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Manresa

 320 Village Ln
Los Gatos, CA
 

Good, but too much hype?

A restaurant of the caliber and reputation of Manresa can only be appropriately compared with its peers. That being said, while Manresa was a great (and very expensive and long – 3.5 hours) experience, it didn’t quite live up to its billing.

We had the tasting menu at Manresa: 4 amuses, 7 courses, 4 desserts. Overall, everything was very well done – David Kinch uses lots of interesting salts and sweet/savory combinations to give you unique tastes. I had a few “wow this is good” moments – the slow cooked sherry egg, salmon in its own roe, abalone – along with a few “this is weird” moments, but I appreciate the creativity of the chef. My girlfriend particularly enjoyed a Japanese snapper dish and a lamb dish. However, we were disappointed in the foie gras (felt undercooked) and the ox-tail ravioli (I’ve been spoiled by pasta). Overall though, mostly “hits” and only a few “misses.”

I had hoped we’d see some more items fresh from their garden, given the prime season for many veggies – but none were featured on a course. The ones that were accompaniments were very good, though.

While Manresa generally executed very well on all its dishes, I was not overall wowed to the extent that many others seem to have been (and perhaps I feel like I should have been). The service was good, but didn’t feel quite to the level of other top tier restaurants. Still though, if you have a special occasion and want to try some innovative cuisine, Manresa is worth a trip.

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