Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Roxanne's


Beachfan
 Share

Recommended Posts

For those of you who haven't heard of this place, Roxanne's is not just vegetarian, not just vegan, but "living" foods. That means no food is heated beyond 115 degrees.

I just had a fabulous meal there. The high points were as good as the meal I had yesterday at Fleur de Lys.

Since cutting edge technique seems to be of keen interest to some egulleters, I'll share some of the ones I encountered. While they may not have been invented here, they have been raised to haute cuisine here.

Use of "cashew cheese" instead of cheese in a "marinated olive and tomato pizza with baby arugula and herbed cashew cheese)". Cashew cheese is fermented cashew butter I believe. This dish was absolutely outstanding.

The use cocuonut to make coconut noodles. "Pad Thai of coconut noodles, cilantro, Thai basil, almond chili and sweet tamarind sauces" was very, very good.

The use of nut cheeses or something non dairy to make a banana split that didn't taste non dairy. It was a WOW! as was another desert, raspberry and fig tart, with the raspberry being of Best in my Lifetime quality.

The use of almond milk in there Peaches and Cream non-dairy smoothy like drink (peaches, almond milk, honey, vanilla). This was top, top notch!

The three soups we had (spiced melon soup, Tom Kha soup, and Tortilla soup) were among the best soups I've had all year, with the first two being worthy of the very best restaurants.

Everything was excellent. The other dishes we had were

"Anaheim chili filled with queso amarillo, avocado, corn and tomatoes with red chilis and tomatillo sauce"

and

"Lasagna terrine layered with roma tomato sauce, mushrooms, baby spinach, corn and herbed cashew cheese". Note that they don't use pasta (not quite sure what it was).

Also the best (by far) watermelon juice I have ever had, maybe better than the best watermelon I ever had (which was in Greece).

By the way, there wine list is very good. Ranging from a Gini Soave through Dujac Bonne Mares 93 for a half bottle (I don't know if this is a good Burg, but I recognize the name and the year). Caymus Conundrum is a good choice, as well as Zind Humbrecht. I was very interested in trying Shafer Relentless 99 (a cult wine in it's first year), but didn't.

We did drink a William Selyem 1995 Hirsch Vineyard Pinot Noir and a Mazzocco 1997 Carignane. The Carignane was surprisingly good (it's normally only good for blending), like a Zinfandel without the pepper. went super with the tortilla soup. The W&S was good, but not quite as good as other bottles of the same year and vineyard.

If you want to experience totally different haute cuisine, this is the place for you!

Here's a link:

Roxanne's

beachfan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting. I'm not sure how relevant the cuisine is though given the complexity of technique needed to bring the product to the point of edibility let alone excellence.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jinmyo, how relevant is Ducasse, Adria, Veyrat on the same score? I don't mean to suggest this food is on that plane, although it appears some people think it is. I probably remain a skeptic mostly because of what I consider an unnecessarily rigid philosophy, and it's that philosophy that makes the food sound less relevant to me, not the complexity. What can I say? I'm just an old fashioned guy who likes to play with fire.

:smile:

Beachfan, you make a convincing case that the restaurant cannot be ignored by the rest of us.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bux, how relevant is cashew cheese? Or coconut noodles? Or terrines made by long long long cooking of vegetables at 118 degrees F? Not very. These are oddities.

El Bulli's cuisine is relevant because it brings about a re-orientation towards the whole activity of tasting and dining.

And a profound quail dish is relevant because it brings a new understanding to what one will meet again and again. Perhaps even make on one's own. The same is true of an excellent potato and leek soup, a salad, and on and on.

I agree that the philosophy, which is the reason for the food, is not to my taste. It is not so much its rigidity as its aridness and insubtantiality. The complexity of the techniques match the tortured logic of the philosophy.

The fact is that the stuff about enzymes is poppycock. And another fact is that cooking creates flavour compounds that simply do not exist before the process of heating.

I'm glad that Beachfan, a man of no little gustatory experience and of great fondness for cheeses, enjoyed his experience though.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I probably remain a skeptic mostly because of what I consider an unnecessarily rigid philosophy, and it's that philosophy that makes the food sound less relevant to me, not the complexity.

