Les Cols – Olot, Spain

LesCols_Hisao_00 above photo © Hisao Suzuki – Les Cols

Les Cols

(34) 69 – 981 3817
Avinguda de les Cols, 2
17800 Olot, Girona, Spain

www.lescols.com

Open Hours:
13:00 – 15:30    Lunch  – Tuesday to Sunday
20:30 – 22:30    Diner  – Tuesday to Saturday

In the remote town of Olot  in la Garrotxa, a volcanic area in the north of Catalonia; chef Fina Puigdevall – with the help of RCR Architects –  put forth  Les Cols;  a stunning two star Michelin restaurant; voted most beautiful in the world by a handful of publications.

Puigdevall’s culinary proposals are rooted in the surrounding landscape.  The majority of the ingredients are grown and raised at the restaurant, maintaining an ultra local and organic practices.  It is beyond “farm to table” as the table is at this beautiful 13th century farm.

Our three hour long meal started with a glass of cava and mini hot cheese buckwheat crust sandwiches in the garden, them we where guided to our table

Dishes were paraded through the golden room to vanish soon after!

Buckwheat spaghetti in a smoked broth turned out to be a gelatinous signature dish.
Early spring brought us calçots in a charcoal tempura with beetroot romesco (Catalan nut and red pepper based sauce).  This is a Catalan delicacy – and truthfully we coud have repeated this for a few more plates!

The lovely Pumpkin 5 different ways, was educational and delicious!  It turns out the five was are: grated, cold xantana, crouton, soup, & a sliced with black olive oil !

Overall service was good, attentive, and knowledgeable … not to mention patient!  We asked all the questions and  they indulged our curiosity, even letting us explore the entire place, including the kitchen.

Keep in mind this is a really large meal, so don’t eat a big lunch!  Afterwords, we couldn’t move much and sort of rolled back to our hotel!  (Also beware the herbal liquor if you are not used to it .. it is where curiosity crosses to indigestion!)

Les-Cols_010truffles in chanterelle mushroom royal sauce
Les-Cols_012grilled lettuce with lemon- apple vinegar
Les-Cols_005artichoke with tangerine mayonnaise and artichoke chips
Les-Cols_011grilled Brussels sprouts with olive oil and potato puree
Les-Cols_008sweet onion crumble from Croscat, with cheese from Farró and fried herbs
  Les-Cols_018vanilla, thyme, rosemary and orange ice cream
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LesCols_Hisao_01above photo © Hisao Suzuki – Les Cols
LesCols_Hisao_03above photo © Hisao Suzuki – Les Cols
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Les-Cols_040Les Cols event space
Les-Cols_043Les Cols event space
Les-Cols_047Les Cols event space
Les-Cols_049Les Cols event space
Les-Cols_042Les Cols event space

 

 

Le Grand Bleu – Tokyo, Japan

above photo © Le Grand Bleu

Le Grand Bleu

(81)  33.585.5650
Minato-ku
Tokyo , Japan

www.maniac-co.jp/boutique

Open Hours:
11:00 – 22:00    Daily

Le Grand Bleu is one of those shops, that unless you are on the inside ultra-hip fashion Industry you would never find or even take a second glance at if you happened to stroll past.

On a quiet street, not far from the Reiyukai Shakaden Temple, sits a true rock fashion boutique.  Complete with new and vintage clothing, accessories, and jewelry from all over the world.  Every world rockstar touring Japan makes a stop here.  The US based equivalent would be LA’s Maxfield., though, Le Grand Blue gives off a much more authentic vibe.

Le grand Bleu is part f a Maniac Corporation group of stores including  Circus,  Forbiden Fruit and BEDROCK in Omotesando, well worth the visit, if you are into this type of thing.

 

 

  

 

Tapas Molecular Bar – Tokyo, Japan

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above photo © Mandarin Oriental

Tapas Molecular Bar

(81)  33.270.8188
Mandarin Orintal Hotel
2-1-1 Nihonbashi-Muromachi

Tokyo 102-8328, Japan

www.mandarinoriental.com

Open Hours:
11:00 – 15:30     Lunch
18:00 – 00:00    Dinner

While highly-touted, we found Tokyo’s Tapas Molecular Bar more Vegas entertainment than Michelin Star-worthy.  Usually we would not review a restaurant that does not excite us, but here we do as it is so heavily marketed.

Chef Ngan Ping Chow, originally from Hong Kong, is rather entertaining, a very good performer with knowledge of different languages  and the main attraction.  He creates decent examples of current modernist techniques.  This is a good introduction for people not immersed in modernist cuisine, a.k.a. tourists.  Tapas Molecular bar is definitely not for gourmets, as the food is not breathtaking in flavor at all.

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Tapas Molecular Bar 022 Cigar Leaf Smoked cherry root and crispy potato crust; lined with an green apple gel sheet and filled with cucumber black sesame ash
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On top of  the food quality, the service not to the Japanese high standards.  When you are paying $100’s for a meal, small gaff’s become more noticeable; like most high end restaurants with multiple course menus, TMB hands you a menu at the end of your meal,  the beauty and form in-line with the artistic expression of the restaurant.  Here, we received a simple printout that did not even reflect the meal  we had.

Ok – enough of that – now onto the meal (which admittedly photographs beautifully!)

Dinner commences with a small toolbox containing a small hammer, mini shovel, tweezers, saw and a tape measure  with the menu printed on it (which was pretty slick).  This is followed with a series of dishes.

 

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Tapas Molecular Bar 039
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