by ALEJANDRO REYES VEGA, CSU Public Relations Assistant
I am a student at Minnesota State University, Mankato, born and raised mainly in Venezuela. I have had many opportunities to travel, explore, and go on a variety of adventures. Alejo’s Mischievous Adventures will be my attempt at sharing my experiences with you.
Many people visit LA for sightseeing, events, nightlife, or famous people. I choose to keep visiting LA because I love restaurants and the diversity that the city offers. So many different cuisines can be found in the city ranging from all sorts of price points too. I have some of my best dining experience by a food truck in the downtown area as well as some of the most exclusive and upscale restaurants. This time I am going to tell you about my experience at TAO Los Angeles.
TAO, similarly to other upscale restaurants has various locations such as Las Vegas, New York, and Chicago, and each location takes into account every detail. From the entrance to the lounge and bar, to the different dining experiences they offer, each one has been carefully put together with amazing decor and attention to detail. The restaurant makes you feel transported to another region in another era while still feeling modern and upscale. If you have some extra cash and a few friends that enjoy fine dining I definitely recommend this restaurant and this is why.
TAO serves its dinner family style which is a great way to share, try different dishes, and socialize. We started off with some buns stuffed with pork along with a tangy-sweet dipping sauce. The buns were surprisingly fluffy and soft but the stuffing was juicy and filled with flavor. I recommend you come with an even amount of people, otherwise splitting the last bun might become the least pleasurable part of the evening.
Luckily enough our entrees arrived soon after which included a salmon fried rice with kimchi and fresh scallions, a Mongolian beef smothered in a rich zingy sauce along with freshly steamed greens, and an orange chicken with caramelized peelings, sesame seeds, and steamed bok choy. Every ingredient used could be tasted and every dish showcased a balance between rich strong flavors and fresh vibrant ones. The salmon had the richness and boldness of the kimchee that contrasted perfectly with the fresh scallions. The beef had the rich ginger sweet sauce and the steamed fresh greens to balance it, and the chicken had the sweet tanginess of the orange that was complimented by the simple cabbage-like flavor of the bok choy.
The final two dishes we ordered were the seared wagyu in sesame oil with pickled radish and ginger. The meat was sliced and barely had to be chewed as it melted in one’s mouth and the ingredients it was paired with accentuated each other’s flavors.
However, at this point, we could no longer order any more dishes and were about ready to order the bill when we saw the table next to us order dessert. We decided we could not leave unless we ordered dessert too. The dish was thoughtfully put together, it had a vanilla bean ice cream, with a dark chocolate box which had a warm fluffy lava cake and a berry puree. The sweet ice cream, the tartness of the berries, and the bitterness of the chocolate created a harmonies delicious balance.
TAO offers well thought out and put together dishes with high-quality fresh ingredients. The food and the environment create a unique and elevated dining experience. From the entrance of the venue to the appetizers, entreés, and desserts, to the warmed up hand towels and soap options in the bathroom, everything was carefully planned and executed to near perfection. Definitely, a worthy stop to share a memorable night with friends.