y4pcT1JaIwGptQJPO6l_mZmgv34 tiffin unboxed: Last Days of Foie Gras Finale at Hot's Kitchen

Last Days of Foie Gras Finale at Hot's Kitchen

Recently I read one of the many articles mentioning the best final foie gras dishes in town. Many of the usual suspects, that we all know are great, were on the list.

But I also noticed a $10 foie gras burger at a locals' favorite restaurant way out of my neighborhood. Hot's Kitchen's tagline of "surfer meets sophisticate", indicating their 'foodie' twist on classics.

After indulging for days with fancy preparations, I wasn't up to a 30-course foie meal (which was really offered!). It felt right to spend the last day of eating foie gras in California at this more casual and soulful spot.

When I called to make a reservation I was told that for the final weekend, they are planning to host a Farewell Foie Gras blowout. Despite many visits to their website, Facebook and Twitter pages, the menu was kept a surprise till the very end.

Hots Kitchen Jun12_d Foie Gras Burger seared foie gras balsamic onions whole grain mustard

Hots Kitchen Jun12_a menu Exec Chefs Sean Chaney Matt Peterson

Not that anyone had to twist my arm to try these juicy burgers, but I appreciated that for each burger sold, Hot's Chef/Owner Sean Chaney and would contribute $1 to C.H.E.F.S, the Coalition for Humane and Ethical Farming Standards.

The small plates were meant for sharing so our table of four liberally ordered the dishes that struck our fancy, with all caution to the wind.

Hots Kitchen Jun12_b Poutine duck fat frieds 2 yr old hooks hooks cheddar foie gravy duck confit morels

Poutine. Duck fat fries, 2 year old hooks cheddar, foie gravy, duck confit, morel mushrooms. 

Their take on the Canadian specialty came loaded with toppings, including cubed veges. The shredded duck confit hiding in the gravy was a pleasant surprise. 

Hots Kitchen Jun12_c Cashew Foie Gras seared foie gras roasted shishito peppers nameko mushrooms cahsews thai chilis sesame seeds

Cashew Foie Gras. Seared foie gras, roasted shishito peppers, nameko mushrooms, cashews, thai chilis, sesame seeds.

I felt a bit skeptical about their take on cashew chicken, but loved the flavors on this plate, especially the grilled peppers and toasted sesame seeds on the foie. 

The sliced Thai chili brought a bit of heat, but despite the two types of peppers, the heat level did not take away from the star of the dish.

Hots Kitchen Jun12_e Foie Gras Burger

Foie Gras Burger. Seared foie gras, balsamic onions, whole grain mustard.

I don't need t say much here. I tilted the plate to give you a profile of these slider size burgers and what more can I say? Except that they gave off lots of juice that the buns soaked up. Perfection.

They cost $12 instead of $10, but worth every penny.

Hots Kitchen Jun12_f Foie Fried Rice asparagus porcini mushrooms uni mustard sauce duck egg

Hots Kitchen Jun12_g Foie Fried Rice

Foie Fried Rice. Asparagus, porcini mushrooms, uni mustard sauce, duck egg.

I love every singular ingredient in this dish, which makes it the fried rice of the gods. The duck egg added that indefinable sauce. The portions of foie almost equaled the rice.

Hots Kitchen Jun12_h Liver and Onions seared foie gras cipollini onions morels bacon mashed potatoes pedro ximenez sauce

Liver & Onions. Seared foie gras, cipollini onions, morels, bacon, mashed potatoes, pedro ximenez sauce.

I didn't taste this one, in order to leave room for a couple of other dishes, but it turned out to be one diner's favorite dish of the evening.

Hots Kitchen Jun12_i PB&J F*** Gras seared foie gras peanut butter jelly balsamic strawberries toasted brioche

PB&J & F*** Gras. Seared foie gras, peanut butter & jelly, balsamic strawberries, toasted brioche.

This fell more on the dessert side. I would have preferred less sweet. The combination of peanut butter, tart strawberries and foie worked well together.

Hots Kitchen Jun12_j Pineapple Brioche French Toast seared foie gras pineapple sage compound butter

Pineapple Brioche French Toast. Seared foie gras, pineapple sage, compound butter.

I loved the pineapple and foie combination but could not taste the sage compound butter due to the syrupy sweetness. Also would have preferred the sweet toned down.

Overall, we tried all but one of the foie dishes on the chef's tasting menu (we opted to leave out the Seared Foie Gras & Tater Tots). We also passed on the Foie & Fondue since we'd had our fair share of sweet dishes.

Hots Kitchen Jun12_k tacos sausage shrimp tempura eel

To break up the all-foie bites, at some point we ordered tacos. Hot's specializes in tacos (you can read the selection here) and has dozens to choose from.

I opted for the Eel, with enoki mushroom, avocado, eel sauce. Good flavor, but the texture was too soggy for my taste. I expected crispier eel, like one finds in sushi. At the very least, crispy skin.

The shrimp tempura, with avocado, enoki mushrooms, green onions, unagi sauce, chili-aioli and sesame seeds seemed to be the table favorite.

Hots Kitchen Jun12_l wings menu

I had read on their website, and also on this menu, about their newest addition to the menu, Crispy Orange Fanta Wings.

Hots Kitchen Jun12_m crispy Orange Fanta wings

They arrived in minutes with a neon orange sauce. I expected them to be cloyingly sweet, but they actually packed quite a bit of heat. 

I loved the extremely crunchiness which many places do not properly do.

Hots Kitchen Jun12_n I Love Foie server

All the employees showed their pride and passion for foie with their charming handmade t-shirts.

Hot's Kitchen was thoroughly enjoyable. It was fun to ring out end of the era of foie gras in California with a casual, creative and affordable meal.

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