Friday, October 26, 2012 at 3:10 p.m.
Lobster Thermidor at Musso & Frank's
Celebrating this year's Best of L.A. issue -- now out in print and online -- we're counting down, in no particular order, 100 of our favorite dishes.
26: Lobster Thermidor at Musso & Frank's.
It may as well be a civic requirement that any mention of Musso & Frank's's include the phrase "Hollywood institution" at least once. Opened in 1919, the clubby dining room is a bedrock of history and tradition in the part of town where style is as impermanent as studio backdrops. It's where Faulkner, Chandler, Chaplin, and countless other Tinseltown stars downed countless amounts of rye and gin; where the waiters dress eerily similar to those in Kubrick's The Shining; and where the menu items seem more like museum exhibits than foodstuffs (jellied consommé and avocado cocktails anyone?).
After your third martini or Manhattan, when your stomach starts to growl and a pile of sourdough bread spread with butter just won't cut it, you would be pleased to order a thick slab of pink prime rib, or a nicely seared porterhouse with a baked sour cream-dolloped baked potato.
If you really wanted to jump into a time machine, though, you would order the lobster thermidor, the throwback of throwbacks -- a preparation so rare these days that it might well be the gastronomic equivalent of the California condor. It's a splurge -- but imagine it's your retirement dinner, and the partners at Sterling Cooper just handed you that gold watch.
A fat lobster tail is drowned in an ultra-creamy sauce made from egg yolks, heavy cream, sherry, mushrooms and a dash of paprika -- oh, and butter, lots of butter. It's a dish of unmatched gout-inducing pleasure, something that hasn't truly existed in its purest form since it went out of style with shag carpets and Cadillac Sixty Specials. This is a dish that belongs to a particularly gilded chapter of history, and at this Hollywood institution, history has rarely tasted so decadent.
Check out the rest of our 100 of our favorite dishes. Suggestion? Write us a comment.
100: Lukshon's Dan Dan Noodles
99: Cemita de Milanesa at Cemitas Poblanos Elviritas #1
98: Chichen Itza's Cochinita Pibil
97: Tsukemen at Tsujita L.A.
96: La Cevicheria's Bloody Clam Ceviche
95: Duck Shawarma at Momed
94: Peruvian Chicken at Pollo a la Brasa
93: Squash Blossom Quesadilla at Antojitos Carmen
92: Thai Boat Noodles at Pa-Ord
91: Baco Mercat's Bazole
90: Furikake Kettle Corn at A-Frame
89: Live Santa Barbara Spot Prawns at Providence
88: Fried Pig Tails at Night + Market
87: Egg Salad Sandwich at Euro Pane
86: Galbi Jjim at Soban
85: Truffle Honey-Laced Fried Chicken at Manhattan Beach Post
84: Mool Naeng Myun at Yu Chic Naeng Myun
83: Chicken Vampiro at Mexicali Taco & Co
82: Sooo Cali Dog at Dog Haus
81: White Anchovy, Tomato and Fresno Chile Pizza at Pizzeria Mozza
80: Shu Mai at Elite Restaurant
79: Tandoori Chicken at Al-Watan
78: Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding at The Hungry Cat
77: Agedashi Tofu at Izakaya Bincho
76: Pork Chop at Salt's Cure
75: Porcetto at Sotto
74: The Sea Urchin Tostada at La Guerrerense
73: Wood-Roasted English Peas at Tar & Roses
72: Persian Mulberries at Weiser Family Farms
71: Hunan-Style Preserved Pork with Tofu at Hunan Chilli King
70: Brisket Banh Mi at Gjelina Take Away
69: Yukhwe Bibimbap at Oo-Kook Korean BBQ
68: Lamb Pie at Beijing Pie House
67: Son of a Gun's Uni and Burrata
66: Pastrami Reuben at Art's Delicatessen
65: Beef Koobideh at Kabab Mahaleh
64: The Whipper Burger at Hawkins House of Burgers
63: Slippery Shrimp at Yang Chow
62: Whole Channel Island Red Sea Urchin at Water Grill
61: Going Dutch Panini at Bread Lounge
60: Huckleberry's Green Eggs & Ham
59: Pickled Watermelon Salad at L&E Oyster Bar
58: Spaghettini with Abalone, Pickled Cod Roe and Truffles at n/naka
57: Brown Brown Bread Ice Cream at Scoops Westside
56: Smothered Chicken at R and R Soul Food
55: Duck Fried Rice at Jar
54: Taco Sampler at Guisados
53: The Sycamore Kitchen's Double BLT-A Sandwich
52: House Wonton Soup at China Cafe
51: Almond Croissant at Proof Bakery
50: The Southern Fry at Plan Check Kitchen + Bar
49: The Dodger Dog at Dodger Stadium
48: Papaya Salad at Krua Siri
47: Lucky Baldwins' Traditional Full English Breakfast
46: Edomae Tendon Bowl at Hannosuke
45: The Pescado Zarandeado at Coni'Seafood
44: Hot Wings at Beer Belly
43: Raw Kale Salad at Elf Cafe
42: Steak Tartare Tacos at MessHall
41: Banh Mi at Buu Dien
40: Sicilian Slice at Pizzanista
39: Grilled Baby Goat T-bone at Mozza's Scuola di Pizza Salumi Bar
38: Papri Chaat at Jay Bharat
37: The Island Combo at TiGeorges' Chicken
36: Tacos Al Pastor at Tacos Leo
35: "Sandwich" at Roma Italian Deli
34: Bossam at Kobawoo House
33: Cauliflower T-Bone at Superba Snack Bar
32: Pupusa Revuelta at Atlacatl
31: Bonjiri Yakitori at Kokekokko
30: Crispy Pork with Morning Glory at Crispy Pork Gang & Grill
29: Sashimi Special at Sushi Gen
28: Tamal de Mole Negro at Guelaguetza
27: The Hickoryburger at Apple Pan
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