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What I Ate: September 23, 2009 (Perla's Seafood and Oyster Bar, Los Vega Restaurante)

Posted 23 September, 2009 at 11:58pm by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Food, What I Ate)

Dinner: We joined Peter at Perla's Seafood and Oyster Bar (1400 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX‎ - (512) 291-7300) for his birthday dinner (as well as our final Austin Restaurant Week dinner for the year). We enjoyed the food very much and will be dining here again in the future. (I should also mention that Perla's should get extra bonus points for changing the menu to accommodate our group. Today's Austin Restaurant Week menu did not have the Lobster Roll on it and many of us wanted to eat it - so they made it available to us for the evening.)

Salt and Pepper Fried Calamari with Green Sauce and Marinara The calamari was fried just enough to give it a tender texture (that sweet spot between mushy/chewy and tough/chewy). The light batter was nicely seasoned, but some parts did take on a bit more grease than I would have liked. Overall, it was quite good and for an appetizer, the portioning was generous.
Perla’s - Salt and Pepper Fried Calamari

Bay Scallop Pozole Verde This scallop and cilantro soup was excellent. The radish and hominy added to the texture and flavor while the soup was warming, pleasing, and maybe even a little smokey. I can imagine a future meal where we just order of the pozole and been happy for the rest of the evening. Delicious.
Perla’s - Bay Scallop Pozole Verde

Pan Roasted Alaskan Halibut English Peas, Baby Carrots, House Cured Bacon, Parsley Butter The halibut was cooked to just the right doneness - flaking apart but without any dryness. The seasoning was a bit blunt though - I could only taste salt on the crust and nothing else. The sauce on the plate tasted like clarified butter and not much else. Still, with a mild flavored but meaty fish like halibut, getting the texture right is key - overcooking would be worse than over or under seasoning. I'll probably try a different fish in the future.
Perla’s - Pan Roasted Alaskan Halibut

Lobster Roll came with shoestring fries (that were a bit too salty at times) and drawn butter (which was unnecessary since the lobster salad was well prepared. The lobster was sweet and fresh with ample chunks of flesh lightly tossed in a mayonnaise and chive dressing. It was very good, but the bread it was served on fell a bit short. The bun was a little chewy (and became gummy in the mouth) and could have been aided by buttering and grilling the sides a bit. Lobster salad gets an A, but the bread it was served on is a B-. On the regular menu this would have been $28 - not sure if it's worth it. In New England or in the Bay Area you can get a better Lobster Roll for under $20, but I'm not sure where else you can get a lobster roll this good in Austin (so that might justify the price).
Perla’s - Lobster Roll with Fries
Perla’s - Lobster Roll

Wild Blueberry Shortcake Creme Fraiche, Toasted Almonds, Thyme This dessert is either the best or tied (with the Apple Tart from Driskill Grill) for the best dessert we've had during Austin Restaurant Week. The shortcake was wonderfully flaky and the creme fraiche just a tiny bit tart balancing the sweetness of the pastry with the sweetness of the blueberry sauce. The blueberries themselves were excellent. Store bought blueberries (those small marble sized bluish-purplish globes) taste like a spongy watered-down version of these small but concentrated blueberries.
Perla’s - Wild Blueberry Shortcake

Profiteroles Coffee Ice Cream, Chocolate Sauce, Calvados Creme Anglaise These profiteroles were much better than the one we had yesterday at Aquarelle. The choux pastry was tasty and the ice cream just the right texture.
Perla’s - Profiteroles

Lunch: We ate lunch at Los Vega Restaurante (721 N Old Highway 81, Kyle, TX‎ - (512) 268-8570‎) in Kyle. I ordered several tacos to try: chicharrones, carne guisada, nopalitos with egg, and migas. When they came, I realized I had misjudged the size of the tacos (each were $1.50 - $1.95 but a bit larger than I expected).
Los Vega Restaurante - Tacos

While waiting for our food, I noticed that everyone else seemed to be having menudo. We asked for a cup of menudo and the soup of beef stomach, tripe, hominy, and spices was delicious. Next time, we'll just get two large bowls of menudo and savor the flavors.
Los Vega Restaurante - Menudo

1 comment to What I Ate: September 23, 2009 (Perla's Seafood and Oyster Bar, Los Vega Restaurante)

Cat, September 24th, 2009 at 11:38 am:

  • The Bay Scallops are delicious! If I had a dish to live on…that would be it! Great pictures!