That’s right…June 31st is coming fast…
You: Fast to what?
Me: The end of Foie Gras dummy!
If you are not yet out the door with the car keys and an Open Table rez, you are probably torn between the desire of tasting something good and the desire to do good. But don’t worry, I have to sort out the scuffle between my taste buds and my Mirror Neurons (read: animal empathy) every time I am at the kitchen table. So allow me discus…
The human battle of the senses between gastronomic euphoria and spiritual purity does not rage on stronger in any other place than right here in The Golden State. California is the melting pot of the modern world, where foodies and activist coexist in one big, “happy” place. On July 1st however, when the Foie Gras ban takes place, the balance may shift in dramatic fashion, as one group’s rights will be imposed over another.
The irony here is that by banning Foie Gras, that the activist groups are the ones who are taking rights away from the people. History has shown that when it comes to food, nothing last forever. Google: Prohibition, Chicago Foie Gras Ban repeal. And the people who actually have done something to improve the quality of food and general welfare of animals are the people who embrace good food. Google: Slow Food movement, Alice Waters. Yes I must admit being Vegan can be great for the environment and all, but if you think PETA is turning people into vegetarians by stalking and harassing omnivores, think again
I am glad the Foie Gras ban is now coming. To be honest, I probably didn’t have my first bite of Foie until 2004, when the ban countdown was started. I don’t think the ban will last forever. But I am not a gambling man, I invite you to take part in the Foie gras tastyness and decide for yourself if see what all the fuss is about.
Remember June 31st is the last day to get yours in CA, who knows when we might see Foie Gras on a Californian menu again. Below is a short list of restaurants that serves the decadent dish on any given night.
L’Ardoise, Bistro Central Parc, Chapeau!
San Francisco, CA
I call this the axis of super nice and awesome French bistros. They all meet the following requirements; charming neighborhood locations, great chefs and owners, unpretentiously good, classic French restaurants at reasonable prices. These are all must try’s for any San Franciscan resident, and what’s best all these are for some reason perfectly unattractive to tourists. They all serve Foie Gras in some fashion; seared, terraine, on a salad, etc. All good and won’t break the bank. A perfect place to start your venture into the Foie Gras excitement.
San Francisco, CA
Chefs Mark Pastore and Chris Cosentino are probably some of the more outspoken chefs for the repeal of the ban, which makes this place good one to try. Incanto could be described as New Italian, fusing classic Italian flavors with fresh, yet simple dishes. The buzz around this place Is about the Foie Gras Ice cream!
Los Angeles, CA
I have been wanting to try this place for a while now. Popularized by their no animal part goes to waste ideology, Animal has really set a great example on how to appreciate food the right way. With the Foie ban looming, Animal has been host to 12 course foie extravaganzas, and an equal number of Pro-Geese PETA protests. No better place to get in on the action in my opinion.
Japanese Fusion brainchild of Iron Chef Morimoto, blends Western Classical cooking techniques with hip intellectual Japanese tastes. I have had the honor of trying the original Morimoto in Philadelphia (where the city has a Foie Gras week, celebrating the decadent ingredient). To attest to how good this stuff really is, the best dish at an acclaimed sushi restaurant was the seared Foie Gras, how ‘bout them apples?!
La Folie, Jardiniere, Fleur de Lys
San Francisco, CA
Frenchity French French. These are the big names in town if you want “real” French cuisine. I say that because each of these restaurants come with the stereotypical idea that when you go French, you are going big, big names, big flavors, big price tag. If you have a taste for fatted liver, and have the wallet to back it up, then you can literally put your money where your mouth is. These chefs are known to have multiple dishes of Foie Gras on the menu. If you are trying to stalk up on Michelin Stars or whittling down that James Beard Award winners to eat list, these restaurants are probably on your menu.