From Cameron Weakly (2005)Cover   |   1   |   2   |   3   |   4   |   5

The Weakly Dining Guide

When it comes to fine dining, true connoisseurs know there are only two things that really matter: plate presentation and extremely long titles for dishes. That is why this week we are visiting “La Casa de la Maison House” where you’re lost without an encyclopedia and every plate looks like a natural history museum diorama.

It’s big here, really tall. in fact, that is how the menu is organized, not by appetizers, salads, entrées, etc., but by how high the food is assembled on the plate. It starts with a modest six inches (try doing that with a bowl of soup!) and spirals up to 12 inches 18 inches and finally a towering 24 inches. These offerings are really expensive but it is worth it because they are just so high. “La Casa de la Maison House” is also very trendy. If you’ve seen it in a magazine or on the food channel, they’ll have it here, from European country fare to New Southwest to Pan-Asian.

You’ll want to start with the traditional French offal plate, a montage of testicles, pancreatic glands and gristly bits of internal organs from a host of wild and domestic animals, sautéed, poached, roasted and grilled, capped by pickled pork anus in a tangy sheep urine vinaigrette with preserved onions, leeks, capers, olives and Mrs. Perkins’ Firkins Gherkins. These guys don’t just make blood pudding, they make four: A, B, AB and 0 Rh positive.

They also do a great twist on Anglican roast tenderloin of beef. It is just like Catholic roast tenderloin of beef but without the Pope, a killer fish and finger pie, succulent unborn lamb on pre-sprouted mesclun and petits oiseaux rotton with major complications of frisee and Belgian semi-sweet potato regurgitatta.

The Chicken Madonna is spectacular, a fresh plump hen is stripped completely naked, tied spread-eagled to a plank, slapped all over with scented oil, dusted with aromatic powders and then photographed.

The coup de grâce is the Republican Seafood Platter, two hundred year-old jumbo lobsters with rare albino Beluga caviar and a dizzying array of protected and endangered aquatic species, accompanied by stupidly expensive California wine. Bring all of your friends for this one because the best part is, you leave the mess and the bill for someone else’s grandchildren.

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