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EATS: Restaurant Reviews and News | IN THE MOOD


January 01, 1998

Tender, sweet, pleasingly round scallops are best handled with a light but creative touch. Here are a few of our favorite scallop dishes.

* Vincenti: At this new Brentwood restaurant, chef Gino Angelini sets lightly grilled scallops atop sauteed zucchini and mint-scented tomato sauce, then garnishes the plate with small cubes of earthy ricotta salata (dried ricotta cheese) and briefly gratinees the dish under high heat. (Scallops appetizer, $14.) Vincenti Ristorante, 11930 San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood, (310) 207-0127.

* Citrus: Classic sauteed scallops--with a perfect light filigree of crust on top, served with onion rings and a Chardonnay sauce--are served as an appetizer or, on request, an entree (with terrific mashed potatoes). On the special menu, look for scallops that have been lightly battered, wrapped in threads of Greek kataifi pastry and deep-fried. They're served with a purple sauce made from red cabbage. (Scallop appetizers, $14; entree, $22.) Citrus, 6703 Melrose Ave., L.A., (213) 857-0034.

* Matsuhisa: At this high-end contemporary sushi restaurant, chef-owner Nobu Matsuhisa reliably pushes the scallop envelope with a new style sashimi: sliced raw scallops on the half shell sprinkled with strings of ginger, chives, sesame seed, soy sauce and, just before serving, a few drops of hot oil. He also sautees scallops and serves them in either a wasabi black pepper sauce with shiitake mushrooms and asparagus or a spicy garlic sauce with hot chiles and sake. He also steams chopped shrimp and scallops in spinach and serves them with a spicy hollandaise and salmon eggs. (Scallop dishes, $16.) Matsuhisa, 129 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills, (310) 659-9639.

* Yujean Kang's: Here fresh sea scallops are sauteed with crab meat in a light curry sauce or sauteed with shallots, leeks and garlic chives in hot chile oil. Or they're lightly battered, sauteed with chile, garlic, ginger and tomato juice and served with snow peas. (Scallops, $15.95 to $19.95.) Yujean Kang's, 67 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, (626) 585-0855.

* Jozu: Chef Suzanne Tracht sautees fat, sweet scallops very lightly and serves them with Chinese egg noodles and a haunting green curry sauce. (Scallops, $18.) Jozu, 8360 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, (213) 655-5600.

* Nouveau Cafe Blanc: At lunch, chef Tommy Harase often offers a special of grilled Canadian jumbo scallops with black bean sauce and mushroom risotto. At dinner, he marinates them in saffron and grills them for a first course, either as part of the prix-fixe menu or a la carte. (Scallops lunch special, $13; saffron scallops a la carte, $12; prix-fixe dinner, $43.) Nouveau Cafe Blanc, 9777 Little Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, (310) 888-0108.

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