Last Friday night as we swung by The Jar on Beverly, and the siren song of Suzanne Tracht's way with meat and Margo's martinis beckoned. We headed into the packed bar, bellied up and patiently awaited seats. People watching west of La Brea is a novelty for me at this point, so I was wholly entertained by the west-ish side gentry and the obligatory celebrity. Link from the Mod Squad was sitting next to me, and I have to say he is looking well.
About the food! We started with a trio of appetizers. First up was a lobster corndog, surrounded thickly by a light textured, almost tempura-esque batter, then fried to a deep and puffy golden brown. Said dog was partnered with a cucumber mignonette and a small bowl of freshly grated horseradish. It seemed freshly grated to me, due to the water content and soft almost fluffy texture and creamy color.
The second appetizer we dug into were the shrimp crabcakes. These had a nice soft crispness around the outside and a high crab/shrimp ratio. You could bite into huge chunks of crab, and the shrimp seemed to be used to help hold the thing together. An excellent rendition.
Margo also sent us out a pair of the yummilicious crab deviled eggs. I would like to say that by adding crab, herbs and just a hint of her own special flair, Tracht creates a deviled egg that rises above their white trash roots into something sublime and refined. But I can't say that. These are simply trailer park glory. Nothing more, nothing less. I love 'em.
I also indulged myself in 6 oysters of unknown origin with an unusual mignette. It had a real smokey flavor and was dark, almost like a balsamic vinegar but not as opaque. Good oysters don't need a mignette, but this was fun to try.
We were a little disappointed in our shared entree. We ordered the 16 oz bone in filet of beef with lobster bearnaise and mustard greens. The waiter who took our order assured us no one enjoys this piece of beef medium or medium-well, and it is only properly served medium-rare. After much conversation, we gave in. But is was served literally blue. Cold in the center. I don't mind too much, I'll take my beef where I can get it. But my dining companion was unable to get past the deep red flesh and the trickling blood on the white plate.
Champagne and chocolate mousse can make up for a host of evils.