In this month's Name That Restaurant game, the mystery dish was the Waygu Carpaccio from Lake Street Kitchen + Bar.
Waygu is Japanese for "cow," and it is a notoriously tender and flavorful breed of beef, with insane marbling of the muscle tissue. Honestly, I've seen some chunks of raw Waygu that are practically white, laced with thin slivers of red. I've been told that if you leave Waygu sitting out in the sun, after a short period of time it will simply melt, leaving thin strips of muscle meat in a pool of liquid fat.
Carpaccio is usually served as thin slices of the raw beef. At Lake Street Kitchen Bar, it's served with arugula, balsamic aioli, and pickled onions. So you have the rich, slightly salty aioli, bitter leaf, and sour onion. As Chef Jason Kurosaki explained, "We're trying to hit all the tastes," which is a solid strategy for constructing an appetizer. Tasting some, I found it to be a good balance of flavors and textures.
Kurosaki told us he uses beef shoulder and lightly sears the outside of the meat "for crunch." Then he gives the meat a quick sprinkled with togarashi, a Japanese spice mixture with just a little chili heat.
Fun fact: Carpaccio was named after the Venetian painter. There was an exhibition of Carpaccio's work in Venice when this dish was served at Harry's Bar in the same city during 1950 exhibition of the painter's work. The restaurant owners thought to honor the painter by naming a special dish after him, and the name stuck.
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