• Wagyu at Lallapalooza

    by Richard Oh

    Today I will be featuring the new menu items from Lallapalooza Restaurant located on Alvarado Street, Monterey. In addition to changes in the food, the owner, Pat Ottone, strives to bring new experiences to your dining pleasure. He likes to enhance the restaurant visually as well as keeping the menu enticing. He’s brought out happy hour specials, unique cocktails, décor enhancements, and features some great local wines.

    Pat started a restaurant in 1985 called Velvet Creamery in the Del Monte Shopping Center. He had no prior restaurant experience. Pat just dove in head first… I admire that about him and he’s been very successful.

    A few years later he turned it into Elli’s named after Ellis Island. He wanted to make his restaurant the “melting pot” of food. Pat has accomplished this very well. One look at his menu and you will see what I’m talking about; it is very extensive. He has three amazing restaurants now and I wish him continued success.

    His other two are called Lalla Grill in the Del Monte Center and Elli’s located on Main Street in Salinas. I like the menu selection in all three places. It offers a diverse menu variety sure to please everyone in your group.

    I chose Lallapalooza because they offer the American version of Kobe beef, Wagyu. It is a crossbreed with Angus cattle with the Japanese Tajima. The result is a much higher grade of meat, from the well marbled texture to the fatty contentto its unique flavours and tenderness. The Wagyu has a lower melting point of its fat than regular beef. It is 100 percent natural and free of any hormones and antibodies. These cattle are raised in eastern Idaho on family ranches with a longstanding tradition of animal welfare and environmental sustainability. And now, thanks to Pat and Chef Luis Osorio, you can enjoy this delicacy at Lallapalooza. They offer it in a burger form as well as several different steak cuts. The chef will cook them to perfection on their oak-chip grills.

    I like the diverse menu options to building your own burger. My favorite is the apple wood smoked bacon and duck fat fries. I’m sure they have something that will please your palette.

    The Steak

    I had the pleasure of enjoying an 8 oz. Baseball Cut Sirloin and Chef Luis grilled it to excellence. It had just the right amount char on the outside with the meatiness yet tender and flavors were in full effect on the inside. There was no need for steak sauce. It had so much savoriness and natural juices that one should relish each bite. This cut is from the center of top sirloin, which offers richness and the meaty texture.

    The Wine

    2007 Oh Pinot Noir, Balo Vineyards, Anderson Valley. This is a new release. It is a very bold Pinot Noir. You’ll get dark intense cherries, blackberries, dark chocolate, with a solid tannin structure on the finish. This has the depth and complexity that will age nicely for many years to come. This is the only wine I produce outside of Monterey. All of the other wines are from the Santa Lucia Highlands region. Try this combination next time you dine at Lallas. Your mouth will thank you for it.

    richard 3-1

    posted to Cedar Street Times on March 1, 2013

    Topics: Oh, Have A Taste!

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