Salt of the Earth was a lot more classy than I expected. I was used to choosing cheaper restaurants from yelp, but my friend came into town and promised to bring me anywhere to eat. Anywhere. I chose this place because I have read reviews of it from other blogs and I thought it would be a good place to go. This place really blew me off of my feet though!
We started with cocktails, so my friend ordered a rum cocktail and got me a N/A. Apparently it meant non-alcoholic, as I was under 21 at that time (two days away!). This was an amazing drink and I loved it. The tangy orange went so well with the creamy, fragrant coconut, and the cinnamon added an appropriate kick to it. I hope they still have this drink the next time I come back (apparently it has already been changed to grapefruit).
We then got the beef tartare starter. You can see the quail egg on top of the raw beef, presumably mixed with marrow and topped with peanuts, and I’m assuming the sansho are the radish slice-looking things. It could have been the grass, although that didn’t taste like anything. The beef tartare itself was okay. It tasted thick but the texture was also very soft. However, it left a strange sour and dry/astringent aftertaste that I did not enjoy. Although a decent dish, I don’t think it was the best that the restaurant had to offer.
I ordered the duck dish, which was basically roasted duck on top of what seems to be mashed potatoes, surrounded by apple butter. The “pasta” (haluski) had its own poultry that came with it, and then on top of everything was pomegranate seeds. This dish was simply amazing. I loved the play of flavors: the slightly chewy but tender duck with creamy mashed potatoes and the occasion pomegranate seed if I chose to add that. The apple butter went well with the haluski and brussel sprouts although I wasn’t able to finish the haluski. The duck might also be the best duck I’ve had in recent memory (but this probably just means that my parents needed to take me somewhere with amazing duck meat). It was amazing.
My friend ordered the Hanger Steak, which was an Asian take on this American cut of beef. The rice porridge was underneath the steak and sauce, while the vegetables were laid on top of the beef. I personally think the sauce really made this dish delicious. It was some sort of soy sauce based sauce, but I couldn’t really put my finger on what else it had (ginger, probably). Again, the meat was tender, and the porridge was warm and thick. My friend said, however, that because the sauce was mild, the porridge ended up diluting the sauce even more and made the porridge tasteless. Perhaps they were meant to be eaten separately, or the steak dipped in the sauce without mixing. I really liked this dish too, despite my friend’s apparent disappointment. I think the chef really has the Asian palette down to be able to make a dish that mixed what we would consider such strange ingredients together.
Of course, our meal was not cheap. A special thanks to Kevin Zhao, my friend, who treated me to this amazing meal for my early birthday celebration =)