I'm missing pictures of the first and last courses: the black olive madelines and red pepper gumdrops & chocolate madelines and strawberry gumdrops. Overall, the meal was mostly interesting. There were a few dishes that were less than earth-shattering, and there were a few that were out-and-out fantastic. Citrus-medjool date cocktail A slightly underwhelming mess of foam. Champagne was the predominant flavor, and deep down inside, it mostly reminded me of that sparkling white grape Jell-o. Chestnut croquette...salt cod bonyols with romesco A crispy chestnut croquette with a warm liquid foie gras center. As other people have said, this is amazing. I didn't get a chance to taste the cod. Oyster and sea urchin gelee I don't know if I'll ever eat another bite of food that will taste so heavily of the sea. It turns out I don't much like oysters, and I prefer sea urchin in sushi, but it was definitely an interesting and visually arresting dish. The egg...jasmine tea gelee The egg was every bit as delicious as advertised. Layered with sherry vinegar, cream, chives, and maple syrup, each spoonful pulled up a bit of yolk with all of the other ingredients. The jasmine tea gelee was a light citrus salad with only a hint of jasmine. It wasn't fantastic, but it wasn't bad, either. I think it suffered from comparison to the egg. Mesquite grilled foie gras, calamondin caramel Aside from the chestnut croquette earlier in the meal, this was the first time I'd eaten foie gras. I went into it with a considerable amount of skepticism; I'm not big on offal or organ meats. Overall, it was positive. It was like the richest, most concentrated bacon I had ever tasted, with a smooth, almost disturbingly creamy, texture. It was almost too rich to eat on its own, and I was thankful for the pieces of apple, the light dusting of salt, and the caramel that all served to cut the richness. Sweet onion-brioche soup with slow-cooked egg, machego Fantastic velvety onion soup. A slow-cooked egg sat at the bottom of the bowl, waiting to be pierced, waiting to release a trickle of tasty yolk into the soup. A good trick. Big fin squid, giant clam, and butterfish, dried sardine broth Tasted like something I might find on an omakase menu in Japan. Very tender slices of sashimi in a light fish broth. The butterfish was smooth and velvety, but overall, the dish had a little bit too much (seemingly?) uncooked mollusc at one time for me; the squid and clam were tender, relative to others of their kind, but chewy mollusc is chewy mollusc. Warm salad of assorted broccoli, arugula rabe Tasty, tasty, tasty. This dish reminded me of some of the greens I've eaten in the South. The rabe had a rich, bacony flavor. Escabeche of mackerel with grapefruit, pear vinegar Mackerel is a tough fish to love. When I got the combination of the slightly sweet pear vinegar, the sweet and tart grapefruit, and the oily mackerel, it was tasty. When I was eating the mackerel straight, it was like eating straight mackerel, however well prepared. As a result, even though this may have been a great preparation of mackerel, I didn't love it. Lobster with aromatic indian spice, lentils Lobster, on the other hand, is easy to love, and we all loved this dish. Brown(?) butter, cumin (+ friends), lentils, lobster. Impossibly rich. Looking at the sea of butter around the lentils and meat, I was skeptical that I could handle all the rich fat, but by the end, I was asking my dining companions for pieces of their bread to mop it up. Brown butter is my new second love. Black cod on the plancha, fennel, sellfish emulsion The shellfish emulsion, visible as the brown foam, was like seafood distilled into its purest form. The cod had a nice bit of crispy skin on it, and a perfect flake. I'd order this again. Abalone with braised pig trotters, avocado More firsts. I had never eaten pigs trotters. In fact, I had them confused with pickled pigs feet, which it turns out are a totally different kettle of fish. For those not in the know, it turns out pigs trotters can have some fantastic meat on them, with the texture of incredibly-finely pulled pork. The abalone was remarkably tender, given that every other time I have encountered abalone, it has required frying or considerable pounding to make it edible. On the whole, a delicious, if extremely rich, dish. Oddly enough, I found myself using the avocado mousse to cut the richness down a notch. If you think about how buttery and rich an avocado is, that gives you some idea of the flavors that the trotters were bringing to the party. Milk fed poularde, poached then roasted, foraged mushrooms The first real disappointment of the night. The mushrooms tasted like good mushrooms. The chicken tasted like decent chicken. In short, the overall effect was of chicken and mushrooms, albeit decent chicken and good mushrooms. Beef roasted in its fat, sweetbreads roasted whole, asparagus Another minor disappointment in the meat department. The beef was tender and beefy, but not remarkable, and not something I would think about later. It was also my first time with sweetbreads. I was pretty sure I wasn't going to eat them, as I've got a pretty big personal aversion to BSE, but it felt like a huge waste, and I had to give them a shot. They were pretty bland, and the texture wasn't at all offensive They definitely didn't taste like brains. Pineapple consomme The worst dish of the night. I would go so far as it to call it bad. Three out of four of us couldn't finish it. It tasted like simple syrup with small pineapple chunks in it. I'm not really sure what this was about. It wasn't tart enough to function as an effective palate cleanser, and it just seemed like a liquid sugar bomb. We all wished it were summer so we could put some soda water in it and sit on the patio. Strawberry souffle, lemon cream Delicious. The souffle was light and airy and tasted perfectly of fresh strawberries. The lemon curd and the creme chantille provided perfect cool counterpoints to the warm souffle. Chocolate marquis, banana, coconut ice cream Fantastic. The top layer was coconut ice cream, as good as any I've had in Thailand. The middle layer was a crispy hazelnut wafer cookie, and the bottom layer was rich, dark, chocolate. The truth is, the food wasn't necessarily a numinous experience; I might have been just as happy with a carnitas taco and a bowl of vanilla ice cream with a drizzle of hot Nutella. That said, there were a lot of fantastic dishes (the lobster and the egg in particular stood out), the service was great, and the atmosphere was fantastic. My sister commented that one would have to be gourmand in order to truly enjoy the meal and get the full value out of it. To some extent, I think that sentiment was motivated by the array of slightly "weird" dishes (e.g. abalone and pigs' trotters / pineapple 'consomme' / sweetbreads), and to some extent I think it was simply motivated by the fact that it's an awful lot of food. I'm not sure she didn't mean gourmet, but I think I would say that you need to be an epicure to truly enjoy the meal and get the full value out of it. As someone relatively unfamiliar with this kind of dining, I found that a lot of the dishes were just too sweet, rich, gummy, sea-water-y, etc., while a small few (like the egg) managed to be creative and interesting and delicious. The format of tasting innumerable small dishes, more than the food, made the evening for me. That being said, I think it was an excellent value. Given that a ticket to see the San Jose Sharks can run you $80, I fully believe you're better off going and having this experience. Personally, I'd love to see someone open up a restaurant that serves tasting menus for philistines who don't especially dig on brains, organs meats, or raw squid. Open with an onion ring with meyer lemon aioli, move on to the potato croquette with a liquid ketchup center, serve a mini-wagyu-burger on a freshly-baked artisanal bun with black sesame seeds, and close with a shot of a vanilla bean milkshake. No one's with me on this?