Saturday, May 3, 2008

Yelp Elite Event: Parcel 104

Yesterday, Justyn and I went to a Yelp event after work at Parcel 104 which is located in Santa Clara, kinda near Great America... next to the Marriot. I've always heard excellent things about this restaurant but never got the time or chance to visit. This event was so popular that within 2 hours of the email invite being sent it, it was fully booked. I'm glad I happened to check my email when I did!

Here's a couple pictures of their menu. The one on the right is the Yelper tasting menu.

The first thing I had was this cup with fresh veggies including edamame, fennel and fresh spring peas. On the bottom of the cup was this almost custard like thing. Unfortunately, this did not do it for me. It looked good though.

Scattered throughout the event were bowls of garlic and thyme marinated olives and spiced mixed nuts. Both were amazing and I don't even like olives straight up like that.

Here is a picture of a couple of the kitchen crew. I'm pretty sure one of two was the chef, but I didn't ask because I was shy. On another note, their kitchen is really open and amazing. I wouldn't mind living there heh.

J. Lohr winery was set up in the backroom with wine tasting. I was pleased to see that they offered a Pinot Noir since that's currently my favorite wine, however I didn't care for it. It was way to oaky. I'm used to Pinots that are sweeter and more fruity. Justyn liked it though.

The next thing I tasted were the Pacific Oysters in a Spring Onion Fondue. Basically a fried oyster on top of carmelized onions, a dallop of uni and sprig of chive to garnish. Absolutely amazing. It was heaven on a half shell.

Next came out the 28 Day Dry Aged Beef Sliders which were snatched up before the waiters could get out of the kitchen. I luckily snapped a picture before they were eaten. Unfortunately, this was one where I didn't get to taste, but I'm sure they were amazing. Can't go wrong with sliders.

I'm not sure what this was. It was definitely strawberry flavored with some sort of liquor and the rim was salted. Blech... I hated it. There was just nothing good about it. I wonder if this was the "Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test". The description was Bay Are seasonal inspired cocktail that pays homage to Ken Kesey. Strawberry flavored grain alchohol that contains secondary notes of vanilla, ginger and lime.

Next came the Delta Asparagus Fries with a bernaise sauce. I didn't like these either nor was I impressed with them. Anyone can batter asparagus and fry it. There's very little skill involved with it. Justyn ended up peeling the batter off and eating the asparagus.

Now the gem of the evening. These little rock shrimp tacos were simply lucious, fresh and packed tons of flavor. It had heat, acid, cold, meaty and crunch all at the same time. I could've taken the entire platter and eaten them. The avacado lended a nice creamy cool finish as well.

And there you have it... tasting at Parcel 104. Thanks to Connie, the Yelp staff and Parcel 104 for a lovely evening of cocktails and hors d'ouvres. No thanks goes out to Justyn who got drunk so I had to stay sober and drive. Heh... J/K.

I know I didn't give enough credit to Parcel 104 for the tasting, but it's my honest opinion of the food and there were definitely highlights which blew my mind. In fact the shrimp taco and oyster are drawing me back. We're going to visit Parcel 104 for dinner on Tuesday night!

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