Dinner Lab: Childhood’s Greatest Hits
My third dinner lab within a month was also one of the most fun. Childhood’s greatest hits is what it sounds likes, childhood favorites reinterpreted into adult fare with the same distinctive flavors of our early years. The venue was Mack Sennett Studios in Silverlake, a fairly nondescript building on the outside, but neat studio space inside, where among other things the Blurred Lines video was shot. The rows of tables were covered with paper to draw on with the provided crayons and everyone was given a little paper crown to wear. On top of that, during the third course they handed actual Happy Meal toys. With 90s music playing in the background it really did feel like a time warp of sorts.
First course was “PB&J” (grape air, thai peanut sabayon, brown butter bunny bread, bacon & potato chip dust.) It was a small bite, but perfect at capturing what a peanut butter and jelly sandwich was like. Second course was “Chicken Noodle Soup” (mirepoix nests, braised chicken & broth, skin cracklin.) It was more traditional dish, but the flavors were there without ever feeling like it came out of a can. Third course was “Happy Meal” (sweetbread nuggets, melted potato french fries, honey mustard & BBQ) paired with Hi-C (bourbon, orange juice, angostura bitters, mint). I have to say I liked the drink better than the dish, something was a little off, possibly the honey mustard / barbecue sauce. Fourth course was “Saturday Morning Breakfast” (pork belly, red mills grits, soft-poached egg, red eye gravy.) The grits were a little plain as the sauce kind of disappeared without a trace, but the pork belly and egg were perfect. Fifth course was “Popsicle:” (apple brandy, mint, fun dip) a nice palette cleanser that was delicious. The pairing, “Bobbing for Mezcal” (mezcal, ginger beer, apple cider, and maple syrup) was not as satisfying. Sixth course was dessert, “Cereal & Milk” (cinnamon-toast crunch custard, fried almond, ginger candies) and it was served with a candle to blow out. This was by far everyone’s favorite course and it was difficult not to take giant spoonfuls of the custard dessert. The “Chocolate Milk” pairing (vodka, Kahlua, milk, coffee ice cubes) was a nice finisher to a most satisfying meal.
It was a much more relaxing and fun meal than the previous two with Dinner Lab, and the food was for the most part well executed. Of course it doesn’t take much to make me more than tipsy, and after all those drinks, plus the specialty cocktail of “Ecto-Cooler” I was more than done for the night. Oh how Dinner Lab never seems to disappoint.