course my meal was vegetarian. In terms of cuisine, the dinner doesn’t focus on one type of cooking or food from one specific place. The variety of ingredients and cuisines incorporated into the dishes showcases the chef’s background. His family hails from Vietnamese, but he has spent time in the south, most notably Houston and New Orleans, and so the different courses reflect his ethnic background as well as his experiences in the different places he has lived.

Our eight course dinner opened with a delicate, compressed fruit salad, sprinkled with thai chili powder. The sweet-spicy contrast will bring your senses to life; beware it is pretty spicy. Next, a savory Asian egg custard, silky, smooth and light, followed by a tartless tomato tart that was pure magic. A thick slab of tomato comes adorned with crispy quinoa and drizzled with a bright cilantro oil. It was fresh and fragrant and an ode to late summer tomatoes.

My favorite course was the third one, where cubes of panisse, which are fried chickpea dumplings, are piled onto a bed of creamy cauliflower puree. The panisse are crispy on the outside and soft and velvety on the outside, almost like a fried gnocchi but with the nuttier, earthier flavor of chickpeas. Sichuan peppercorns add heat and depth of flavor. The dish is super savory and highly seasoned; I could eat it every day. Next up was fried cauliflower, with a crunchy shell and soft interior, served in a pool of super spicy buffalo dip and alongside cool, crunchy coleslaw. The final savory course was roasted root vegetables, accompanied by charred okra and crispy, salty fingerling potatoes, all served over a generous smear of spicy salsa verde. After that came dessert, which was purple rice soaked in a decadent, coconut cream, and crowned with sliced kiwis, mango and avocado. The addition of avocado, creamy, rich, and a lovely contrast to the chewy rice, was nothing short of genius.

Carly’s drink pairings have always been spot-on; from my experience her beverage recommendations always make the food taste better but that may also be because I drink too many of them.

I have raved enough. Go try it for yourself.