California 1983

April 24, 2016

FullSizeRender (81)

Trolling through a box of old papers, I came upon this picture of Hiro Sone in 1983, along with the menu for his restaurant Terra.  Hiro’s one of my favorite chefs in the world, and I was curious about what he was cooking thirty years ago.  And here it is:

FullSizeRender (82)

Hiro, was the original chef of the Tokyo Spago, and among the first to fold international flavors into his dishes.  Interesting to see that he was already adding Thai curries, tahini, and miso into what was then being called “California Cuisine.”

In the same folder I found the considerably more sedate menu from La Petite Chaya, which was on what was, at the time, an extremely untrendy stretch of Hillhurst Avenue in Los Angeles.  (That restaurant is long gone, but there are still a few Chayas in California.)

FullSizeRender (83)

FullSizeRender (84)

FullSizeRender (85)


And finally I unearthed this fascinating artifact, courtesy of Bipin Desai, Professor of Physics and internationally renowned wine collector.  Where I got this I have no idea….

FullSizeRender (87)

FullSizeRender (86)


Categorised in:


  • stacey charrow says:

    In 1992, for my birthday dinner, my husband and I ate at Terra in St. Helena. We had just moved to St. Helena from Los Angeles where we had enjoyed many a fine restaurant. My husband had just re-entered the wine business after a 10 year hiatus. We were broke as could be. Yet we used our last dollar to celebrate. I had the Medallions of Lamb with anchovy and black olive sauce. After each bite I oohed and yummed and m-m-mmmed in delight. I then proceeded to lick my plate. Figuratively. I will never forget that dish. Thank you for reminding me of that incredible meal and that fun time in my life.

  • stacey charrow says:

    One thing to add, I worked or ate at 50% of the restaurants you mentioned in this post and felt I was a pretty good judge of great food. Yet that Lamb dish from Terra was just so yummy.

  • admin says:

    Okay, Stacey, now I’m dying to taste that lamb.