A Symphony of Flavors at Netflix Bites

Author: Daysha Nichols

Walking into the Short Stories Hotel in Los Angeles for the Netflix Bites pop-up event, I was immediately struck by the ambiance. The lighting, reminiscent of the soft glow of a Netflix binge session, set the mood for an evening of culinary exploration. The option of both indoor and outdoor seating added a touch of versatility to the dining experience.

Having attended culinary school focusing, I’ve always had a keen palate and a deep appreciation for the art of cooking. This background not only honed my skills in the kitchen but also refined my taste buds, allowing me to discern intricate flavors and ingredients in dishes. It’s this expertise that I brought with me to the Netflix Bites pop-up event, eager to explore and critique the culinary masterpieces presented.

The evening was a culinary adventure, with dishes from renowned chefs that showcased their unique culinary styles. I started with Chef Curtis Stone‘s woodfired lamb ribs with leek ash yogurt. While the texture was delightful, the lamb’s strong flavor overshadowed the subtle taste of the ash yogurt. However, the Whole Dungeness crab curry was a revelation. Armed with aprons and towels, as our waiter had warned, this dish was messy but oh-so-worth it. The crab was a finger-licking delight paired with a thick, creamy curry sauce.

When trying various foods, it’s important to have a refreshing palate cleanser, and that’s just what Chef Dominique Crenn’s roasted cauliflower was. Chef Rodney Scott’s menu was where the magic truly happened. The crispy pork skins with pimento cheese and celery were nostalgic, reminding me of childhood moments with my mother. And the hush puppies? Golden, flaky, and paired with honey butter, they were the talk of the night.

When I thought I’d experienced all the culinary surprises of the evening, Chef Ann Kim’s dish took me on another delightful detour. The BBQ short ribs pizza was a fusion masterpiece. Tender, flavorful short ribs paired with the refreshing bite of arugula, all brought together by a zesty chili vinaigrette. The thin crust added a delightful crunch, making each bite a harmonious blend of textures and flavors. It was a testament to Chef Kim’s innovative approach to traditional dishes.

Chef Nadiya Hussain’s desserts stood out among the myriad of flavors and dishes, particularly for someone with a pastry background like mine. The honey cake with salted hazelnuts was a visual and taste sensation. Moist, airy, and beautifully layered with cream, it was adorned with a honeycomb on top and surrounded by flower petals, evoking feelings of spring. But the coffee and cinnamon millionaire’s shortbread truly captured my attention. One bite and I could immediately discern the rich 66% cocoa content. The dessert was smooth, with the right crunch from the shortbread, and the chocolate struck the perfect balance between sweet and bitter. It was a testament to Chef Hussain’s expertise and a delightful dance of flavors.

The drinks menu was a delightful surprise. Created by mixologist Kate Gerwin, the “Happy Little Accidents” drink, a sweet concoction, was an instant favorite. Its sweet and fruity flavor was so well-balanced that the alcohol was barely noticeable. But be warned; it packs a punch!

Throughout the evening, I couldn’t help but reflect on the techniques and ingredients used in the dishes. For instance, the hush puppies with honey butter transported me back to my culinary school days. Their flaky texture and rich flavor showcased a mastery of technique. Similarly, the millionaire’s shortbread presentation was impeccable, with a shiny glaze and beautiful marbling. The smoked black cod with grilled koshi hikari onigiri was another highlight. The fish’s buttery texture, combined with the crunchy skin, was a sensory delight. Each dish was a testament to the chef’s expertise and ability to infuse their personal touch while staying true to their culinary roots.

The venue’s decor was a testament to the theme of “Netflix Bites.” Spotlights and wall decor featuring the chefs made me feel like I was on the set of a Netflix cooking show. The background music added a relaxed vibe, allowing all of us to let loose and truly enjoy the evening.

One of the standout moments for me was the impeccable service. Our waiter, though new, was attentive and eager to ensure our experience was top-notch. Launy, the bartender, was a ray of sunshine, sharing his mixology knowledge and adding a touch of warmth to the evening.

What truly set Netflix Bites apart from other culinary events I’ve attended was its celebration of diversity. With their unique cultural background and cooking techniques, each chef brought something different to the table. It was a refreshing change and a testament to the vast talent in the culinary world.

As the evening at Netflix Bites drew close, I was left with more than just the memory of exquisite dishes and drinks. It was a testament to the power of culinary storytelling, where each chef painted a vivid picture with unique flavors and techniques. In a world where dining experiences are many, Netflix Bites stands out as a symphony of diverse culinary voices, each singing their heart out. Here’s to many more evenings of foodie tales and toasts!

If you’re a food enthusiast or just someone looking for an unforgettable dining experience, keep an eye out for the next Netflix Bites event. And while you’re at it, why not share your own culinary adventures with us? Use the hashtag #NetflixBitesExperience and tell the world about your gastronomic journey!

To wrap up this culinary adventure, here’s a list of all the dishes and drinks I tried:

From Chef Curtis Stone’s menu:

  • Woodfired lamb ribs with leek ash yogurt
  • Whole Dungeness crab curry, finger limes, crispy shallots, garlic

From Dominque Crenn’s menu:

  • Roasted cauliflower, smoked tahini sauce, espelette

From Chef Rodney Scott’s menu:

  • Crispy pork skins, pimento cheese, celery
  • Hush puppies, honey butter
  • Smoked chicken wings, house ranch

From Chef Ann Kim’s menu:

  • BBQ short ribs, mozzarella, arugula, chili vinaigrette pizza

From Chef Nadiya Hussain’s menu:

  • Honey cake with salted hazelnuts
  • Coffee and cinnamon millionaire’s shortbread

From Mixologist LP O’Brien’s drink menu:

  • Everything But the Alley Cat

From Mixologist Kate Gerwin’s drink menu:

  • Spanish Gin & Tonic cart
  • Happy Little Accidents

From Mixologist Frankie Solarik’s drink menu:

  • Elderflower & Freshly Cut Green Grass Spritz

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