To preview the latest Restaurant Week, dineLA and Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air hosted a media dinner featuring a luxurious setting and the refined cooking of longtime Puck protégée Hugo Bolaños, who previously cooked at sister establishments CUT and Spago.
That we would be sharing Carrot Ginger Soup with Dungeness crab; French Loup de mer (aka wolf bass); and Baked Diver Scallops “in the shell” were no surprise. What surprised me was the participation of Mezcal El Silencio. L.A. entrepreneur Fausto Zapata hired Master Mezcalier Pedro Hernandez to produce mezcal from a blend of Espadin, Mexicano and Tobaciche varietals. The mescal isn’t as stereotypically smoky or as high in alcohol content as many readily available mezcals, and as I learned, the spirit is good in cocktails.
Brand ambassadors Aidan Demarest and Marcos Tello of Tello Demarest Liquid Assets paired three cocktails with the meal, including a modern Tello classic, Medicina Latina. Never has medicine tasted so good thanks to the spicy combination of mezcal, ginger, honey, fresh lime juice and a garnish of candied ginger. The cocktail originally featured tequila as a base spirit, but this mezcal subbed in seamlessly and readily supported the lingering ginger kick.