With Emi still around, checked out Vu, which is located inside the Jamaica Bay Inn in Marina del Rey.
Tried this cocktail, A Vu to a Kill. It was pretty strong and not very good. Oh well. Their complimentary corn bread was pretty tasty though. Having read a variety of reviews, we stuck to ordering a bunch of small plates to share. It was a good strategy; there was quite a bit on the menu that interested me….
We started with the Bone Marrow, which came with bok choy, parsley, pickled strawberries, candied red onion, balsamic pudding, preserved lemon, all on a toasted brioche.
Next came this really interesting Pork Belly, served between crispy grits and root beer jello. This dish had a lot of potential. It had all of the right ingredients – the mixture of textures and winning combination of sweet and savory. Yet, somehow, the kitchen failed in the execution. For one, it does not really look that appetizing. It’s just a bunch of brown. Also, it would have been better if they served more, smaller, bite-sized versions. Self-cutting these in half was also pretty messy venture. The dull knife caused the tough, inappropriately-prepared pork belly to smash the grits. It kind of spoiled the experience.
After that fiasco, we were greeted with this refreshing, “Reconstructed” Caprese salad. This was a winner. The balsamic-injected cherry tomatoes were coated with basil-infused fresh mozzarella, and then sprinkled with red hawaiian sea salt and garnished with a thing of micro basil. I’d definitely order this again.
Half way through popping in those bon-bon like caprese balls, came the Montana Free Range Bison Carpaccio, served with mustard seared, pickled shallots, celery root confit, peppercress, and a dribble of extra virgin olive oil. This was also very refreshing. We ate this by rolling each slice up, while including the varying ingredients.
Next came this other dish that I had read about, the Chicken-Fried Watermelon, topped with pickled rind. And unfortunately, like the pork belly, it did not live up to the hype. Again, the pieces were really too big and may have been better if they were bite-sized, which would’ve given a better opportunity to experience the varying textures in one swoop.
After the disappointment of the watermelons, we were presented this beautifully-arranged thing of Thai Mussels, floating on a green curry broth, hamachi salad, coconut jello, scallion, and garnished with micro cilantro. I’d order this again as well.
Lamb “lollipops,” poached in sweet tea, rosemary, and topped with roasted grape relish. It was tasty. If only they could make it prettier.
When initially ordering, our waiter told us about how popular their chicken-fried calamari with pink lemonade mayo were with the locals. So, near the end of our meal, with some room in our stomachs to spare, we gave it a whirl. Though edible, it was easily forgettable. It’s only memorable now because our server dropped a few of the pieces when trying to navigate the dish between Emi and I. And rather than comp us or removed it from our bill, which would have been welcomed, they simply went about their business and tried their darndest to ignore the situation! hahahaha.
Perhaps the alcohol in that crap drink started to kick in, but I was feeling generous, and tried to give Vu another chance to redeem itself, and ordered dessert. Of the menu items, the Buttermilk Panna Cotta looked the most interesting. It was served with liquid nitrogen coke-a-cola and carbonated blackberries. It looked pretty cool. Unfortunately though, it tasted a lot like a cup of Pinkberry frozen yogurt with 2 toppings…… hahahahaha.
At the time, the meal seemed okay. But looking back now, I don’t think I’ll ever go back.
Link: Vu Restaurant