Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wolvesmouth @ Beer Belly - Pop Up! (Los Angeles)

Wolvesmouth @ Beer Belly
Wolvesmouth @ Beer Belly

After trying Chef Craig Thornton's (aka Wolvesmouth) cooking on two previous occasions, I jumped at the chance when I heard there was going to be a special one night pop-up dinner at Beer Belly, a newly opened Beer House in the Koreatown district of Los Angeles. Although getting a reservation was tough, I managed to snag two seats at the 9pm seating that night. Since beer was available during dinner, I bypassed the wine option and went with various selection of beer offered at Beer Belly.

Bread from Bread Lounge
Barley Malt Butter
Top: Bread from Bread Lounge. Bottom: Barley Malt Butter

I thought the bread at bread lounge was pretty standard fare, but the barley malt butter made it shine. I really loved the flavors of this butter, but I limited myself to the 2 pieces of bread given. I had to make sure I had room for the rest of the meal.

Corn Soup
Corn Soup
Corn Soup - crab, corn fritter, jalapeno, cilantro, buttermilk, lime

I've had a corn soup made by Craig before and loved it, so I eagerly awaited for this course to start. I mean, as a lover of corn and soup, this dish was calling my name. I loved the sweet flavors from the crab, the tart flavors from the lime, the slight heat from the jalapeno, and that fried corn fritter was very nice. Underneath all of that was the creamy corn soup, which was really good. I'd have to say, if I had 6 bowls of this corn soup, I'd leave a very happy man (Panda).

Black Truffle Risotto
Black Truffle Risotto - chive, parmesan

Although there wasn't an abundant of truffles as I had hoped (Though the meal was $50 for 6 courses, I was surprised we even had truffles on the menu), this was quite tasty. The truffle flavor was subtle, but the rice was cooked perfectly, with a nice bite, and the dish as a whole was creamy and flavorful.

Blue Lake Beans
Blue Lake Beans - yellow wax beans, summer squash, peach, cider, salted yogurt, granola

When I saw the menu, this dish was probably the least interesting to me, though that's probably because I rarely would find vegetarian dishes to be of any interest. This dish however, was surprisingly memorable for me. I enjoyed the vegetables, but that peach to me was the star of the dish. The fruit itself was compressed and the flavor of it was just fantastic. The vegetables and the peach worked quite well together.

Lamb - potato puree, dill, horseradish, lingonberry

Now, lamb was the promised protein we've been told of prior to booking the meal and as a fan of lamb, I was definitely happy with the selection. Although my piece was fattier than I would have liked, I still cleaned my plate. The lamb was cooked just the way I like it, rare and bloody. The potato puree reminded me of sour cream and chives potato chips, which I liked. I thought the lingonberry was an important element of this dish as it helped cut down on the fattier parts of the lamb. I wish I had seconds of this one.

Corn Bread Ice Cream
Corn Bread Ice Cream
Corn Bread Ice Cream - fig, brown butter short bread

One thing I've realized about eating a meal cooked by Craig was that his ice cream and desserts are really good. In fact, I think he should do a dessert tasting one of these days. I was really looking forward to the corn bread ice cream, which definitely did not disappoint. I was happy with the flavors of the ice cream and the addition of the brown butter short bread added a nice flavor and texture to this dish. This was my favorite dessert of the night.

Creme Fraiche Vanilla Panna Cotta
Creme Fraiche Vanilla Panna Cotta - strawberry, vanilla pound cake

Panna cotta was a great way to end of the meal. It's refreshing, light, and the accompanied strawberries and pound cake added nice flavors to the dessert. I really like the addition of the pop rocks as well, though when can you have too much pop rocks?

I would say the first Wolvesmouth pop up was a success. The food was great, and was probably even better than I had expected going in, and I have pretty high expectations. I was slightly worried that there wouldn't be enough food, since this was more of an abbreviated Wolvesmouth dinner, but I left stuffed and happy. As a fan of both Beer Belly and Wolvemouth, I'm glad this was the location chosen for this dinner, and I hope if Wolvesmouth decides to do this pop up again, Beer Belly would still be the location of choice. After going through the pictures and this post, I'm ready for a return trip to Wolvesmouth Dining!

Beer Belly
532 S. Western Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90020


Darin said...

You definitely got a much higher fat:meat ratio on your piece of lamb.

Thanks for helping me re-live this meal.

Pinoy Panda said...

Yes! It was a really enjoyable meal for me as well. Wouldn't mind having some of that lamb again. Craig's lamb dishes are always a stand out.

Nice pictures KFP!

bagnatic said...

oh day *sigh*

loved the way the desserts looked. yumz.

Catty Critic said...

Sad I had to skip on this...

I love love Craig's desserts. A dessert-only tasting would be awesomesauce!

Gastronomer said...

This looks like a solid dinner, Panda! The next time Craig pops up, I'll be sure to be there!

Pandalicious said...

corn bread ice cream looks heavenly!

Diana said...

Hah, I bet you can guess how I would have reacted if I'd received that piece of lamb. ;)

Everything looks great though! What a steal for $50!

Bonnibella said...

Ahhh, so on the bucket list hope to dine with Wolvesmouth one day. The ice cream looks divine with the bread topping.

LetMeEatCake Eat With Me! said...

so sad i missed this dinner! the dessert sound incredible, i would have loved the corn bread ice cream!

Lindselicious said...

Oh I've been wanting to try here! Great pics- the desserts look so good...

Kung Food Panda said...

Darin: Wolvesmouth is always a great meal! Right? :) And Craig made it up to me on my next meal in regards to the lamb.

Remil: Thanks!

Amy: You got your in! :)

Rosa: His desserts are the bomb!

Cathy: Hope you'll try his food!

Kung Food Panda said...

Amy: It sure was!

Diana: LOL, I can imagine.

Bonni: Just try, try, and try!!

Nastassia: His ice cream are the best!

Lindselicious: Thanks. If you're in LA, do try Wolvesmouth!

jacobmontereal said...

I think this is a great idea! I am in and I will link to it in my next blog entry. I hope that will be before next Sunday! Hope you are having a good weekend!

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