Saturday, June 13, 2015

Tower of Power

It's become all the rage nowadays for seafood restaurants to serve something called a plateau de fruits de mer. A luxurious variety of chilled shellfish are presented on two elaborate tiers of ice, with plentiful sauces and lemon, packing a visual wow. It's an ostentatious display of abundance, and we weren't ashamed to indulge in one.

The acclaimed Manhattan Beach restaurant Fishing with Dynamite offers three sizes of towers; they are named the SS Minnow, the Queen Mary, and the Mothershucker.

We splurged on the Queen Mary, which serves three to four people, and offered nine oysters on the half-shell, four raw clams, eight steamed shrimp, ten steamed mussels, king crab legs and half an Atlantic lobster. Being greedy, we supplemented it with a half dozen Peruvian scallops, and three additional oysters - Kiwa oysters, from New Zealand.

A Kiwa oyster
These are flat oysters, like the French belon variety. They have a different taste than the sweet, cucumber-y Pacific Northwest oysters I love, like the tiny succulent Kuushi oysters from British Columbia. These oysters have a strong, briny oystery taste, an assertive umami rush.

Another star of our plateau de fruits de mer were the Peruvian scallops. Served with a chunk of pink grapefruit and cilantro, the plump little muscle was sweet and delicious.

Kuushi oysters
The shrimp and mussels were lovely, and it was a fine luxury to be able to compare the two crustaceans - King crab and Atlantic lobster - at the same time. And as just a little more indulgence, we decided to compare oysters too, ordering a mixed half-dozen of Kuushi and Kiwa.

This kind of protein bomb is both filling and fulfilling. Though the rest of the menu offers full dinners, sides, and salads, we were done.

We ended the meal with key lime pie to share.  It was the perfect finish.


Claudia from Idiot's Kitchen said...

I want that. All of it!

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

I had no idea! I think I need to eat out more. (And I agree with Claudia!)