October 2009

View from the Tei-An Rooftop – and more Macallan, to boot.

There is progress! I have set foot on the very complicated (in progress) and intricate floating flooring that will soon support an oasis in the already buzzing Arts District at One Arts Plaza (18 month overnight success…).

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Soon, kids… soon. Meanwhile, Jay Liddell over there at The Macallan is wasting no time in taking advantage of the fall, misty, Scottish-like weather – hence ANOTHER scotch tasting – this time at Tei-An. No surprise that my buddy Bob and I were there with bells on. (Single Malt fans should seek out Jay via the inter-tubes and hit one of these tastings… well worth the effort). This night, along with drams of Mac 12, 18, and Fine Oaks – including 21 – we had a bit of fun with the whole Ice Ball thing. Again, as I recounted here, this spherical ice deal has it's roots in Japanese bar culture – and my pal Yosuke Fukuda first introduced me to its genius at the former Moosh. This night, Jay and Yosuke went head-to-head:

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Yosuke used to claim he spent 20 mins on each sphere… well, even Jay will admit that Yosuke damn near beat the "machine's" 60 seconds… and the handmade ice sphere was damn near perfect. So there.

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^ The spoils (heh…) and the rest of the 12 bottle – on hard chipped ice (another lost art).

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* Delicious nosh by 'Teach'… and of course some whimsy…:

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^ … That's right – Macallan 12-steamed-clams. So right.

The Macallan Tasting Event @ Kent Rathbun’s New Pad

The Macallan Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky and Kent Rathbun's Abacus are all in cahoots these days – spurring a tasteful pursuit. (Look for a Macallan Dinner at Abacus in the near future.) Last night we moved along Central and on up to Chef Kent's new penthouse apartment in the sky – to partake in some of the shenanigans.

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The spacious patio (and a break in the weather) provided a beautiful setting to enjoy a ridiculous slate of The Macallan's offerings.

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The Macallan brand ambassador Jay Liddell conceived a brilliant arc to the Whisky tasting, starting with the excellent entry level pours. I, of course, went with the Fine Oak offering – not my first rodeo. Meanwhile: in the kitchen…

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Some of the guys from Abacus and Jasper's started us off with some nosh. Then: BAM! 

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^ No screwing around. Right to the Mac 25; and some Kobe Sliders. Damn, this is a pretty good event…

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Oh, crap! The 1841 Replica Macallan, a less Sherried, delicious offering. ^ Rathbun checks on the kitchen.

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^ We enjoy some soy glazed Salmon and look around the new digs…

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^ A little Lamb Shanks on Risotto… and…

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The Macallan Fine Oak 30 – sheer Heaven. My orgasmic response draws a chuckle from the peanut gallery. Next was the featured event: The Perfect Serve. This is The Macallan 18 served over the cleverly produced ice sphere that I discuss here – check it out. Rathbun has locked down The Macallan's ice ball producing device exclusively for Abacus through the first of the year – so head over to the bar if you want to experience it for yourself. Of course, the Mac 18 brilliantly begins our denouement.

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^ Duck Confit pan-fried Ravioli.

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Might as well sample some Fine Oak 21 and 17 for good measure… hey, a pan of unattended Kobe Sliders… perfect!

As a Macallan aficionado, this event sent me over the moon. My personal (non-insanely-priced) favorite has been the Fine Oak 17 for some time – drinking the sublime Fine Oak 30 was torture. Sweet, sweet, $900 torture. I'll be back to Zen and some Chivas tomorrow – this will be quite the adjustment.

Kent's crew did a nice job with the scotch-friendly grub, and Up in Smoke provided some nicely selected Davidoff Winston Churchill Robustos.

And "Cheers" to Jay for hitting us with the remarkable stuff early, while we could still remember, taste and enjoy it – then continuing the evening with other, excellent selections – outstanding.