Commis: A Celebratory Experience

20120219-212426.jpg

I’m celebrating my two year anniversary. It’s a two year anniversary of a relationship I have with food and writing. I’ve been writing a weekly food blog for two years. To celebrate, I was going all out. I dined with my BFF at the only Michelin star rated restaurant in the entire East Bay and it’s located here in Oakland and it’s called Commis.

The chef/owner is thirty-two year old James Syhabout who grew up in West Oakland. His family immigrated from Thailand when he was two years old. Aside from Commis, he owns Hawker Fare, the Southeast Asian street food restaurant that I previously wrote about. Remember the pork belly rice bowl?

Commis serves a pre-fixed menu where art and creativity is apparent. The first thing to arrive was a bowl of rocks. We were instructed to find the two edible items. I was a bit confused. My friend with her geocaching experience was able to find them easily. We bit into what tasted like a whopper of a crispy cheesy cracker. What a fun way to start the meal.

20120219-212645.jpg
The next item to appear was the Pacific oyster, sunchoke and green anise in sea foam. I didn’t like this dish. It was like putting spoonfuls of ocean in your mouth.

20120219-214956.jpg
Although at the time we didn’t realize it, Chef Syhabout brought out the next dish which was the farm egg with alliums, smoked dates and malt. He explained to us to get a bite of egg yolk in each spoonful. The only thing I could identify was the egg yolk but it was a tasty dish.

20120219-221009.jpg
Sweet shrimp with avocado and chrysanthemum was the next plate. I enjoyed the simplicity of this dish as well.

20120219-214145.jpg
Next to arrive was the red beetroot with cauliflower and blood orange with a pumpernickel bread crust. For a moment, I thought I was having dessert. This was one of my favorites.

20120219-214128.jpg
Chef Syhabout came out again to bring us the hake confit in olive oil, black and green garlic with wilted coastal chicory. I’ve never had hake before, but it is from the same family as cod. After further thought, I think this was my favorite.

20120219-213449.jpg
The final savory dish was the Heritage chicken, artichoke and black trumpets, fresh and dried brassicas. The texture of the chicken was very tender and had a smokey flavor. It was a nice dish and probably the most beautiful.

20120219-213441.jpg
The palette cleanser came to the table which was a winter citrus with laurel bay leaf. It did what it was supposed to.

20120219-214048.jpg
Dessert was an apple sponge cake with vanilla bean, rice and warm spices. Another beautiful dish. I wish I had more of this; I especially liked the rice crisps that looked like bugs.

20120219-213427.jpg
A bonus dessert came out which my BFF remembers being called the potted mint. It reminded me of when I was in elementary school and we planted beans in a styrofoam cup to await a sprig to appear. The dessert was a delicious chocolate that started out grainy, but became creamy in my mouth.

20120219-213103.jpg
Commis was an interesting experience which I am happy to have had. Every item on each plate is carefully placed the way an artist creates their art. The food was mostly enjoyable. It’s definitely worth a try to celebrate a special occasion. And if you are lucky enough, you’ll get to meet the Chef. Our waiter walked us over to the open kitchen at the end of our meal to meet him!

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Commis: A Celebratory Experience

  1. You look adorable all dolled up! 🙂 This is definitely one to put on my “TO DINE” list! I love the “treasure hunt” starter — certainly a fun way to start any meal!
    Thanks for the awesome review with photos!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s