Funny, they get a lot of criticism from the orthodoxy because they include wine. Also probably because they use a lot of dishes, hence water, in a water scarce area.

beachfan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Beachfan. It's likely we will go in October also. How far in advance should one make reservations?

Right now unless you want to dine at 9:30pm. You can do it through Opentable if you use them (I've started to and like it).

beachfan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

My impressions in brief on Roxanne's are about two thirds of the way through this post. All of the staff we encountered were very friendly and helpful. Larkspur is a prosperous suburb of San Francisco, and everything about Roxanne's, from the physical plant to the clientele, speaks of the luxury to try something different. If it means anything, there seemed to be more tables of women in groups than there were couples comprised of one woman and one man. No table looked as if it was a business meal.

There was no raw food presented on its own, such as shellfish or sashimi, or even a dish of olives. The restaurant seems to exist with the purpose of demonstrating that meals can be built of good quality preparations of raw food. Here is the menu from the night we were there:

Appetizers

Cucumber wrapped Summer Roll with sweet red peppers, jullienne carrots, cocnut noodles and sweet chili sauce [i had this, and, while it was very well done, I found it somewhat bland. When I tried it with the sweet sauce, I found that the sauce was too strong for the roll. Without a doubt, one misses the fried wrapper that stands up to and complements the sauce. Maybe a different sauce with this roll would work better.]

Marinated olive and tomato pizza with baby arugula and herbed cashew cheese [Mazal had this. I tasted it. It was delicious. It has nothing to do with pizza. The disk on which the salad sits is made of almond something-or-other. Whatever cashew cheese is, it was certainly fine with this salad. Without the pizza analogy, this is a fine appetizer in its own right. The greens, the tomatoes, the olives, all were first class ingredients.]

Heirloom tomato pave with cashew cheese, pesto, herb oil and 100 year old balsamico

Sea vegetable salad with kaisou, pineapple yuzu and hijiki vinaigrette (additional $2.00)

Salads

Layered Lebanese salad with fresh almond feta, heirloom tomatoes, oregano, sumac, micro herbs, tiny lettuces and broken crackers

Hearts of Romaine Caesar with crunchy croutons and rawmesan

Little Gem lettuce with pears, lemon and herb cheese vinaigrette, chives and maple pecans

Soups

Tortilla soup with fresh corn, cilantro, avocado and tortilla strips [by the restaurant's mandate - nothing heated beyond 110 degrees - the soups are really purees. This one was delicious.]

Tom Kha soup with red chili and green curry oils [outstanding]

Spicy melon soup with chili cashews, mint, cilantro, coconut

Entrees

Anaheim Chili filled with queso amarillo, avocado, corn and tomatoes with red chili and corn sauces [Very good. I liked the crunch of the uncooked chile together with the soft filling ingredients.]

Mediterranean platter of falafel, hummus, dolmas and Greek salad served with lemon yogurt sauce [We eat this kind of thing all the time, so we passed. It certainly looked good on a neighboring plate.]

Pad Thai of coconut noodles, cilantro, thai basil, almond chile and sweet tamarind sauces

Lasagna layered with roma tomato sauce, mushrooms, baby spinach, corn and herbed cashew cheese [Not lasagna. A raw vegetable terrine well executed]

Cheese Plate (Add $11.00)

Smoked almond cheese with white honey and dates and herb marinated cashew cheese with sundried tomatoes and sun cured olives

Entree and one starter $29 Entree and two starters $38 Entree and three starters $47

Desserts $8

Raspberry and blackberry crisp with maple vanilla ice cream [This was delicious; as good as any cooked crisp I've ever had]

Mocha Ice Cream Sandwich [Not great; not enough deep ice cream taste nor creamy mouth feel]

Lemon Creme Brulee with raspberries and mint

Banana Split Chocolate brownie, strawberry and coconut crunch ice creams, with chocolate sauce and fluff

There was a very good wine list. We drank something by the glass I don't remember

Who said "There are no three star restaurants, only three star meals"?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Whether it's 110 degrees, 115 or 118, does anything taste warm or cooked?

