That smell in the November Beverly Hills air — in addition to money — emanating from within the city’s finest dining rooms, is white truffles. Truffle season is in full bloom, as menus around town, and food lovers with sophisticated palates and fat wallets will attest.
The pungent mushrooms, rarer than real breasts in this town, are found in only a few select areas of the world, particularly, northern Italy, where they are foraged as they have been for centuries by olfactorily blessed pigs and sold at the price of really good weed. An “earthy” or “musky” aroma is merely a euphemism; more reminiscent is the scent of damp leaves with a tinge of body odor.
But shave a white truffle paper-thin atop a pasta dish or risotto, and something magic happens. The flavors of the truffle invigorate everything it touches, adding layers of complexity and, for lack of a better word, zing to every bite.
And while there are several great restaurants paying homage to the king of truffles throughout Los Angeles, below is a quartet of the best that Beverly Hills has to offer.
On November 20, Chef Mette Williams is preparing a five-course white truffle tasting dinner at Culina, the luxury Italian restaurant at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. Among the dishes on the menu are Diver scallops, agnolotti with braised rabbit and leeks, roasted rack of veal, and even a house-made truffled camembert with quince jam and walnut bread.
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, The Bazaar by José Andrés is offering its fourth-annual 16-course white truffle tasting menu in the private chef’s room. A wine pairing is also available.
At Maude this month, Chef Curtis Stone is providing a 10-course truffle menu, that will complement scallops, sweetbreads, turbot, house-made pasta and fall fruits and veggies. His scrambled egg with black-pepper phyllo is considered by some to be one of the most truffle-heavy dishes in town.
Through the end of November, Scarpetta is celebrating the white truffle with a five-course tasting menu centering around the beloved ‘shroom. The dishes are also available a la carte.