TBL3 at Georges California Modern - La Jolla, CA

Dinner - Saturday, August 17, 2013

Trey Foshee's signature tasting menu must be in demand - previously available only three days a week, TBL3 is now offered Tuesdays through Saturdays. We took advantage of this expanded availability to enjoy a meal at the height of Summer. It was quite a ride - likely our best rendition of the menu to date.

Northern Divine caviar, corn semifreddo
Chino Farms baby corn, purslane, onion and radish blossoms
Watermelon, crab
Yuzu, yogurt, baby shiso
Gorgeous presentation - thin, alternating rings of compressed red and yellow watermelon built up around a lump of crabmeat. The colours of the shiso hinted at the coming Fall, but the taste was redolent of Summer.

Tomatoes and cucumbers
Tomato-lavender consommé, holy basil, lavender flowers
Boiled new potatoes
Truffles, nasturtium sour cream
Warm slices of Australian truffle were draped over the chilled potatoes and sour cream - excellent temperature contrast. Flavours were bold and simple - very well prepared.

Local spot prawn, wild fennel butter
Lima beans
Squid, dried squid broth, celery flowers
Achiote-cured snapper
Fish skin chicharron, roasted pineapple-jalapeno salsa
A tribute to San Diego's most famous dish. The usual suspects were present in spades - homemade corn tortilla (slightly too thick for my taste), avocado, red cabbage, salsa and fish. Great balance of acid, sugar and heat in the thick salsa. The fried fish skin was a fantastic addition that deserves to be on every version of this taco.

Seared scallop
Uni broth, mustard greens, dried seaweed
Perfectly done scallop, teetering on the edge between raw and cooked. We were both very taken by the seaweed crisp - crunchy, but with a sweet-umami stickiness that made it taste like a more nuanced, yet pumped-up version of dried nori.

Mesquite-dusted rabbit loin
Strawberry figs, pea tendrils
Seared local toro
Chanterelles, buckwheat, roasted sorrel, brown butter dashi
Ribeye, marrow, truffles
Garlic, parsley purée, thyme and rosemary flowers
Sorrel granita
Meyer lemon curd, Chino Farms strawberries
Mango semifreddo
Cashew milk ice cream, lemongrass, smoked cashews
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this - on paper, it sounded good but perhaps not great. However, the components worked terrifically together because each one was so pure (especially the daubs of intense lemongrass gel and the slightly milder meringue). Very clean and delicious.

Mocha mousse, cocoa nib brittle
Espresso salt, espresso sponge, sweet cream
It's only been five months since our last TBL3 tasting, but something has tangibly changed over this short period. Presentations have been significantly refined, and flavours have been distilled down to their essences - I don't believe this is merely due to the season. Perhaps a growing audience has fed back into the menu itself, pushing the kitchen to test its boundaries more, or perhaps recent travels have inspired a different touch. Whatever the case, the restaurant seems to continue growing by leaps and bounds, and we are glad for it.

Georges California Modern
1250 Prospect St.
La Jolla, CA 92037
Phone: (858) 454-4244