It may be a gimmick, but it sounds like a better than usual gimmick. And apparently tastes good.

edited to change "beeter" (slip?) to "better"

Edited by hollywood (log)

I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, some of it is warm, nothing hot. It isn't a meal of salad and juice.

It's some of the most delicious food I have ever had, and at this very moment, I'd choose a meal there over many other places. It's unique and exciting (unless you have some dogma this concept offends).

beachfan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

trotter isn't a financial backer of roxanne's, if that's what you're implying. roxanne did spend some time in his kitchen in chicago, before wanting to uncook everything she knew, so to speak. trotter and ms klein are partners in a raw cookbook venture due out next year, which is why i saw him dining at quintessence in nyc this past may/june.

trotter has emphasized that he views raw-foodism as being an important culinary trend that could be very, very salient in a decade's time (he's certainly no nostradamus).

"Get yourself in trouble."

--Chuck Close

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Roxanne is married to a very wealthy man (they met when she was working at Lark Creek Inn- down the street). I have not talked to anyone who has eaten there that has not loved their meal (and most of them are not vegetarians). They donate their profits to charity. She does not need backers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

I ate at Roxanne's for the first time as a very belated birthday dinner. I will have to say that I have not had a better meal anywhere in the Bay area(FL included) I was wholly unprepared for the level of flavor attained, and more than pleasantly surprised by the presentation. Whatever your personal opinion of Veganism, and mine is none too generous, this restaurant has everything going for it! I would(will) gladly accept a dinner invitation here above virtually any other restaurant within the Bay. My lovely wife, a reformed vegetarian, stated simply that Roxanne's made Green's seem like an Applebee's. 'Nuff said.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

jciel, interesting. Thank you.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

It wouldn't have been that bad if you were in a hot bus that broke down that afternoon, but that's how the food tasted: gloopy. It was the sort of thing a seal in an oil spill might understand: I wondered how much and what kinds of oil I'd consumed. Wouldn't think it was all olives and nuts, but lo, it was bounteous. When we left it was as if we'd eaten three hamburgers each, all made out of hay.

Which I must say is a drag because I dig Mary Wigworm: the sprout lady who 'discovered' wheat grass and raw food. Not that I'd eat it, but alledgedly her 'cuisine' helped many beat cancer with the idea that if you ate neither protein nor fat you would consume your own: cancerous cells first. Had a retreat perhaps in FL where people went to get well.

Edited by lissome (log)

Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons: That is all there is to distinguish us from the other Animals.

-Beaumarchais

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Heed Jinmyo: "Bux, how relevant is cashew cheese? Or coconut noodles? Or terrines made by long long long cooking of vegetables at 118 degrees F? Not very."

In Huysmans' (most excellent) novel Against Nature the dandy/flan begins collecting exotic flowers obsessively; then decides he only wants faux exotic blooms. Reminds me of this food: not so much art as artifice. My bland, intellectualized, tortured meal tasted like avocados from a can. However, after reading RS' menu, I remembered liking the seaweed salad, thinking it well plated. And that it was likely from Japan. The melon soup was palateable.

If you like food that's not food, but art, and aren't that hungry, then this is a smashing place. As RS said, Roxanne's "seems to exist with the purpose of demonstrating that meals can be built of good quality preparations of raw food." A veiled murder, but to what end?!?their ripping and tearing all your food up before you arrive. Best about sprouts is gnashing the little live things with your teeth, a babies tartare. Here, nothing's much dead or alive. I prefer to kill my food myself. :biggrin:

Edited by lissome (log)

Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons: That is all there is to distinguish us from the other Animals.

-Beaumarchais

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I'm hungry, all food is relevant if I like the way it tastes. And I thought my meal at Roxanne's was one of my 10 best of 2002 (in some pretty august company). The concept meant zero to me; taste is everything.

Here's another article (a P.Wells article previously posted):

Roxanne fan

Edited by Beachfan (log)

beachfan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

oopsi: Ann Wigmore, not Mary Wigworm. :blink:

Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons: That is all there is to distinguish us from the other Animals.

-Beaumarchais

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...