Friday, May 27, 2011

Where to Eat: Culinary Adventures @ Vū Restaurant

Chefs dabble in the kitchen with many different intentions and purposes. Some chefs make food that’s meant to be reminiscent of homemade classics, as if these meals came directly from your mother’s kitchen. Other chefs design fare that’s meant to be gawked at, digested with your eyes first, your stomach second. Others prepare dishes that are solely meant to momentarily satisfy our natural, instinctual cravings of hunger – nothing more, nothing less.

Well Executive Chef Kyle Schutte at Marina del Rey’s Vū Restaurant falls into a completely separate, special category of his own. It’s like he creates food that’s meant to take your taste buds on a wild, off-the-beaten-track, windy, twist-and-turn, never-know what’s-around-the-next-bend, adventurous ride. Ingredients that you’d never imagine together are suddenly united to create funky, sophisticated new tastes. Exhibit A: pink lemonade and mayonnaise merge together to create a faintly sweet topping for the Calamari small plate (pictured above to the right).

Or let’s discuss the Pork Belly small plate. A timeless American dessert – jello – meets a timeless American beverage – root beer – to become root beer jello, the topping for the pork belly and crispy grits (pictured to the left). I was hesitant to try it at first, but it is amazing. The crunchy grits and sweet topping almost remind me of a hearty breakfast option. Another one of my favorites is the “Reconstructed” Caprese Salad (pictured at the top left). Bite-sized cherry tomatoes filled with balsamic vinegar are enclosed by a layer of thin, basil-infused mozzarella. Pop them into your mouth for an exciting burst of creamy flavors.

Schutte also has the whole presentation concept down to a tee. His visual ingenuity is no more evident than in the Sea Scallops entrée, which seriously looks like it belongs on display in an art exhibit (pictured to the right). The placement of the micro basil, tomato caviar and all of the other colorful delicacies will make you pause for a moment before inhaling the buttery scallops.

While there are more traditional options such as the ½ Pound Burger on the menu, for the most part, you’re not going to find your typical weekday dinner here. Vū is exploratory. It’s different. It’s fun. So the next time you’re in search for "something new," you know where to turn.

See you there soon!

Miss Wilson’s Tips:
- Other great dishes to order: With an array of fresh, vibrantly green veggies, candied bacon and pomegranate
seeds, the Brussels Sprout Salad is a light spring meal, perfect for a cool and refreshing diner. Don’t forget to end the night properly with a dessert. The chocolate ganache and house-spun ice creams are divine, but the Buttermilk Panna Cotta (pictured to the left) is THE BOMB. Literally. With liquid nitrogen Coca-Cola and carbonated blackberries infused with Chambord, it’s like an explosive detonation inside your mouth with each bite.
- When to go and where to sit: Vū’s patio over looks Mother’s Beach, which means there are many cool breezes to catch and relaxing views to enjoy. As we creep into warmer weather, I’d say grab a seat by the fire pit and spend an evening watching the sunset in the marina.

For more information
14160 Palawan Way
Marina del Rey, CA 90292


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